How Megan Förg Lives Life With Flexibility While Enabling Organisations to Achieve Their Goals

startup interview

When Megan Förg relocated to South Africa from London, she had no clients, no candidates, and no resources beyond a laptop, phone and 3G dongle. But this didn’t stop her, because what she did have, was four years of valuable experience in the Recruitment Industry, managing teams of consultants both in Cape Town and London.

Today, Megan owns and runs a recruitment consultancy based in South Africa, providing contract and permanent recruitment solutions to clients and candidates globally. Megan Förg Consulting recruits for a variety of disciplines, including IT, Finance, Digital, Tech and Engineering, Marketing and Sales, HR and Office Support roles.

“We recruit for a range of clients, from new startups with less than 5 staff members, to multinational corporates.”

Making a Difference Through Meaningful Connections

High staff turnover can be detrimental to productivity and growth in a company, as well as morale in a team. When the fit between person and business is misaligned, employees become less motivated, less satisfied and less productive. The organization suffers from this lack productivity. And then of course the cost of constantly training and onboarding new employees has financial implications, too.

The result? Unhappy people, and low performing businesses.

“Recruiters and employers should be sure that the long term goals of candidates are aligned with the long term goals of the companies.”

Megan Förg Consulting specialises in connecting organisations with the right talent. By hiring people who hold the best skills for the role, and share the same values as the business, organisations are geared up to achieve their strategic goals. This means getting close to the client and the candidate – what they value, what they want, what they need – and making a match that’s in the best interest of BOTH parties.

Feedback to clients and candidates is important, which is why Megan Förg Consulting maintains regular contact with their clients and candidates. Clients are kept updated on the reasons why a placement hasn’t been made yet, and candidates always know how far they are in the job hunt process, and if and why they haven’t been successful in an application.

But that’s not all. Megan Förg goes above and beyond, coaching candidates on interview techniques and providing solid career advice.

“If I have a great candidate but no role for them, I’ll assist them with their job search by referring them to other job portals and other recruitment companies who I know might have more relevant roles for them than I do.”

According to Megan, it’s important to follow all steps in the recruitment process. This means no shortcuts when it comes to references, education verification, or anything else. Know the recruitment market, know which industries are busy, know your competitors and what they’re doing, and treat all candidates and clients as equal, regardless of placement value. Because who knows, one day your candidate might just become your client – so never neglect the little fish!

Sometimes You Need To Say “No”

Relocating, working remotely, and growing her own business hasn’t always been a piece of cake for Megan. She’s certainly come up against a challenge or two, and learnt a few lessons along the way.

“I’ve learnt that not everyone is transparent and honest, and that sometimes you need to say no. It’s also ok to tell a client that you actually can’t assist them with a particular job requisition due to skill shortage/low salary, instead of over-exerting yourself looking for that needle in a haystack, and possibly neglecting other clients and candidates as a result.”

Megan has learnt to be comfortable with asking for assistance where needed. She advises that it’s important to build good relationships with others who would complement your business model, and that a referral network in business is very powerful.

“It could be others doing the same as you, who could assist you if need be, and also other companies who you’d be happy to refer to your clients, and vice versa.”

Taking Operations ‘Out of Office’

Megan Förg is based in Plettenberg Bay. That’s right – work weeks are filled with the sound of seagulls and the feeling of sand beneath her feet. So how does she make a global impact from a little town in South Africa?

Well, the business operates almost entirely online, using platforms like LinkedIn and communication channels like email, phone and Skype. Working remotely gives her the flexibility and independence to work with all clients globally, and recruit for all disciplines in all industries.

“The world also seems smaller since we have so much more online reach than we had 10 years ago, so there are a lot more opportunities available that I can go after, which I wouldn’t be able to do if I was permanently based in one location, i.e. working in a company in CT doing recruitment.”

Through this sometimes lonely work arrangement, Megan has realised how resilient and self-motivating she can be. With little more than her own drive and ambition, Megan has achieved her personal career objectives, and continues to strive for growth and new goals.

“[Working remotely] allows me to be available for my clients and candidates almost permanently as I never really switch off completely like I did when I was a permanent employee in a company. This gives me the flexibility to live life, with the “maturity” to know when to put in extra hours.”

