The digital era has brought us many great things—instantaneous communication, unlimited access to knowledge and the cat meme, to name a few. For independent service providers, the era has also dramatically broadened their market reach far beyond the limits of local geographies.
Just five years into his bootstrapped business, Jake now provides data center solutions to mid-level enterprise clients in over 35 countries worldwide. But getting there hasn’t always been easy.
I recently sat down with Jake to hear about his success.
Turn to Your Network When Turning Global
As any company that operates globally knows, doing business abroad is rarely a straightforward affair. Limited market familiarity, language barriers, and cultural variations are just a few of the challenges of dealing internationally.
In Jake’s case, he’s encountered everything from not knowing who the biggest telecom players were in a certain market, or the best data center in Sydney, to questions around colocation in China.
To get over the hurdles, Jake turned to his network.
Over the years, Jake has applied this ‘leverage your network’ approach when entering new regions throughout Europe and Asia. While much of his experience continues to be earned first hand, the added insight from Jake’s peers has enabled Cloudnexion to gain the critical intel it has needed to rapidly scale abroad.
Takeaway: No matter where you are in the world, it’s who you know that will help push you ahead.
Knowledge is Best Shared
Passing knowledge forward has been fundamental to the evolution of human intelligence. And just like in the wild, knowledge sharing in business can be the difference between success or starvation.
As mentioned earlier, Cloudnexion currently serves customers in over 35 countries. That’s 35 countries and a whole slew of unique operational challenges.
Intent on growing Cloudnexion, Jake realized the international experience and knowledge he’s gained in the past five years would be invaluable to future hires. As such, his team has created an internal database that catalogs everything they’ve learned in the global market over the years—covering everything from regulations, to laws, other rules, and intel.
Jake hopes that by cataloging his experience, and continuing to add to it, he’ll be setting his company for even greater scalability and success.
Takeaway: Knowledge is meant to be shared not hoarded—be generous with what you know, it will raise you and those around you higher.
Staying True to Your Core Offering
In the fast-moving world of IT and telecom, change is an inevitable part of business (just ask Marc Benioff). What was hot yesterday may prove to be old hat come tomorrow.
Jake has seen plenty of change since launching Cloudnexion five years ago, with new products and services flooding in on a continual basis. This constant change-state, Jake says, can easily be distracting.
Over the years, Jake has felt the temptation to change his business’ core offering to keep pace with the hottest trends. In the end, though, he has yet to be swayed.
Knowing that a change in course could run the risk of alienating or confusing his target market, Jake has held steady on Cloudnexion’s offerings. By staying true to his core values, regardless of where his client is based, Jake has been able to steadily grow his business’ reputation and solidify customer trust along the way.
Takeaway: New services and products will come and go; your core differentiators are what will drive you to the finish line.
New Opportunities Come From Leaning in
There has been a lot of hype around personalization in customer service over the past few years. It seems that no matter what the deliverable, customers now want customization at every touch point. And to get to that customization, they want businesses to deeply understand their needs.
Jake’s here to tell you, you’re right. But even better, by leaning in and delivering on customer expectations, you stand to uncover even greater opportunities.
Recently, Jake called up one of Cloudnexion’s agricultural clients to ask for a tour of their operations. Jake’s goal was to see how the lettuce farming business ran from start to finish — beyond what he already knew from his weekly check-ins with the client.
The tour revealed to Jake exactly how Cloudnexion’s previously installed tech solutions were meeting the client’s operational needs.
But surprisingly, it also revealed hidden opportunities to install IoT hardware throughout the operations that will provide an even richer customized experience for the client.
Takeaway: Use every opportunity to get to know your clients better—new opportunities await in the most unexpected places.
Be sure to catch Jake’s complete interview over on the podcast. In it, Jake shares many more great insights into Cloudnexion’s international success.