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2010 The year in review: Do or Die


Is it me or does each year seem to go by faster and faster?  2010 seemed to go by more quickly for me than any previous year I can recall.  I was glad to see it come and just as glad to see it go.  I like to refer to 2010 as the “Do or Die” year.

For me and my company, and I’m sure for many others, it was a year of recovery.  After what was a very challenging year in 2009, 2010 was a time to regroup, reorganize and move forward.

2010 was a year like I have not seen in our over eight years in business.  It was a year where Sales and Marketing professionals we’re adjusting to a “new normal”.  We, as well as our customers started to do business a bit differently.  More than ever it became necessary for us to do more with less, while helping our customers do the same.  Immediate results were never as important as we worked with our customers through what I call real time budgeting.  Where budget would be allocated quarterly as opposed to annually, with constant review to ensure value and significant ROI were achieved.  As many banks either called or decreased lines of credit many companies found themselves without a safety net.  No room for error.  Do or Die!

As they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.  We found just that.  Turning up the intensity helped us become a more effective and more responsive organization. Through our support we helped our customers do the same.  I have a few more grey hairs than I had before, but I am a better CEO and my company is a better company as a result.

The good news is that we were able to triple our customer base; lots of companies needed help to grow sales.  The challenge was doing more with less.  Most companies had far less budget and had to work much harder to get it approved.  Once it was approved the project would be under more scrutiny than previous years to succeed. Failure is never an option, but in 2010, it could spell disaster.

A few lessons learned:

  • Much of what I considered must haves turned out to be nice to have, you can do a lot more with a lot less. It is amazing how much more efficient your already efficient organization can become when the pressure is on.
  • Treating people well pays.  When the going gets rough, people remember how they were treated in better times and are willing to sacrifice for the good of the company if necessary.
  • Customers really appreciate a true partner now more than ever.  The term partner is thrown around all too often.  We saw who our partners were and who our vendors were in 2010.  True partners win loyalty that money can not buy.
  • My mother was right when she told me to save for a rainy day.  “Your better off to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it” Companies that had the resources to invest in 2010 are in a far better position than those who did not.

All in all 2010 was a great year.  We learned a ton, grew our business by helping others grown theirs.  We have improved our process and team, putting us in a position to continue to exceed the expectations of our customers who need and expect even more.

I’m thinking more vacation time will help 2011 move by a bit more slowly.  I’ll let you know next year.

Best of success in 2011!!


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