End of the year, time to pause and reflect… wow what a 24 months… 13 Corporate Advisors licensing our platform, 200+ SME & micro businesses now offering online employee benefits with flexibility and choice to c.40,000 employees. All against the backdrop of us building our team and gaining additional investment. We are on the right track on delivering Ian Rummels' vision to disrupt the online employee / flexible benefits market by offering something simple, low cost and accessible to all advisors and their clients, no matter how small. We've responded to market needs with agility, offering a reward and benefits solution which caters for a varied demographic - without breaking the "HR bank".
What's now achievable for even the smallest of UK employers through their advisors, means the past year has been an exciting one for us. We have gleaned great feedback from our clients, noting that their saving time when onboarding employers and their employees, saying goodbye to the headaches that come with clunky, out-dated systems and mountains of paperwork. Even monthly reporting is now a streamlined joy, giving them detailed MI to provide businesses better insights into trends and take up. We are continuing to develop to meet the growing needs of our clients and their clients. Whilst celebrating our 2nd birthday this year, we also held client forums to feed into our roadmap, raised significant investment and grown our team: we've recently welcomed Simon Wallington as our new CTO. Simon's extensive experience, particularly in scaling development processes and technology, will help us go beyond our current offering, streamline development and further improve employee experiences with employee benefits. In the New Year we hit the road with a full team including a new Client Delivery Director, all lined up to deliver a jam-packed roadmap - making things even more simple and efficient for our clients, employers and employees.
Part of our own growth has opened the door to our involvement with events such as the Corporate Advisor Summit earlier in the year where we were able to share some of the insights from HR decision makers within the SME space, looking for solutions via their current, long standing small advisors. In November we then had the absolute pleasure of joining our industry colleagues for a night of celebration at the annual Corporate Adviser Awards, where we were honoured to sponsor the ‘small adviser of the year award'. It was great to see so many smaller advisory firms offering bespoke and existing solutions in the EB space - the genius of being a smaller business clearly showed up on the night, with advisors responding quickly to the pandemic, employer and employee needs over the last unusual 18 months.
2021, has seen a number of businesses bounce back and grow from the pandemic, adopting the ‘new normal' as we now know it and rightly so, they deserve commending. The past eighteen months have undoubtedly changed the traditional relationship between advisor, employer and employee. This, combined with the remote working challenges and financial pressures experienced by many companies, brings no surprise that 80% of SMEs surveyed have changed, or are changing the way in which workplace perks and benefits are offered to their workers. Best part is that HR are looking to their local / smaller advisor for solutions to better meet the online needs of their employees.
We know that adapting to change has been challenging for some advisors as the new world of digital is mixed; from an expensive flex system to some info-only tiles with shopping discounts or modern digital benefits platforms, where you can amend monthly pension contributions, and access discount sites all on one, intuitive place. It can be a minefield for advisors to pick their way through the platform options and find what's right for clients.
Having worked in the online EB space for a number of years, it is fantastic to see the acceleration of change to digital benefits becoming the norm. The traditional ways in which benefits are offered to employees is no longer meeting expectations but it's clear that HR teams want to continue working closely with their advisors to make a change to digital. With platforms like ours, we are truly empowering advisors to switch their SME clients onto a digital platform quickly, easily and affordably to offer a range of built-in, preferential benefits. Our objective is to help our clients cement their client relationships and enjoy significant business growth. Roll on 2022 - Cloud8 is waiting with excitement!
This post was funded by Cloud8.