We began work with a new client earlier this year. He’s an executive I’ve known for years and the newly minted CEO of his company.
He came to us because his company needs development work. But that’s not why he signed on the dotted line. As we were discussing the finer points of what an agreement would look like, he turned to me and said, “I need you to get me out into the market. Get me out in front of who I need to see, and tell me what we need to do to build our brand and personal network.”
That’s not a service we market. It’s not something we bake into contracts and statements of work. But it is what we do — because that’s what our clients need.
Take, for example, Lee Demby, co-founder and president of Boardroom Insiders. He’s been working with us for nearly two years. We’ve helped him revamp and optimize his existing platform. We’ve also built a new product that Boardroom Insiders launched, to much fanfare, late last year.
That work is what Demby and his co-founder, Sharon Gillenwater, hired us to do. But that’s not where we stopped. Outside of our technical deliverables, we introduced them to dozens of people, two of whom have become fractional members of the team. We’ve learned the intricacies of the Boardroom Insiders business so we could advise not just on the direction of the product, but on the associated strategy of the business.
And then there’s the intangible advice, like when Lee talked with one of our team members, Daniel DelaCruz, about his desire to hire a project manager.
“Because we’ve established this relationship where we have these kinds of conversations, I asked for advice,” Lee recalled. “He said, ‘You have this pain or something that you’re spending an amazing amount of time and energy on, and you feel like that’s a full-time job. And it would be for about two months. But you have to ask yourself, what’s this person going to do after those two months. Is there a 40- or 50- or 60-hour a week job there?'”
That conversation transformed Lee’s thought process on the prospective hire. Instead of going in search of project managers, he opted to add marketing talent to the team to capitalize on the launch of the new product.
“With Dualboot, I get to learn from their experience,” Lee explained. “Being a founder is a lonely spot to be in because, even if you have a larger team like ours and you’re growing fast and things are going well, there’s tons of ambiguity. Always. We appreciate having Dualboot as a resource to talk through some of those things, and they’re not shy about giving you their opinions.”
Stories like that are why I came to work at Dualboot. Our team has decades of experience starting and building businesses. We understand the technology component, sure, but we also understand the challenges, from marketing and product development, to hiring and strategy.
And if we can help you avoid some of the pitfalls we’ve encountered, by offering our advice or connecting you to someone in our network, we’re going to do it.
When you’re building a business, you need to surround yourself with people who do more than deliver on a scope of work. You need resources who add value across multiple aspects of your business. Companies expect that of investors — that they’ll grant portfolio companies access to their network and connections — so why not expect that of other vendors and service providers, as well?
Todd Buelow, one of our co-founders, recently wrote about the people you need to make your business a success. He’s a connector and avid networker, and he’s passionate about bringing people together. But he’s not alone in that sentiment. Our entire team values connections and relationships as the foundation for success. We build that within our team and within our broader network of clients, colleagues and friends.
In practice, that means we’ve introduced our clients to angel funds, private equity firms and other investors who can provide access to much-needed capital. We’ve connected the companies we work with to talent, as in the case of Boardroom Insiders, as well as professional services firms to ensure they have good accountants, lawyers and marketers in their corner.
We don’t get paid for that work. We do it because it’s important and because we believe in giving you the most value for your investment. You’re building a business. We are, too. And when we’re able to make you more successful, we both win.