Lets Collaborate is a SharePoint strategy and user adoption consultancy. It was founded by Veronique Palmer five years ago today and provides specialist services to a carefully selected group of clients.
Lets Collaborate goes into companies that are either implementing Microsoft SharePoint, defines the strategy to manage the platform and then assists them in rolling the platform out, or, more often, gets called in to assist where an existing SharePoint installation is not being used. They are the specialists in turning that around
“While we get people to use SharePoint, what we really do is get people to believe in themselves and to embrace change; that’s what differentiates us,” says founder Veronique Palmer. “It’s not about the technology, it’s about being there for our clients and understanding our audience incredibly well.”
Believing in herself and her skills is what saw Veronique walk out of her high-paying job five years’ ago, with not a lot in the bank, to start Lets Collaborate. Would she do it again? Definitely. Would she recommend other people do it? Not if they can’t afford haphazard cashflow, especially in the first year. It’s easier, she says, if you don’t have family responsibilities, or if you have financial backing; Veronique didn’t have either. Starting your own business is tough, she states, and having a family to support makes the consequences of any failure that much higher. There’s a lot that needs to be considered before you take the plunge, just do your homework first.
Learning to handle mistakes and getting up again to do things better is part of what’s allowed Lets Collaborate to make its first five years. Some of the harder lessons she has learnt, Veronique says, have come from business deals and partnerships gone wrong.
“It’s important to work with people that have the same values, culture and measure of success,” Palmer states, “there’s no right or wrong in those, but makes sure they are compatible or work just becomes an unnecessary war zone.”
She’s also learnt, she says, that the standard three-month period isn’t enough to evaluate an employee. “You can fake it for three months,” she says, “but I’ve found it takes six months to see someone’s true colours.”
It takes some fancy footwork to get the right people on board at the right time, but it’s exceptionally rewarding when you achieve that and build a team that can rely on each other.
Also – determine your niche. “As a small business you cannot be all things to all people, rather focus on one thing and be really good at it.
Partner with businesses that are the right fit for you and your clients to expand your service offering. Diversify later on when you’re stable.
Her number one piece of advice: “Learn when to say no and when to say yes”.
Lets Collaborate is a small business that delivers big results. The company is focusing on building long-term relationships with clients that are the right fit for them. Veronique says the company engages for the long-term, so it’s important that both parties are getting mutual value from the relationship.
Veronique has won five awards in five years, four of them from Microsoft and she’s one of six SharePoint Business Most Valued Professional (MVP) specialists globally.
Happy birthday, Lets Collaborate, here’s to the next five years!