Everyone has a history, a story, from when you were born, to how you grew up, and where you currently are. Like people, companies also have their own stories, being aware of their story is important, as it helps create a picture of the past, as well as how things evolved over time, to get to where the company is now.
Let me introduce you to our Journey…
The Year is 2005
The vision started to transform into a business idea, where the founder saw the need of a business, aimed at helping potential entrepreneurs and business owners to learn how to help themselves so that they can also help others to empower themselves. So, this concept, the idea of the tree with its leaves and seeds became our brand, we registered in South Africa as The Learning Tree in 2008.
The founder decided to pursue another business venture in the Middle East during 2010. During that time the new business idea started to transform into the vision that was prophesied in 2005 – the tree started in the desert, as predicted, and initial vision became our business vision just in different words – “Shaping the future of global prospective entrepreneurs and business leaders, to succeed in their journeys of personal and business growth”.
Soon the founder realised that he needed help from someone who had a drive and passion for business, like himself, someone with good experience. The trusted partner became his son, he joined him as co-founder and CEO. The business model drive online business solutions, with coaching services as well, helping prospective entrepreneurs to start their enterprises, and for existing business leaders to improve business performance, becoming more profitable, increasing revenue while creating wealth for all its stakeholders.
A lot of effort was initially spent on creating a website – numerous EXPENSIVE lessons were learnt, and even more, very expensive lessons were learnt when converting and importing training material into the Opensource LMS (learning management system) on our website. Eventually, by the end of the year, we started to sell a few products and services. This came with the learning of more expensive lessons when we discovered how online marketing and sales worked for B2C and B2B customers. I must admit, the challenges we faced in the marketing and delivery side was a learning experience to write war stories about.
We wanted to stay true to our vision and mission and decided to kick out our Opensource LMS and went for a more Cloud based SAAS LMS. This proved to be very simple, as well as a more reliable solution, less intensive on resources. As the customer numbers increased over time, the learning content remained a challenge, we needed the services of a full-time content developer to oversee the development of our business solutions, and so, another family member, the founder’s daughter was appointed as the director of content development.
This year became a watershed year for us. Based on our learning experiences, we wanted to build our own integrated, digital marketing process, which was to be supported with an off-the-shelf theme based LMS. A lot of effort and money went into the designing of this process, the process turned out to be one which we felt very proud of. The website provided a great online experience for our B2C’s. However, integrations were once again a challenge for us, we needed more support from affordable coders to fix things that kept popping up.
The customer numbers were growing steadily, which started to put a strain on all our resources. Our experience once again helped us to make quick decisions, we bought another LMS and migrated our content onto a development site, while our production site stayed intact, servicing our customers. The change gave our site a fresh look, with a great response rate which rolled hot of the press. The first pilot was conducted jointly, between selected businesses in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and South Africa.
Being involved in cloud technology remained a challenge due to the continuous changes that are always taking place, we realised its either you learn to adapt, or you die. 2016 was one of those years were numerous changes by global giants such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook affected online business. Being a small business with limited resources we managed to make quick decisions at directing our strategy but struggled to respond with the limited resources we had, especially since we were a self-funded business.
This year proved to be something totally different, we decided to focus our solutions and our digital marketing efforts on business startups and launched the FundMe Program, which was a unique development and funding program, designed to help the best performing entrepreneur to get their initial funding to start their ventures. We introduced a coaching methodology which supported the entrepreneur on their journey to success. The traffic which we managed to direct to our website was amazing, we could not believe this was even possible.
To remain competitive, you should continuously listen to your customer and the needs out there. We embarked on a process to revitalise our learning methodology, to ensure that we deliver solutions as efficiently as possible. The 70:20:10 Learning Model was adapted to support our learning processes, helping our customers to implement what they have learnt as effectively as possible. Secondly, we are piloting communities of partner experts to better support our B2C and B2B customer segments. So watch this space…as many big and exciting things are going to be happening this year …