Client Stories – Jars Of Clay, Phnom Penh Cambodia


We have previously posted about our journey with the awesome Jars Of Clay Cafe management team (check out our September Blog Post). However, here is a condensed overview which outlines specifically the work we have undertaken for them and some learnings on the journey of adding value to their business!

In early 2016, the Jars Of Clay Cafe management team purchased our Business Booster Package – which includes a comprehensive offering for small-medium sized businesses as outlined below:

  • Customer Insights Survey & Marketing Analysis
  • Branding / Logo Development (New/Update or Refresh)
  • New Business Cards
  • New Website
  • Social Media platform set-up and Social Media campaign management

Our greatest challenge in fulfilling this brief, had little to do with the actual scope of work (as we have known this business for almost 10 years having been involved as Board member and Business Advisor!), the real challenge was making it all happen while being based over 3,000 miles away! This obviously required a fair degree of commitment, tenacity and patience from all parties – to deliver a significant piece of work in a timely manner.

We are very pleased to advise that all the work has now been completed and the management team and staff of Jars Of Clay Cafe are highly impressed with the final product and our work. Check out their website ( and Facebook Page ( to see what we are talking about!


Some key learnings on the journey:

Always Stay Positive: As a project team, there were many times of frustration. Mostly due to working across time zones, cultural/language divides, and in navigating the challenges faced by our clients business (ongoing recruitment issues, difficulty in filling key staff positions, managers facing many personal and business pressures typical of growth phase). Thankfully, we have a great friendship and high levels of trust – built over many years. So, we all just agreed to forgive any shortcomings or flare ups of emotion, believe the best in each other and just stay positive!!

Manage Expectations Carefully: Throughout the delivery of this work, it has been important for both the consulting and client teams to be careful in setting and managing expectations. As they say – Rome wasn’t built in a day! Our client management team is still in early stages of growth – with two Cafes in operation in Phnom Penh – and making plans for significant future investments including cafe renovations. To ensure we all were able to meet timelines – it was really important to establish some broad goals with timelines and a number of context-specific goals – which we accepted as being “flexible” given the number of variables at play. This approach helped us all stay sane and manage work flow appropriately.

Break the project into defined and manageable “chunks”: As a way of bridging some of the cultural barriers at play – we often ask this question to our Cambodian clients: “How do you eat an elephant?”.. Typically, depending on how well the client knows us we can get many funny and unexpected responses!! Our advice is clear: You eat this elephant one bite at a time. This is how we get the work done without undue stress for everyone. This project was completed in defined chunks – which proved manageable for our client – in spite of some significant and ongoing operational challenges happening within their business.

Overall, we have been so pleased to be able to deliver this work for the Jars Of Clay Cafe team. The business now has a great new brand/logo, smart looking website and enhanced social media marketing from which they can re-position their business within the highly competitive Cafe market in Phnom Penh city. In the over-saturated Cafe context of Phnom Penh, every business needs a point of difference in the market. We believe that Jars Of Clay Cafe have a number of outstanding points of difference in their market (refer to my Sept Blog Post to read in more detail!). Remaining competitive will of course require more than just an exciting new branding and online presence! A concerted effort from all the staff and management team will be required in the months / years ahead – to ensure the business stays true to the brand promise: “Always With Love”, notably in delivering great quality food, drinks and service. So much so that customers “feel the love” and want to keep coming back, and will go out of their way to tell all their friends about how great Jars is!!

We are hoping and believing the team can achieve great things in the days, months and years ahead. To all the Jars Of Clay Cafe team we say a hearty: “more power to you”!!

If you would like to know more about our range of Business Booster Packages to suit small and medium sized businesses – feel free to email through a request: [email protected] OR give Mark a call directly on +61439 221 430.



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