The SLO Personal Contact Manager

The SLO Personal Contact Manager

Or just 'PCM' to its friends ...

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About Us: Meet The Team Behind PCM

Well, actually, it's about me ...

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Posted by Steffi Lewis on 01/01/2021 @ 8:00AM

I always feel that honesty is the best policy when you're working with individual business owners. They don't want to deal with yet another faceless corporation and want to know, like and trust the person behind the product ...

I used to have a little photo studio years ago and loved dancing around listening to music!

I used to have a little photo studio years ago and loved dancing around listening to music!

 

So I'm Steffi Lewis, and at the time of writing, I'm a 54-year-old tech entrepreneur, living in Buckinghamshire. I'm a complete foodie who loves cooking and takeaways which means I'm a tad overweight, but taking steps to resolve that with diet and exercise.

I'm a sci-fi nut, an ex-biker, and was born and raised on the Wirral, but moved to Milton Keynes in 1992. I'm definitely an introvert; I do like to be around people, but find it exhausting. A scrummy home-cooked meal, a nice bottle of wine, and a great film is my idea of a good night in.

"Hmmm, so you're just one person then?"

Yes, I am. At the moment. My intention is to grow PCM to many hundreds of subscribers in 2022 and will add team members as my capacity to support and train and develop PCM peaks out. I can easily look after my subscribers right now, but I know I'll need to grow the team this year.

If anyone asks, "Steffi, what are you?" I reply with, "I'm a web developer". I've been working with web servers and the internet since 1993 when I was part of the IT team of the Maths & Computing faculty at the Open University. My boss wheeled up a big floor standing computer one day with a manual and said, "Learn this Steffi, it'll be a game-changer ..."" I asked him what it was and he replied, "It's a web server!"

I'd learned all my IT skills in the late 80s and very early 90s, so I had no idea what a web server was (no one did), but I taught myself and was blown away. I created my first website for a course called MU120 Seeing Through Mathematics and it was written in HTML 1.1 using the newly introduced tables feature and included QuickTime video clips from the matching BBC2 TV series. I even wrote it in Windows Notepad as no dedicated editors were available at that time.

Since then, I've worked on all sorts of web projects, from massive systems for corporates in the 90s to a UK-wide shopping website in 2000. In fact, the shopping site was one of the greatest projects I ever created as it qualified for £10 million in venture capital funding.

Sadly it was also my greatest failure as the day I was supposed to sign the agreement the dot com bubble burst and my investors withdrew their offer. After remortgaging my house and maxing out both my overdraft and credit cards to get it ready for funding, I lost everything. It wasn't pleasant.

"So I picked myself up, brushed myself down, and decided a fresh start was required!"

I sold everything I had left except my beloved DSLR kit, bought a plane ticket and headed off to stay with my cousin in the USA so I could follow my other passion which was photography. I ended up working as an event photographer in Los Angeles. Although I enjoyed the work, I couldn't get my head around why Hollywood, with all its expensive shops, restaurants, cars and stars, was surrounded by streets of tents, broken down campervans and destitute people.

It was the layer of smog I woke up to every day and the huge amounts of traffic I had to navigate that was the straw that broke the camel's back. I decided to come home and to get back into web development again.

I didn't want to work for anyone else on my return, so attended an NLP course to focus on my future. The trainer was a lovely lady and had seen me blogging my photography when I was in LA and asked if I could do it for her business too. And so started 10 years of blogging, emailing and social media sharing working with some amazing micro-businesses in the Milton Keynes and Northampton area. I'm still doing it today as it's my main source of income, but will gradually phase it out as PCM grows.

I had a brain aneurysm in 2012 and editing blog posts with constant headaches wasn't fun. I realised I needed to automate my blogging process so after spending time in hospital and having 8-hours of surgery to 'fix my brain' (as my neurologist put it) I built some systems that reduced my working time so I could concentrate on myself a bit more.

"Was a brain aneurysm the worst thing
that ever happened to me?"

Nope! The aneurysm would have killed me quickly had it exploded. It would have been like someone had hit my off switch and that would be it. It was cancer in 2014 which was killing me slowly and horribly. It was an experience I wouldn't even wish on my worst enemy.

