Building Business Relationships – Blake Stanton The Relationship Guy

Maybe you are a college student selling old sneakers to make a few bucks? Maybe you are an aspiring entrepreneur who is tired of doing everything by the shake of  the hand? Or maybe you need a dog walker and want to make sure all of your dog’s specific needs are met and understood?

Do any of these sound like you? I, at one point or another in my life, have personally been in all three of these situations.

Hi! My name is Blake Stanton I am a 27 years old African American male, born and raised in Southern California where I grew up playing basketball and football.

Growing up in the city you gravitate towards three things: music, sports or the streets. Luckily for me, my infatuation with sports came at an early age. I looked up to many athletes and aspired to be like them one day. Sports not only played a large role in my life, but also the community.

Building Professional Relationships In High School - Quiktract

Over the years I worked effortlessly to become a decent athlete which led to my acceptance to Crespi High School. The thought of attending an all-boys school at the age of 14 was horrifying, but no amount of persuasion would change my mother’s mind about enrolling me.

Although I had my initial reservations, today I can proudly say, “Thank you. Mom, I cannot thank you enough for pushing me to be a Carmelite.” Being a small school (500 students) AND an all-boys school, I built genuine, lasting relationships with some amazing people. Most of the relationships I have today correlate directly back to Crespi, including the one I have with Cole Midkiff (founder of Quiktract).

Building Professional Relationships In College - Quiktract

From Crespi I had the privilege of attending the University of Oregon where I played four years of Collegiate Football, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Crime, Law and Society as the first in my immediate family to graduate from college.

Although my experience at Oregon encompassed some of the best years of my life, my freshmen year at Oregon was extremely tough. It was my first time being away from home, the weather wasn’t always great, and the town was small.

I was depressed, lonely and questioning everything in my life. Was a degree important? Did I even want to play football? I knew fundamentally that the answers were yes, but was losing sight of this.

I realized that enough was enough and decided to make an effort to put myself out there and meet others. I put on my “life of the party cap” and found myself building even more long lasting relationships, just as I had at Crespi.

The Art Of Building Professional Business Relationships Early In Life - Quiktract

I learned to love the positive experiences I was having at the University, and to better myself with the negative ones. Though I did not get the playing time I thought I deserved, I didn’t let that define me. Daily, I continued to smile and give it all I had. I knew at this point that being at the University of Oregon was so much bigger than being a football star (the more than an athlete mindset). It was about the relationships I was building and people I was meeting along the way!

When the dream of being in the NFL subsided, my passion for sports did not. Through a relationship I built at the University of Oregon I received a post-graduation internship in a Sports Agency. Being a young, black athlete I found it easy to relate and build trust with other athletes. Of course, being on the representation side is much different than being on the athlete side, but I found it extremely fun and rewarding!

Working closely with athletes, brands and marketing tactics over the last five years, I have seen a lot of success and even some failure, leaving me with countless lessons learned. I personally pride myself on being a leader, following the rules, while still be fair. I’ve quickly noticed from being in the industry that a lot of people have different motives and operate solely for their gains, which is not my approach!

The Importance Of Building Professional Relationships - Quiktract

Cole and I played football together when we attended Crespi – Go Celts! We were always more than classmates, we were teammates. We created a brotherhood that I knew was going to last a lifetime.

Almost eight years to the date after our High School graduation, Cole and I reconnected over our favorite pastime, Hookah. Cole spilled what he had been working on, and I was immediately drawn towards it!

Quiktract was exactly what I was looking for when I was selling those sneakers in college. It was exactly what I was looking for during my entrepreneurial stouts that were all based off of trust that the other would do the right thing. And it was exactly what I was looking for when I needed a dog walker for our new mascot Ryder the Bulldog!

Not only have I first hand experienced the need of Quiktract, but I have also seen those closest to me looking for this very solution, my mother included who constantly worked side jobs to make ends meet for myself and my siblings and prayed that the she was going to get paid for doing the jobs!

As I started to tell people about my excitement and love for this new app, Quiktract, it was quickly identified by others as another “tech thing”. Soon I was being asked if I was a “tech guy now”.

While, yes, it is an app and, yes, technology goes into it, it is so much bigger than just being another “tech thing”. Quiktract is a platform to help solve everyday problems, to help hold others accountable and to build stronger relationships instead of breaking them when a hand-shake doesn’t work!

The Importance Of Relationship Management For Business Success - Quiktract

And I am not a “tech guy”, I am a firm believer in living by the books and building relationships to gain success!

