A stand out difference of working with a boutique consulting firm is personal connection. Many people at Fox Consulting’s clients have become so much more over the years, I consider many of them close friends & even in some cases, family.
Fox Consulting originally started when the company I was working for closed its doors, abandoning not only me & my team, but also our clients. I had traveled to meet them & ran a 24/7 help desk for them for many years, over time, these clients had eventually collected my personal contact information. As they squarely faced Y2K without support, or the Y2K compliant software they were promised from the DEV division, they reached out to me personally for help. As we shared our fears of future uncertainty together, & out of those personal connections 25 years ago, Fox Consulting was born.
Since then, I have gone into many battles of extreme & complex projects with clients. We’ve stayed in the office long past work hours together, even overnight, working & sharing our stories while sacrificing our health & time with family & friends. We’ve swapped on call nights/days/weeks so important life events can be attended. We’ve traveled together, supporting each other to strangers, far from our team & home. I’ve attended bridal & baby showers, weddings, kids’ graduation parties, promotion parties & even helped pick out an engagement ring (this happens when you are the only gal on the team). I’ve consoled clients through divorces & break ups, cancer, deaths and demotions, & even stayed connected after firings. And they've done their fair sharing of supporting me! We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated & we’ve reminisced.
I met my dogs’ godmother at one of my clients when she joined our team. We still try to attend PASS Summit together when we can to reconnect & catch up. I met the executor of my estate at one of my clients, his business savvy in a variety of industries made him the only choice when we did our estate planning, & he has become one of our closest friends. I just had drinks over the holiday weekend with my DW Manager, & her husband, from a client over 10 years ago, she is a trusted confidant & I have had the pleasure of watching her young girls grow into beautiful women. And I recently reached out to my favorite DBA from a client over 15 years ago to see if he'd consider going to PASS Summit this year as I am planning to go, he can be a little introverted & enjoys those events more when he knows people attending. Having that kind of knowledge isn’t sales, it’s personal connection.
When choosing your next project’s battle partner, take a moment to consider how much time you will spend with that consultant over the duration of the project, & if that’s a person you are interested in personally vesting yourself in for & past that duration. Beyond the sales pitch, while you might find a great resource for now, you may find a personal connection that lives long past the challenge in front of you.