It's been 4 week's since Jared Whitaker was appointed as CEO of Fluid, and he's been keen to share a little bit of what it's been like behind the scenes running a SaaS scale-up.
I thought it might be useful to write up a little article/diary entry to mark the 4 weeks by talking about some of the things I have done, some of the emotions, some of the reactions from customers and staff, and just a general overview. Maybe it will help someone else one day, or maybe it will entertain someone for a few minutes while they read it but here goes...
Some of the things I've done
I like transparency, and I believe that people need to feel that they work for a part of something, so they should understand what their company is doing. On the back of that, from Day 1 as CEO, I implemented a few things.
1) I send a weekly email to all staff, giving updates on the business - what sales we are working on, bespoke customer work we are doing, marketing, partner discussions etc. This is like a weekly report that shows actions, next steps, achievements, metrics etc.
2) I write a weekly internal blog for all staff to read, which talks about the thinking around the items listed above, and the hopes, dreams, emotions etc that go with them.
3) I have set up recurring monthly one on ones with every member of the Fluid team. Open discussions where they can ask anything, get feedback, give feedback, hang out, have a virtual coffee. It's their session, and they can ask or say anything.
The reaction and feedback from the team has been so great with these things. They feel that they are in the loop with what we are trying to achieve, they feel part of something bigger than their role, they feel excited, and they feel important. And the best thing is - they are important, so it's great that they realise it!
Just as with staff, it's important to be open and have great relationships with customers. I also spoke to our customers and let them know of the appointment etc. The feedback there was so humbling for me. Obviously a lot of them knew me anyway from my role as COO, but the positivity and excitement about my new appointment and the direction of Fluid was just so great to hear. We do what we do for them, so to have them so on board and so excited just means we are doing the right things!
Steering the ship
In terms of running the company and driving the company forward, I have also been putting a few things in place, and planning for the future. I've met with some great potential partner companies, providers, advisors and more. We've implemented a better level of metrics tracking, sales and marketing planning, community outreach and more. Oh, and we did some normal work and signed some new customers as well! 😊
What the future holds
I am so excited for the future of Fluid, and not because of me, but because the team that works here, the customers we have, the network we have are all so great, honest, open, friendly, driven and genuine. I obviously have a vision of where I want the company to go, and I will work day and night to make that vision a reality, but the truly comforting thing for me, is that it is not just my vision, but the vision of everyone at Fluid (customers's and partners included!)
I hope whoever is reading this will come along with us on this journey, and be part of our revolution to change the way that people work, and make our motto a reality - Work a better day, live a better life.