I am ready for a new year. Last year brought significant changes to my life both professionally and personally. On the high end, we transitioned our company to new ownership and achieved significant value for our shareholders. On the low end, my wife passed away in August. A lot happened to say the least, and I’m looking forward to my life getting back to “normal” this year.
When I look back at 2015, I am impressed with all that we have accomplished at Marco with our highest employee satisfaction, double-digit growth, relocation and remodel of 10 regional offices, four acquisitions, expansion into two new states and being acquired ourselves by Norwest Equity Partners, to just name a few. Whew!
It makes me smile when we put together our long-term budget forecasts. Apparently we’re not that good at it. I looked back at the $115 million revenue goal we set in 2010 to achieve by 2015. The good news is we missed it by about $100 million and achieved $213 million.
I see 2016 as the year to execute on the goals that we’ve struggled to reach. Here’s a look at a few of our misses that we’re going to get right this year:
- Develop plan for business IT services roll out.
This one has been in our annual business plan for the past several years. A strength of our business model is the ability to cross sell multiple products and services in acquired markets. Our strategy is to buy a copier company and provide those same clients our business IT services. It sounds simple, but as good as it looks on paper, it has been hard to execute. While we’ve certainly made progress, we need to accelerate our ability to keep pace with our market expansion. We still have a ways to go before I check this one off the accomplished list.
- Accelerate lead generation and cross-selling training.
We have multiple sales professionals calling on the same client so you’d think we'd be a lead generating machine, feeding leads back and forth between the product teams. But we’re not. A small number of our clients buy multiple products from us – and many of them don’t even know all the products we sell. Although we developed a customized sales training program, it hasn’t addressed cross-selling all of our services. If we execute this well, the return would be high and one of our biggest organic growth opportunities.
- Implement a CRM system.
Yes, that’s right. Here we are, an effective sales organization and we don’t have a CRM (Client Relationship Management) system. I can hardly believe it myself. We’ve been trying to execute this for a number of years and have had multiple systems in place, but we still couldn’t get it to work for us. This year we’ve committed over a million dollars to get this done, and I assure you we’ll get it right this time.
Independently, none of these goals sound that difficult. And I know if we execute well, they’ll collectively have a significant impact on our future success. This is the year we get them right and finally check them off the list.
What's on your list? If technology's on your radar and you want to get it right this year, connect with one of our technology advisors.