【 conate Inc. Business Contracting | Case Study】
Revenue Skyrocketed from ￥1,000,000 to ￥10,000,000 through Outsourcing! Astonishing Results Achieved by Mr. Tokoi using conate Inc.
Although Mr. Tokoi appreciated the independence of freelancing, he found the revenue to be unstable at times and felt a lack of social credibility. What kind of change did contracting services from conate Inc. bring about for him? In this article, we interviewed Mr. Sakagami, the representative of conate Inc., and Mr. Tokoi to find out.
Problems before the introduction
Severe revenue fluctuations depending on the season in the photography business
Lower social credibility as a freelancer
Desire to diversify sources of income
Effect/Expect after the introduction
Revenue became stable, mitigating previous fluctuations
Experienced an improvement in social credibility
Able to generate income beyond the photography business
- What kind of business does conate Inc. engage in?
I am Tomohiro Sakaue, the representative of conate Inc. Our company supports customers based on three pillars: ‘Increasing Revenue,’ ‘Reducing Expenditure,’ and ‘Making Money Work.’
In ‘Increasing Revenue’, we provide support for individuals to acquire earning skills such as affiliate marketing and retail arbitrage, as well as support for job transitions to raise base income.
In ‘Reducing Expenditure’, we review monthly fixed costs such as utility bills, communication expenses, rent, and insurance, with the aim to lower monthly expenditures and increase the remaining money.
Lastly, in “Making Money Work,” we review current operations, verify the amount of money needed for the future, and create a life plan accordingly.We provide plans not only to secure the necessary funds for the future, but also to ensure current happiness.Mr. Tomohiro Sakaue, the representative of conate Inc.
- What kind of business does Rei Tokoi engage in as a freelancer?
Currently conducting five types of businesses.
As part of conate Inc.’s operations:
① Consulting Business (Side business or independent consulting for individuals, customer attraction and sales consulting for corporations)
② Mobile Business (Official sales agency for SoftBank, selling smartphones and internet fiber-optic connections)
As a sole proprietor’s operations:
③ Photography and Video Production Business (On-site shooting, weddings, corporate promotional photography, video filming, etc.)
④ Website and System Design Business (Homepage, LP, internal organizational system construction)
⑤ Customer Attraction Operation Business on SNS
The above, ① and ② are being carried out as businesses under conate Inc., while ③ to ⑤ are being pursued as personal businesses.
Originally, I left my salaried job during my third year as a company employee and began pursuing freelance work. This included on-site photography and wedding photography as a cameraman, as well as website and LP creation, and SNS management business as a sole proprietor.
Subsequently, while advancing my own business, I started to be entrusted with roles under business contracting from Mr. Tomohiro Sakaue of conate Inc., serving as an instructor in the aforementioned consulting business and taking part in the mobile business, among others.
Currently, as an executive officer at conate Inc., I am involved in planning and overall management of the consulting business, providing guidance to clients, conducting educational training for individuals like my former self who are under business contracting, and for our staff.Representative Rei Tokoi of Ray Joy Production
- Please tell us about the circumstances leading to accepting the business contracting from conate Inc., and the challenges you were facing at that time.
There were two concerns or challenges I was grappling with at the time.
The first one was, I wanted to increase the pillars of income. The second was, as a sole proprietor, I wanted to gain some social credibility.
The reason behind the first concern of wanting to increase the pillars of income was due to the fluctuations in photography requests I received as a cameraman, which led to an unstable income.
Especially since I was mainly taking family photos through on-site photography, I had photography requests during favorable seasons or life events (school admissions/graduations, Shichi-Go-San, Coming of Age Day, weddings). However, during the hot summer, cold winter, or the rainy season, the number of photography requests would decrease, causing significant fluctuations in income. As a countermeasure, I started venturing into studio photography and wedding photography which are less affected by seasons or weather conditions. Nonetheless, I still wanted to increase my income through jobs other than photography to establish a more stable financial foundation.
The reason behind the second concern of wanting to gain some social credibility while being a sole proprietor freelancer was due to past experiences where I couldn’t secure contracts or jobs simply because I was a young individual entrepreneur.