What Lies Ahead?

Megan is not stopping or slowing down anytime soon. In fact, her plan for 2018 is to have five dedicated Recruitment Consultants, each with their own niche portfolio of clients and candidates, recruiting into the IT, Digital, Finance, Engineering and Marketing/Sales/Support sectors in SA.

On a global level, Megan would like to build key relationships with clients in Germany and Switzerland, recruiting Software Developers into the Financial Services Market. She’s also looking to expand the  presence of her business in the Medical Device market in Germany.

Megan is an inspiration for what we can achieve – the lifestyle we’ve always dreamt of, matched with a purpose that drives our work and feeds our passion. In the words of this awesome woman:

“Have a plan of what you’d like to achieve, and know how you’d achieve it. But also know that it’s ok if things don’t go according to plan, just be smart enough to make a new plan, and not quit. Be flexible, be kind, be honest.”

Find Megan Förg Consulting on LinkedIn or Facebook, or check our their website here!

Coffee@8 | The Interview Series You’ve Been Waiting For!

interview entrepreneur

You’ve seen the teaser videos. You’ve heard the rumblings that something new is happening.

And now, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you – Coffee@8! This is a project that we’ve been working on for quite some time now, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally bring it to your screen!

What Exactly is Coffee@8?

In a nutshell, some incredible stories from like-minded startup and SME owners that’ll leave you feeling excited and invigorated to get your business on track.

To give you a somewhat longer answer, we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of the most inspiring startup and SME owners to discover more about what makes them tick. We’ve asked them to reflect on their entrepreneurship journey, what drives them, what they’ve learnt, and where they’re still heading. We wanted to make sure that we got the best of the best, and boy are you going to be excited! (No spoilers just yet, so keep an eye on our social media pages for the big name reveal!)

The best part is, these entrepreneurs started out much the same way that you did.

You can expect inspiring stories from those who’ve done things wrong, then done things right, and have grown their businesses to become key players in a variety of innovative industries. 

[bctt tweet=”Coffee@8″ via=”no”]

We wanted to give you different perspectives from a bunch of industries, so we’ll be hearing from startup and SME leaders in animation, neural marketing, IOT, recruitment, and experience design, to name but a few. Better yet, we’ve expanded beyond South Africa and we’re including stories from Australia too!

We’ve got stories of success, but not forgetting the stories of failure, struggle and sacrifice to get there. You’ll also be in for some  jaw-dropping, “why didn’t I think of that” tips and tricks, straight from the mouths of those who’ve done it before. 

The Meaning Behind the Name “Coffee@8”

Why Coffee@8 you ask? Well, us folk over at the Valoro team pretty much run on coffee (and sheer entrepreneurial drive, of course). And let’s face it, how many of us are actually productive at 8am? So what better way to start the mid-week crunch than with a hot cuppa coffee and valuable read first thing in the morning?

Ok, time to get down to the nitty gritty. We want to make sure that you know exactly when you can expect your weekly dose of fresh, new content. Get those diaries out folks, because a new Coffee@8 interview will be released every Wednesday morning at 8am, for 8 full (glorious) weeks! Starting on the 25th of October, you’ll have a newfound reason to look forward to Wednesday mornings.

Why We’re Running this Campaign

So why are we at Valoro choosing to spend time and energy running the Coffee@8 campaign? Well, there’s a number of reasons, really. At it’s heart, Valoro exists to help startups and SMEs. We want to work with them, learn from them, offer value to them so that they are enabled to grow and expand beyond their dreamiest of goals. By sharing the stories of startups and SMEs who’ve achieved (and are still achieving) success, we’re hoping to inspire you and to give you some helpful tips from people who’ve faced similar challenges before.

So, beyond an interesting read filled with humour, creativity and intellectual stimulation, we’re hoping to give you a story that will invigorate you for the day and leave you feeling positive and ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead. In short, we’re doing this to give you, our readers, something that we hope you find value in.

Throughout the 8-week period, we’ll be running some pretty great competitions that you’re really going to want to get involved in. (Trust me on this one!) But, we like to keep you guessing. So keep your eyes peeled across the Valoro social platforms, which you can find on LinkedIn, Facebook and of course our website.

