Team Kahuna took a short trip to Chicago this week for the Clio Cloud Conference, and wow did we have a great time! Team Clio did an incredible job of creating a fun, fast-paced, energetic and positive environment where collaboration and entrepreneurship could thrive.
We are still mentally recovering from all we took in over the extremely fast two day conference. And in all the fun and connections we made at the event, we also learned a lot. Here are the top five things we learned from the Clio Conference.
1. It’s all about partnership
At Kahuna, we are all about partnership. Our belief is in an entrepreneurial ecosystem where you focus on your strengths and rely on the strengths of others to fill in the gaps.
We saw the same thing from Clio where nearly as much attention was paid to the product as it was to the different partnerships and integrations.
Our greatest partner, Xero, has exemplified this model with over 300 add-on partners, and a commitment to creating the best accounting software possible – and relying on partners for everything else.
It makes sense Xero and Clio are working closely together, because Clio has cultivated a similar model.
In the 21st century, it is foolish to be all things to all people, because you’ll spread yourself too thin. Be great at what you do and work with great partners on everything else.
2. The Problems We are Solving
From a marketing perspective, there is nothing better than getting face to face time with many individuals who are the exact people you want to work with.
Kahuna had an exhibitor booth at the conference so we had the opportunity to have several conversations with solo and small law firms and learn more in-depth about the world they are living in. This challenged some of our assumptions and provided greater clarity on the value of our solution.
Namely, we learned how many attorneys 1. Don’t have their bank reconciliations done, 2. Are dreading tax season and 3. Are relying on a spouse to do the books currently.
It was both affirming and illuminating to have those real conversations and get more in-depth with the challenges attorneys are facing.
The point in bringing this up is – how can you learn from your potential customers? The more in-depth you can understand the problems you are trying to solve, the more effective you will be as a business.
3. Small Law = Entrepreneurship
I don’t know how many times I heard the phrase, “This is so different than any legal conference I’ve seen.”
This is why. Because it wasn’t a legal conference, it was an entrepreneurship conference.
I was excited to hear so many conversations from attorneys who broke off from a big firm to chase a dream. I heard attorneys who are talking about client acquisition and content marketing.
We talked about how to break free of time for dollars and create innovative new ways to increase cash flow and provide additional value.
Yes, 400+ lawyers were in attendance, but most of the people I talked to were entrepreneurs.
4. It’s Good to Be Part of a Family
For Kahuna specifically, we couldn’t be more thankful to share in a conference like this. We serve all types of small businesses all over the country, but in the past six months we have made a strong commitment to serving small and solo law firms.
That commitment has paid off in several ways. For one, we have been able to interact with and work with some incredible, forward-thinking people who have helped us refine our message and provide maximum value in the industry.
Secondly, our accounting team is able to create templates and systems because the majority of our clients are in a similar situation.
As a business owner, it can be tempting to try to serve anyone and everyone, but you miss out on a lot when you never go deep into an industry and learn the unique challenges a group is facing – and then commit to providing the best solution.
5. We Will Be Back
Finally, not enough can be said about the show Clio put on. Just to be in the environment and around the people would have been worth the price of admission.
We came back energized and ready to tackle everything in front of us.
This was certainly an entrepreneur’s conference – and it was a great one.
We’re looking forward to Clio Con 2015!