While being an employee, there’s a company organization backing you, and even as a new employee, the company name can provide a certain level of credibility. However, as a sole proprietor freelancer, I had lost opportunities for business proposals or couldn’t secure contracts in comparison with other companies, simply because of the freelance status. These experiences occurred multiple times. Hence, I desired some sort of backing that could provide social credibility while continuing as a sole proprietor.
Amid such concerns and challenges, I thought that accepting the business contracting from conate Inc. would resolve the above-mentioned two issues, and that’s why I accepted the contract, leading me to my current position.
- Please tell us about the circumstances that led you to accept the business contracting from conate Inc. among various options.
The primary reason was that conate Inc. was a perfect fit for me in terms of providing a backing that could grant social credibility.
(If it was solely about increasing the pillars of income, perhaps any organization with good remuneration and conditions might have been fine.)
The initial contract work I took on was in the mobile business, and coincidentally, the timing was such that if I underwent training and passed the exam, I could obtain the formal qualification as an authorized sales agent for SoftBank.
The ideal image I had at that time was, “By undergoing training and passing the exam, while being a photographer, I would also hold the qualification of a SoftBank agency, thereby broadening the scope of my work!”
Thankfully, after accepting the business contract, I successfully passed the exam, and just as initially envisioned, my sources of income increased and the scope of my work expanded.
Additionally, while working, I felt that connections and trust with people are the most important, and in that respect, having encountered Mr. Tomohiro Sakaue’s personality, I strongly felt that I wanted to work together. This greatly contributed to my decision to accept the business contract.
- Upon accepting the business contract, could you tell us if there were any preparations you made to set up the environment?
Since I was already running my own business, there weren’t any particular preparations I needed to make.
For those who are considering doing this in the future, having a computer is essential. Additionally, having a large-screen monitor can increase productivity and efficiency, which I believe will naturally lead to an increase in earnings per hour!
I had experience in sales and launching new businesses when I was an employee, so I felt that these experiences came in handy after I took on the contracted work.
Besides preparing for the physical environment, when it comes to mental preparation and mindset, instead of just having a passive attitude of doing what’s asked, I tried to be conscious of how I could give back to the company? How can I give back to Mr. Sakaue who entrusted me with the tasks? How can I make Mr. Sakaue happy? Would Mr. Sakaue feel there’s merit in contracting the work to me? etc. I intended to be quite mindful of aspects beyond just money.
I don’t know if Mr. Sakaue has picked up on that (laughs).
-Mr. Sakaue- It got through~
- Please tell us about any precautions or considerations you have when entrusting subcontracting, and anything you've been working on or innovating in that regard.
The most important thing I consider when subcontracting work is “what the person is looking for.” It’s not just about subcontracting work, but about growing the business together and being able to run alongside them towards achieving their goals. This is what I value.
For example, if someone says “I want money!” or “I want 100,000 yen!”, I will ask “Why do you want 100,000 yen?”. Then, I believe various answers will come up, like they want to supplement their living expenses, they want some pocket money to spend freely, or perhaps they want to build the ability to earn on their own and eventually become independent in the future.
Focusing on the answer “want to build the ability to earn on their own and eventually become independent”, it suggests that rather than just the task at hand, perhaps content that allows continuing to earn by acquiring skills, even if it’s tough at first, would be more suitable?
It’s not just about contracting out the work, but working together on tasks that align with that person’s future goals. This is what I consider important when contracting out work.
Recently, I discussed with someone who wanted to create a monthly income of 300,000 yen. Upon delving deeper into the matter, it turned out that they are currently offering coaching services for 500,000 yen, but they are struggling with “not being able to attract customers” and “wanting to sell more”.
Therefore, what we proposed was, “Why not grasp the concepts of ‘increasing income’, ‘reducing expenses’, and ‘making money work for you’, and support the client in growing their money?”.
By doing so, the range of support you can provide to your customers increases, the number of customer interactions increases, and furthermore, by resolving various concerns of the customers, you can build trust.
With the increase in the number of customers and the improvement in customer relationships, wouldn’t it become easier to attract and sell your coaching services than before? That’s the idea. Currently, by incorporating our contract work, we are collaborating to grow both businesses together.
- What effects or results were obtained through the contract for commissioned work?
