When I grew up in West Texas, nothing was hyperconnected like it is now. You didn’t have the Snapchats and the Facebook groups and the group texts. When you wanted to meet someone at a place, you told them you’d meet them there at a time, and then you were at that place, at that time, because how else were they supposed to find you? That was also the ethos and the culture of Lubbock. Your word is your bond in Lubbock – in part because everyone knew everybody, so you couldn’t hide for long – everybody would know your business before long.
When we started Far West Capital, back in 2007, we had three people – myself, Don, Brian, Trisha, and a handful of clients. We knew we wanted to stick to those old-school trust & relationship values, but those get harder and harder to pull off once you scale. We have 44 employees and 250+ clients these days – how can you ensure that each client gets the attention necessary to help them achieve their purpose? The relationship I had with client #1 was not going to be the same as the one I had with client #100.
What if they’re on Facebook, and they leave a comment or a message, and we don’t get back to them, because we’re only paying attention to the things we old-timers know – the phones, the lunches, the coffees?
It helps to have our core values – team, transparency, excellence, passion. We’ve failed a lot, and responded to those failures by developing our manifesto. We hire with the Harrison Assessment to ensure we’re screening for as many of those qualities as we can. I believe in R&D – rip off and duplicate – and I push our team hard to accomplish a very high bar of 100% happy clients and 100% clean deals.
How you do one thing is how you do all things. I’d like to take those old school values and lace those into the relationships we maintain over digital. I believe that that’s what will be the currency, frankly, for people in the future. The reason we get referrals is because people trust our company. “Go to Far West Capital, people take care of you, they do what they say they’re going to do.”
That same business owner is not going to go to his local banker, the way I would’ve done in Lubbock. They’re going to go to the computer, and go to Google, and try to figure out what you stand for, who you are, what you do for people.
It’s really not different. It’s just that we have a different medium now over which to broadcast who we are. If you work really hard to maintain your customer relationships, if you treat people well – and you can’t please everybody, all the time – that’s why we’re successful now and the reason we’ll be successful in the future.
Even if we do it over Snapchat.
Cole Harmonson is the CEO of Far West Capital, a company that funds the goals of high-growth entrepreneurs. Know a great company in need of capital to unleash their potential? Send them here, and we’ll give them a call.