We talked to Steve Baines about how Forcivity is a full-service Salesforce consultancy, system integrator, and SaaS company that helps companies build stronger relationships with their customers and maximize their technology investment, and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Steve Baines: We are doing well – my wife and I are grateful for our health this year for sure. It’s been an adjustment to forego social engagements and family gatherings, as everyone is experiencing, but we’ve created a new normal that’s working out for us.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Forcivity?
Steve Baines: I am a serial entrepreneur technology nerd at heart, but I wasn’t always that way. I was a medic in the Air Force and didn’t get into tech until after my time there. I then transitioned into tech, working in different capacities, including as a consultant. I enjoyed helping people solve complicated problems with technology. Despite not realizing my dream of becoming a physician, I found I could still work alongside people, helping them overcome challenges, yet always be able to relate to them with a satisfactory ‘bedside manner.’ I decided to start Forcivity in 2015 as I saw a large gap in the Salesforce ecosystem that I knew we could fill with our fantastic team. We all espouse the same values and truly care about each other and our clients.
How does Forcivity innovate?
Steve Baines: We’re focused on providing smart solutions that help our clients maximize their technology investments. As a part of that mission, we’ve created several accelerator apps that help us do this better. When we see a gap in the market or a place where out of the box functionality doesn’t cut it, we create innovative solutions to bridge the gap between total customization and out of the box functionality. My team is smart and hungry; when they see something that doesn’t work as it should, they develop innovative solutions to address it, be it a workaround or a brand-new product.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Steve Baines: At the start of 2020, we were positioned for an explosive year. We were growing rapidly and just moved into a new office in January to accommodate new team members. Then COVID-19 hit. Things understandably slowed down, but we were able to readjust and pivot as necessary. My number one goal was to be there for my team and help them be there for our clients. While some project work did slow down, we’ve been able to keep everyone employed without pay cuts; and that’s a win for me. With the new push for digital transformation, we proved to be a valuable asset to our clients and didn’t want to part with one. We help these businesses adapt and find new ways to operate by managing their internal systems and their clients’ interactions.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Steve Baines: We offer several products as well as our consulting services. It was vital for me to read the market and understand where it was best to focus our spending and energy. We pulled back in certain aspects to free up resources for client work and paid engagements.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Forcivity in the future?
Steve Baines: I make a concerted effort never to get too high or get too low. Things can change so quickly in this world and the business we are in – for the good or the bad – so it’s never helpful to let those moments affect me too much. As Forcivity faces the ups and downs that every business does, my goal is to be that steady, guiding voice for everyone, helping lead them through whatever challenges we face. This translates through to how I make critical business decisions to ensure our success for years to come.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Steve Baines: Salesforce/technology consultancies are easy to come by, and I’m well aware of that. Being in the greater Boston area, there is a ton of competition. I’m a firm believer that as long as you surround yourself with smart, hard-working people, you will be able to stand out. Our team is well-rounded: we don’t just know Salesforce; we’re comfortable with systems and processes that surround that technology as well. Our team is ‘small but mighty,’ as I like to say we can offer our clients a personalized experience that they would miss out on in a larger company.
Your final thoughts?
Steve Baines: The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for Forcivity and me personally. I routinely say that work is simply an interruption of our team members’ lives, so let’s focus on making that disruption as great an experience for them as possible. Seeing our team pivot to a 100% virtual model without skipping a beat and witnessing how much of a literal disruption work was to their lives was eye-opening. They were mothers, fathers, caretakers, school teachers, partners, spouses, and co-workers simultaneously – literally – all while working from a place they called home. The move from a professional workspace to the kitchen table or a cramped bedroom was handled flawlessly and without complaint. Seeing how much they cared about our success and each other’s success was truly humbling to me. Nevermore have I felt the importance of building and maintaining a cohesive team, putting them and their needs first. I will never lose sight of ‘the interruption’ called Forcivity. I encourage everyone to do the same. Our team members are people first, co-workers second. With them, we are everything. Without them, we are nothing.