The two initial challenges of increasing my sources of income and gaining some social credibility have been resolved, and I am achieving better results than before I accepted the commissioned work!
As evidence, when I was a freelance photographer, my annual income was around 1 million yen initially, but after accepting the commissioned work, it increased to about 2 to 3 million yen, then it rose to 5 million yen the following year, and it looks like it will reach 10 million yen this year. Upon accepting the commissioned work, I felt an increase of about +100,000 yen per month even from the first year.
In reality, currently the revenue from the consulting services for Conate Co., Ltd. has surpassed the revenue from my photography, and I’ve even managed to exceed the annual salary I was earning as a company employee. Leaving my salaried job and subsequently taking on the commissioned work has truly been a great decision, and I feel very fortunate about it.
Indeed, this relates to what Mr. Sakaue mentioned earlier. It’s not about providing a service that only addresses the immediate needs of the customer, but rather thinking and contributing to the overall concerns of the customer, clients, or partners. Being able to propose and engage with that mindset has also led to an increase in my sales, I believe.
- Were there any surprises or unexpected aspects when you took on the contract work?
Mr. Sakaue’s ability to “foresee what lies ahead” and his “talent for bringing people together” were truly unexpected and impressive.
Firstly, I was impressed by Mr. Sakaue’s ability to “see beyond the immediate” and his “multi-stage thinking”, which is also mentioned. Throughout being contracted, I noticed that in addition to providing direct responses to my queries or concerns, he was also forecasting potential future scenarios in advance.And it’s precisely because he thinks and plans ahead that phrases like, ‘Since this kind of situation is anticipated in the future, let’s do this!’ or, ‘I had a slight feeling you might be thinking that way. So, how about doing this!?’ or, ‘I expected you to say that, so how about proceeding in this manner, and looking ahead, how about moving forward with this outlook?’ were shared. Thinking ahead, plus a little more, and considering the near future, then moving forward based on those considerations, was truly beyond expectations and connected to a sense of happiness knowing he’s thoroughly thinking things through.
Next, I noticed that Mr. Sakaue has a knack for appreciating others and employing their unique skills and talents to welcome them into his circle. He also seems to possess a remarkable ability to discern what someone truly desires the most at heart, even if they don’t articulate it.。
It was not merely a clear-cut relationship of the client and contractor, but if desired, he considered us as comrades. He thought about increasing the benefits for those he contracted work to, proactively proposed additional contractual tasks, and fairly evaluated our activities.If the company’s revenue increased thanks to the person contracted, besides the contracted amount for the tasks, he would also give back in the form of a special bonus.
Along with the evaluation, Mr. Sakaue made efforts to utilize the abilities, skills, and experiences of the contracted worker. When shared things like “Actually, I’ve been doing this kind of work,” he would say, “That’s amazing! Would you mind doing ◯◯ utilizing that experience and skill? I’ll support you to make it possible.”. He guided and thought through not only for the income increase of the person he contracted the work to, but was also actively involved and supportive in realizing the person’s dreams and ideals. It was truly beyond my expectations and surprising!
In fact, I started off with contract work, but before I knew it, I now find myself as an executive director at conate Inc.
- Please let us know if there are any contents you'd like to be added to the business consignment services in the future, or things you'd like to be improved.
I am filled with gratitude for all the good he has done for me.
If I were to speak ideally, I would have wanted a more solid work manual.
However, regarding this manual now, I am in the process of preparing it myself as I am also in charge of training and education, so those who receive contract work at our company from now on may find it easier to work than during my earlier times (laughs).
Mr. Sakaue is skilled in thinking about plans and directions, while I am good at organizing the finer details and materializing what Mr. Sakaue wants to achieve. I believe we are currently in a good form of role-sharing, leveraging each other’s strengths and taking the best of both worlds in a positive sense.
For those who want to increase their income or upgrade their skills by taking on contracted work, now is your chance! (lol)
Mr. Sakaue and I frequently have meetings to discuss future directions and plans, and we also have regular reviews with the members involved to make improvements. I believe we are in a state where we can refine our approach day by day.