We hope to change the way we conduct business one message at a time, as we are real people, just like you, looking for solutions to gain control over what we can!

Cheers,

Blake Stanton

“The Relationship Guy”

Quiktract is Live!

The last six months have been an incredibly busy time for the team at Quiktract and we’re excited to share that we recently marked a major milestone in our journey to make contracts and agreements easy. We’ve launched the Quiktract App on both iOS and Android for public use.

I am incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished, as well as their commitment to bringing a much needed solution to the marketplace. Service providers and buyers alike deserve contractual protection, as well as simplicity when transacting payments. They also deserve a platform and process that makes obtaining that protection easy.

While Quiktract 1.0 is only the first step in a journey that will bring additional functionality to service providers and buyers, we believe we have met our public launch objectives and look forward to garnering feedback from the public.

I’d like to take a moment to thank the team that has been working tirelessly to make the Quiktract App launch a reality. Start-up life is never easy and while we’ve had bumps and hurdles along the way, they have managed to execute on our plan and pull it all together. Quiktract is a first in the marketplace, and given its never easy to carve such a new path, our team deserves a lot of credit for reaching this milestone.

As noted, Quiktract 1.0 is only the first step in a journey that will see additional functionality added to the platform throughout 2019. Working with clients to obtain feedback, innovate and build quickly, we hope to grow the Quiktract App and its value proposition over the coming year. Productivity tools, provider search utilities and document management are just a few of the things users will see added in 2019.

We invite you to provide feedback and suggestions as you use the app to help us continue this journey, refine these future features, and build upon a value proposition that can assist upwards of 200 million Americans annually. Working together with our users I am confident our community and team can grow the platform in a way that helps the ever-growing solopreneur community.

Lee Midkiff, CEO

By | 2019-03-13T17:57:44+00:00 March 15th, 2019|General Quiktract, Lee Midkiff, Quiktract Inc.|0 Comments

Quiktract Honored to Exhibit at Startup Grind Global Conference

The Quiktract team is extremely honored to have been selected to exhibit at next week’s Startup Grind Global Conference.  Possibly more so than any other conference, Startup Grind’s Global Conference highlights all sides of the start-up universe in a way that is hard to articulate to those not having traveled the start-up path before. Quite frankly, the name says it all. Startup life is a grind and no matter their success, entrepreneurs understand it is in fact a grind; albeit an exciting one.

With over 8,000 attendees, 212 start-ups from 34 countries exhibiting, and speakers representing those that have reached the pinnacle of start-up success, the conference offers something for everyone. This all comes together within the common theme of building a stronger start-up community. Most founders and start-up teams have all experienced the same challenges at one point or another. A conference that brings together individuals from all stages of the start-up community presents a phenomenal opportunity to learn, make connections, and possibly see what the next best things coming to the market are.

Having been selected to exhibit from thousands of applications is a great testament to our team and the vision they have crafted for Quiktract and Quiktract users. The conference will provide the team with a phenomenal opportunity to network, make some friends and hopefully educate a lot of individuals on the Quiktract App. With 8 out of 10 Americans buying or providing personal service annually, having the opportunity to demo our product, its value and build some excitement to such a large group of potential users is a great way to kick-off Quiktract coming to market.

If you happen to be going to the conference, or are in the Bay Area and consider attending, I’d encourage you to do so. I’d also encourage you to stop by our booth while you are there. The Quiktract team will be represented by members of our management and technical teams throughout the conference and relish having the opportunity to talk about Quiktract and the platform we’ve created.

For more information on Start-up Grind’s Global Conference, feel free to visit https://www.startupgrind.com.

Lee Midkiff, CEO

The lessons behind the famous signing of Lionel Messi.

For as long as I can remember people have used the term “on the back of a napkin” to describe business ideas, company structures and agreements that were put to “paper” in the most casual of terms. Based on the sheer number of times I’ve heard that term it would be easy to conclude that a lot of great ideas and agreements emerged from casual settings where cocktail napkins were a plenty.

My guess is that far less has been done on the back of a napkin than one would conclude but legends of famous napkin deals abound and help feed the term’s use. As a soccer household that seems to be awash in Argentina football memorabilia, I personally can’t help but think about the signing of Lionel Messi as a youngster via an agreement sketched out on a napkin as one of the biggest agreements put to writing in this manner.  Had Messi faltered it would have no meaning but with a remarkable career in the books, his napkin agreement is now one of legends.

