Alex Kot, Co-Founder of SLEEEP, and Alex So, Co-Founder of Fastlane Pro, Central Hong Kong // Photo: Danica Burke
Over the last few weeks our team have been visiting Xero customers in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia, listening to their business stories and hearing first hand how cloud technology is helping make running their lives and business operations easier and more seamless.
Behind every good startup is… a solid idea, a solid support system, and a solid amount of coffee. Peeking behind the scenes of one of our customer video shoots and you’ll likely see the same things. We create these videos as a way to celebrate our customers and their stories. They remind us at Xero who the end-users of our products are, and give us the chance to get to know these customers as real-life #humans, to see into the lives they live and be inspired by the positive impact that they have on the world. We love being part of that; seeing what makes their world turn and what’s important to them.
As many a business owner will agree, a supportive community is an integral element in building and enjoying a successful business. Having a few good people around who believe in them, can give advice or support or who are willing to simply lend an ear, is proven to give small business owners more confidence, help them feel more self-assured and maintain momentum and a sense of purpose in tougher times.
It was really special when going to Hong Kong to shoot a case study story about our customers Alex Kot and Jun Rivers of Sleeep, co-founders of a beautiful, modern and extremely tech-savvy capsule hotel in Sheung Wan, Central Hong Kong. The team got to know the support crew behind their new venture - from the tradespeople who craft their vision into reality, to the first employees who embody the brand with every guest interaction, to the friends who share their encouragement and support without being asked, to the barista around the corner who helps them start their day out right, we even got chatting to some curious neighbours that pass by on their commute everyday - all these people play important daily roles in building the community and roots around a new business.
And one of the most vital roles in that inner circle is often the accountant or financial advisor. Xero is a company filled with accountants who have played the role of advisor and have seen first hand the value it brings, not only their customers business but their practice as well. When you’re able to cultivate a relationship of trust and collaboration between partner and client it enriches both sides. When we started building the story around Alex and Jun of Sleeep we uncovered the great relationship they have with their accountant and advisor, Alex So, co-founder of Fastlane Pro, and Xero Gold Partner.
To say we at Xero encourage partners to expand their offering to customers beyond basic book keeping would be an understatement. And what better example of that than with the collaboration between Fastlane Pro and the Sleeep founders. In the early days of Sleeep, Alex Kot reached out to Fastlane when looking for a Xero partner to work with, and when they bumped into each other at a football game, they discovered they had both serendipitously gone to the same small high school in Hong Kong.
"Xero basically transforms the whole accounting profession and other industry service providers supporting SME. The ability of sharing financial data among the organisations create endless opportunities and improvement on efficiency. We have moved our accounting practise completely to digital with the help of Xero. Our clients are now receiving timely financial advice from us as we are freed from the tedious data input and numerous one-off financial reports creation." Says Alex So of Fastlane. During the shoot he dropped by to say hi and join us for lunch and a couple pictures. The genuine rapport between the them was obvious, as is their mutual respect and appreciation for each other. Amidst posing for selfies and reenacting their usual meetings, they laughed about how easy and stress-free it is to just pull out their phones and catch up on the books over a coffee at their local cafe, pretty amazing! We hear this a lot at Xero and it makes us smile every time. Love it.
Look out for the release of the Xero & Sleeep customer story video and some very exciting product news to go with that at the Xero Roadshow HK on March 7th.
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