-Mr. Sakaue- We’re really always improving. We have a meeting to make improvements at least once a month, and recently we’ve increased the pace to once every two weeks. One of our strengths might be our ability to quickly go through the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle.
- Could you please tell us about the unique features of conate Inc.'s outsourcing services and the aspects you consider most important?
Our outsourcing service’s unique features and what we consider crucial is the ‘ability to approach financial issues faced by everyone from multiple angles’.
Our business activities revolve around three key principles: ‘increasing income,’ ‘reducing expenses,’ and ‘making money work harder,’ based on which we support our clients.。
Not only do we support our customers with these principles, but we also enable other businesses to handle our services through outsourcing.。Logo image of conate Inc.
The reason we offer these three services is because everyone faces some kind of financial issue.
Everyone has their own financial concerns, whether it’s wanting a higher salary, starting a side business, saving money, spending freely on shopping, traveling, or preparing for the future…etc. There are hardly any people who can say they have 100% solved all these issues. Everyone faces some sort of problem or challenge.
We support them by employing three methods to solve their financial worries: ‘increasing income, reducing expenses, and making money work harder’.
Our strength as a company is that our support is not limited to just one aspect.Instead of merely teaching about side jobs to those interested in supplemental income, we first address unnecessary fixed costs. If we can reduce monthly expenses by ￥10,000, it’s effectively the same as increasing monthly income by ￥10,000. Additionally, if someone is engaging in inefficient asset management, we review and optimize their investment strategy.Our strength lies in our ability to approach issues from multiple angles, not just by suggesting a single side job, but by truly understanding what each individual needs.
Let me share a recent story. I had an encounter with someone in insurance sales.
The individual’s concerns were about getting fewer referrals and struggling to close insurance contracts. In our conversation, I shared about insurance salespeople who are successful at a global level. Although it’s just one aspect, these globally successful insurance salespeople are not only adept at explaining insurance but are also seen by their clients as reliable go-to persons, someone who can handle any situation that arises.
Do you know of any good services for moving house? I’m thinking of buying a home; do you know any reliable companies? I had some trouble; do you know any lawyers who are strong in these matters?” and so on.
For an insurance salesperson, the job isn’t just about selling insurance, but also about selling themselves as a reliable and trustworthy individual.
Our company’s services encompass ‘increasing income,’ ‘reducing expenses,’ and ‘making money work,’ covering many areas that insurance alone cannot address.Not just within their own business scope, but by collaborating with us, the range of services increases. This enhancement in customer satisfaction leads to more referrals, including for insurance, thereby increasing both referrals and contracts.
At our company, we collaborate to fill any gaps and support our outsourcing partners in achieving the ideal state they most desire.
- Please provide a message for those who are seeking outsourcing clients in the future.
If there are people out there who want to increase sales or are struggling with customer acquisition, or simply want to secure more work but aren’t sure how, please consult with us first. We can help identify what you’re lacking and what you need to get closer to your current goals. Not just for the present, but also with an eye towards the future, we’re here to offer guidance. So please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to assisting you!
- Mr. Tokoi, if there's anything you'd like to promote about the services you offer, please feel free to share it with us.
As part of conate Inc.’s services, we invite individuals and businesses struggling with increasing income or sales to feel free to consult with us!
Our company focuses on providing proposals and consultations that contribute to overall benefits, rather than offering just symptomatic treatments or support. We aim to systematize and enhance efficiency through ‘the power of ideas and IT’.
Currently, as part of my personal business,
I’m engaged in photography and video production, guided by the theme ‘Capturing happy moments forever!’.
I would be delighted to help capture not only your life events but also those casual, everyday moments, preserving the ‘happy moments’ spent with loved ones in photographs and videos. ^^
If you make a request, I am ready to travel anywhere in Japan and around the world, so please feel free to contact me!
I also offer services in corporate publicity photography and PR video production.
(Additionally, as a landscape photographer, I participate in solo and group exhibitions. I would be thrilled if you could come and see my work.)
- Company name：
- conate Inc.
- Reference URL：
- Consulting, Advertising & Web Design, Sales Promotion, Startup Support
- Company name：
- Ray Joy Production
- Reference URL：
- Photography, Video Production, Website Development, Consulting Services, Educational Training Services
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