What may make Messi’s agreement and the story the most interesting is that the napkin actually came about as a result of his father becoming frustrated with the team’s lawyers and “paper shufflers”. Frustrated and impatient, and on the verge of going home, the now famous napkin agreement arose at lunch as a solution to what was becoming an overly complicated process for a youngster and his father.

Irrespective of how many agreements were sketched out in such a form, the term is really more about the concept of getting things in writing and the Messi agreement is a good example of that. It doesn’t have to be overly lawyered and it can be straight-forward and to the point so long as the terms are outlined. What matters most is that someone took the time to document an agreement in written format and that both sides are happy.

While far better, easier and more reliable than a napkin (you don’t need to worry about it getting wet), Quiktract embodies the spirit that comes with short, simple, clear and easy terms. Service providers and buyers need protection. They don’t need hassle and they don’t need over complication. That is Quiktract.

By | 2018-11-20T02:27:21+00:00 November 6th, 2018|Lee Midkiff, Management Thoughts|0 Comments

Quiktract – A product for everyone and everyday use (including me)

Having the opportunity to join a team to develop a technology that I see as needed and valuable in everyday life, including my own, is an exciting first in my career and something I am loving every single day.

I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with some great technology companies but haven’t been involved with something like Quiktract. When the concept was first presented to me my immediate reaction was that it was extremely cool but applicable to probably only a small segment of the marketplace – freelancers, some coders, designers, etc. (guys that work at home in the wee hours of the night). Then it hit me.  Quiktract actually is for everyone and there are a least 3-4 situations monthly where I could, and would, use an app like this if it existed. In fact, I need an app like this to use.

While many people like myself have heard the term “gig” economy, often we ignorantly brush it aside and think it applies to some secret universe of individuals looking to duck traditional work or not have to hire an actual employee. When you step back, however, what you realize is that most of us are part of that economy whether we know it or not, and have probably faced the challenges that Quiktract is tackling.

We are all part of the gig economy.

Every month I deal with a series of individuals providing person-to-person services on a one-off basis (“gigs” as so frequently defined in the media). Lawn guys, tree trimmers, cleaning people and even babysitters are all effectively providing stand-alone services. Based on market research conducted by Quiktract, I am not alone. We estimate that upwards of 192 million Americans either provide or purchase individual services each year. It’s truly a staggering number.

What’s even more staggering is that while most of the times these jobs go smoothly, they are more often than not verbally agreed to, change along the way, and often result in some level of discomfort or disagreement at the end of the job. I’ve been there myself. The tree guy and I agreed to terms (we thought) but afterwards each of us remembered things slightly differently. With nothing in writing, that left both of us feeling awkward with me turning to my 10 year old to ask him what he remembered. That’s not a position either side wants to be in.

When it come to paying for those services, it’s even more disjointed. Cash and check are the dominant form of payment but surprisingly, not the method most prefer. In today’s cashless society people prefer electronic payments to eliminate hassle and get their money quickly.

Quiktract is the answer and one we can all use.

Seeing the reality of person-to-person services, the fact most of us are active participants, and realizing that no easy solution exists to get a basic agreement in writing in under 60 seconds, amend it as necessary, and pay with the push of a button, is a big part of the reason I embraced the Quiktract vision with the rest of the founding team. Businesses, technology and start-ups are what I love. What I love more though is the idea that we are combining those things into a solution that has such broad potential use within the marketplace. It is a solution needed and one that can help individuals day in and day out.

Lee Midkiff, CEO (contact)

By | 2018-11-20T02:27:29+00:00 November 5th, 2018|Management Thoughts|0 Comments

Welcome to Quiktract!

Welcome!

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank you for a) finding our journey blog and b) taking a look at what is on the horizon for Quiktract.

Quiktract gives buyers and sellers an easier way to create written agreements and then settle up when the work is done. We help everyone in the person-to-person services space, from lawn care, to pet sitting, to freelance work, to fitness instruction, to babysitting to a lot of others. Quiktract covers both providers and buyers with simple, easy to change agreements and integrated payments.

We’ve created this blog as a pre-announcement way of keeping “insiders” up-to-date on our progress, as well as to bring those new to us up-to-speed. Start-up life is a journey and we hope to share that with you through our product and corporate visions as we get to launch.

The Quiktract app will be in your hands very soon and we hope you will give it a try, as well as possibly become a supporter of ours in spreading the word.

Thanks again for finding us!

Lee Midkiff, CEO (contact)

By | 2019-03-13T18:01:23+00:00 November 1st, 2018|Lee Midkiff, Management Thoughts, Quiktract Inc.|0 Comments