15 Feb Creating a meaningful company culture at SocialSignIn
I started SocialSignIn from a very simple idea. It was summer 2012 and at the time I was working at a web design agency in Shropshire. I was asked to find a social media management solution for a large enterprise client of ours, one that could be quickly implemented, was broad enough that it could be used across all departments and which could be easily scaled over time. I began my search, but after weeks of looking I still had not found a tool that met all of the requirements my boss had given me. It was then I had the idea for SocialSignIn.
I knew I would need some experienced help to get this idea off the ground, so I called on friend and seasoned entrepreneur Nick Wood. Over the course of many months, many late nights and a few glasses of wine, Nick and I developed the initial concept of what functionality should be in the SocialSignIn platform. Next we scoped out market feasibility, concluding that their was a tangible gap in the market and validating my idea. We then designed our launch strategy and I got to work writing the product.
Those early days were spent in an office no bigger than a coat cupboard, I would market, demo and provide support for the platform during the day, then write code and develop the platform at night. I was so excited when we made our first sale. Nick and I set our first target of £10,000 recurring revenue per month, at the time it seemed like a huge number that was so far out of our reach – but gradually we added one company after another to our portfolio. We worked closely with those early clients, using their knowledge, frustrations and insights to develop the platform and accelerate its evolution – adding as much value as quickly as possible. We continue to embrace this partnership approach today.
Fast-forward four and a half years and SocialSignIn is now a thriving tech business, established throughout the UK and Europe. Our ARR continues to grow month on month, we’ve made strong hires to key areas of the business, moved to an exciting new office space for the future, built a diverse network of strategic partners and we now work with some of the biggest organisations in the World – helping them harness the power of social media to create meaningful customer experiences and share content that resonates. Our clients now include; Virgin Trains, Ford Retail Group, the Open University, Willmott Dixon, Manchester City Council and Iceland Foods. Unlike many of our competitors, we’ve also resisted the temptation of capital investment, meaning we are free to make our own decisions without the pressures of outside influence.
With a growing and diverse customer base and team of employees, we knew that one of the next important steps for us was to clearly define and articulate who we are as a company and what we stand for – this would act as our “north star”. It would keep us focused, allow new employees to quickly integrate, organisations to decide if we’re the right partner for them, and to solidify a culture that will help take us up to, and through, the next stage of start-up growth.
Our belief is that the true value in a business lies in its people. Similarly, we see that the businesses that harness social media most effectively understand that it too is also all about people, conversations and making interactions “human”. We wanted to remain true to this ethos. So we organised a series of workshops that would see our employees define our company values. Only by doing this would they live and breathe them every day, carrying it forward to our customers and creating a strong, authentic culture.
So we created “Our Social Sentiment”, a short ebook that simply and clearly sets out why we are in business, the story of how we came to be, the people that have played a part in our journey, the values we all try our best to uphold and what life is like at SocialSignIn. Today, I’m really pleased to be able to share that ebook with you. If you have any questions about our people, our platform or life at SocialSignIn – please tweet me or connect with me on LinkedIn.
About the Writer:
Ben Nimmo is the Founder and CTO of SocialSignIn. A serial entrepreneur with a history of successful tech start-ups, Ben is passionate about finding new ways for businesses to harness the power of digital technology to deliver world class marketing and customer service.