How To Be A Connected Business
How the kayak can beat the aircraft carrier.
I run an advertising agency called The Goat Farm. (Our wonderful clients include New Zealand’s leading accounting and finance recruitment company, Consult Recruitment.) It’s definitely not the biggest agency in the country, but we do OK – and last year I was asked by Xero to travel the country talking about how we do it.
You don’t often stop to think deeply about your business and what makes it tick, so I’m grateful to Anna Curzon at Xero for the opportunity to do that.
And when I did, I remembered a conversation I had a few years back in the process of leaving the multinational ad agency I worked at (think Mad Men – our HQ was literally on Madison Avenue).
“Why would you want to leave the aircraft carrier?” said the regional CEO, “And paddle around in a bloody kayak?”
5 years on, it’s our mission to make The Goat Farm New Zealand’s best-connected ad agency, and turn those connections into business value for our clients. The Xero clients I spoke to – about 2000 medium or small accountants and bookkeepers – got that.
SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WELL-CONNECTED KAYAK?
- Be nimble. Kayaks change direction easily. They’re not slaves to momentum so can turn on a dime when conditions change. Aircraft carriers can’t do that.
- Raft up. When a job needs more than one kayak, find some mates. Connect. Do the job. Then move on. (Social media makes it easy to make these connections. Use it!)
- Stay light. Kayaks are cheap and easy to get into. They don’t need a lot of hardware to function. (For us, this means using free or cheap subscription software and apps instead of rooms full of servers and expensive packages.)
- Fly your flag. Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with the big boats. I’ve sensed a real shift in New Zealand business in the last five years that’s led to huge companies – telcos, utilities, banks, airlines and so on – being very happy indeed to partner up with the right kayak to get the job done.
- Have fun. Paddle hard when you hit the rapids but enjoy the calm bits in between. Do the odd Eskimo roll. Go for a swim. Hey, you’re a kayak, not an aircraft carrier!
Are you looking to become a more connected business and take your digital presence to the next level? Have a chat to Vaughn and his team at The Goat Farm. Who knows, you might get a chance to pet actual goats!