You’re free to comment on the posts shared each week, and let us know what you think. Maybe you recognise your own successes or failures in one of the interviews? Maybe you’ll find some great tips that can help your business reach its full potential? Who knows, YOU may just be one of the successful entrepreneurs featured in our next Coffee@8!

About the Author: Caitlin Ferreira, Director and Lead Marketing Consultant

What Solution Does Your Company Really Provide?

value proposition

In one sentence, describe why customers should support you?

What can you provide them that they can’t get from your competitor?

What’s your promise?

It’s not a trick question, really. But it can actually be pretty difficult to answer.

If you aren’t able to tell potential customers why they should be supporting you, how can you expect them to know? After all, you are the one that knows your company best.

What Is Your Promise?

This one little sentence, that sums up why customers should support you is called your customer value proposition (CVP). It summarises the promise that you’re making to your customers and it tells them quite simply the value that they’ll get out of doing business with you.

Developing your CVP isn’t generally high up on the SME to-do list. In fact, a majority of the people I’ve asked aren’t able to tell me what their value proposition is. They thought it was just more of that fluffy corporate jargon that didn’t really mean much.

This mindset couldn’t be further from the truth though. Your CVP should be underpinning everything that you do. Are you really making sure that you’re sticking to that promise that you made to your customers? When you told them that you’ll provide them with the most convenient solution, are you really doing everything in your power to make sure that’s true?

In creating your CVP you’re telling your potential customers how you’re different to your competitors, explaining to them exactly what sets you apart. Are you promising the lowest prices, well if so you better make sure that you have the lowest prices. You’re promising a luxury experience, well then you need to make sure that every touchpoint with the consumers reinforces that promise.

What Solution Are You Providing?

First things first, we all know that selling products or services requires that a need exists for them in the market. If people need your product or service, they’ll buy it. So knowing exactly what need you’re satisfying, is incredibly important. And as strange as it sounds, this could also be pretty difficult to ascertain.

[bctt tweet=”If people need your product or service, they’ll buy it.” via=”no”]

A wise professor once used this example to get students thinking a bit further about value. So, you sell drills for a living. Big drills, little drills, you sell them all. If you look at the need that you’re catering to, it’s not the need to have a drill, I mean who really wants a drill anyway? Your customers will use your product because they need to create a hole in a wall. Whether they’re hanging up a painting or (whatever else you do with a drill) – they need to create a hole in a wall and the drill does just that.                                         

Knowing that you’re actually selling the hole in the wall, and not the drill, as the end solution is the (sometimes confusing) trick.

Creating Your CVP

Your CVP should have four major components working together to form a succinct narrative that clearly outlines the value that you provide for customers.

First, it should specify your target market. Who exactly are you trying to sell your product or service to? Make this a description that your target market can relate to and identify themselves as one (of the hopefully many) customers that need the product or service that you’re selling!

Second, it clearly outlines the problem that you solve. There’s that end-solution thinking again. You need to have a clear understanding of the root problem that you’re solving here. Are you just selling a home security system, or are you selling a sense of security to create a space where one feels completely safe?

Third, your CVP should explain how you solve the problem? Are you able to help me create that hole in the wall by providing a range of premium, top quality German-engineered drills? If so, tell me exactly how you’re planning on solving my problem.

Fourth, it states why you’re different and tells potential customers why they should choose your company over any other. Maybe you’re able to get the job done the fastest, the cheapest, or with premium quality, ethically sourced raw materials? Whatever your point of differentiation is, make it explicit.

Making sure you know and understand your own CVP is the first step in convincing others of your CVP. Make sure that you are able to easily summarise the value that you provide because at the end of the day, the company that creates the most value is that one that gets the business.

As a challenge to all our followers, tell us below what your company’s CVP is? Are you able to address the four points above? Maybe you want to reevaluate the value that you’re providing to customers and create a new value proposition? If so, we’re happy to help! Fell free to contact us with any question you may have.

 

About the Author: Caitlin Ferreira, Valoro Director and Lead Marketing Consultant

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