Treatment involved plenty of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and absolutely knocked me for six. I only had a couple of hours in the day I could work before the 'brain fog' descended on me. I used it wisely and automated my blogging platform up the wazoo.

All was going well with the business and my health was great. Until the pandemic hit in 2020. At the beginning of the first lockdown, I lost half my blogging clients, and half my income went along with it. They panicked when their own income dropped off and I don't blame them for pulling their horns in. It was just a huge financial shock it happened so quickly. Thank goodness for bounceback loans. Without them, I don't know what I would have done.

I had an epiphany at the beginning of 2021 thanks to my best friend and ace business consultant Kirsty Parris. My existing business model was to work with just a few high paying clients, but I'd just seen what happens when things go massively wrong with the economy. I needed to switch to many small paying clients and this is where PCM came in.

"I'd been working on it as an extra module
for my blogging clients!"

Originally, it was never going to be a public product until Kirsty dropped by for coffee one afternoon. She asked me what I was working on so I demoed it to her. She loved it and asked if I could make it work for her. I said "No, you're not one of my blogging clients so you can't have it" to which she replied, "You don't get me ... I want it, I'll pay you for it, so make it work for me!" How could I refuse?

So, the first part of 2021 was about creating a product that I could take to market. I've always loved working with sole traders and the self-employed so I focussed on featured that I would use as an individual. I refined it, I debugged it, I added new stuff that I found useful and I fixed things that annoyed me when I was using it. Kirsty 'alpha tested' it for me, finding bugs and suggesting features and other ideas.

By the end of the summer, I was ready to let others use it so went to my BNI Chapter and asked if anyone would be interested in subscribing. A number of them did and they loved it. I had a mortgage advisor, a tax advisor and a vehicle leasing company subscribe, and they recommended others to use PCM to so added to my subscriber base and listened to their ideas and suggestions.

"And now we're here at the start of 2022 and raring to go!"

The SLO Personal Contact Manager, or just PCM to its friends, is ready to launch across the United Kingdom. In my humble opinion, it is the UK's best micro-business CRM because it knows what it is, it knows who its target market is and all the mainstream CRMs in the world go after enterprise clients and have to be all things to all people. They are stuffed with features a micro-business will never use and are massively overpriced when you want more than just basic features.

A cloud-based contact manager designed exclusively for UK small business owners ...

YourPCM is the growth engine for administrators, networkers and marketers alike. Organise everyone you know, search for new businesses you don't and reach out to them all using custom email, SMS and our unique HTML mailing list system

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My target for 2022 is to get hundreds more micro-businesses to subscribe. I offer a really great, focused and well-priced product that will enable them to become proactive and grow their own bottom line.

My subscribers are the most important people in the world to me. Whatever help and support they need, they always get. Whether that's a quick question answered by email or messenger, a full-on support session using Zoom, or a custom video created to show them how to do something, I will go above and beyond to make PCM a great experience for them!

As I said at the start of this blog post, I always feel that honesty is the best policy when you're working with individual business owners, because that's what I am and it's how I like to be treated.

I hope you now know more about me, understand my background and realise I'm in this for the long haul. I will make PCM a success.

Go on, grab a fully-featured 7-day free trial ... I know you're going to love it.

Until next time ...

STEFFI LEWIS

 
 



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About Steffi Lewis ...

 

Developer, blogger, photographer, videographer, foodie, cat lover, sci-fi nut, cancer survivor, countryside dweller, and Creator of The SLO Personal Contact Manager.

A 30+ years veteran developer with knowledge of Windows Servers, SQL Server, HTML, Classic ASP, JavaScript, and CSS. Using my knowledge and talents to create, maintain and enhance Steffi/CMS and Steffi/PCM that offers blogging, social media, email services and contact management to small business owners throughout the UK.

I've also worked as a professional photographer in Los Angeles, USA and been a Vision Mixer and Producer for live television in my time.

Telephone:

07490 373980

Website:

https://www.slo-pcm.com