Here we are. Another year in the books. I speak for both of us when I say that it feels like we have aged 5 years in the past 12 months. Between the global pandemic, election, murder hornets, record breaking hurricane season and waking up every morning feeling like it is Ground Hog’s Day; we are ALL ready to close this chapter.
2020 was the year of uncertainty. The global pandemic has left shopping malls empty, restaurants still confined to take-out, virtual schooling, and bars deserted. This was the year of “work from home” and zoom meeting. We consider ourselves lucky that we are in an industry that can work remotely. And just like that, here we are. 2020 is in the books and it did not break us. So, how did we do and what would we do differently? See for yourself…
Sales & Financial Breakdown:
The end of Q1 had us confined to our home offices and adapting to a new “work from home” lifestyle. Our normal day used to consist of in person meetings and “dropping in” on potential clients. COVID-19 did not allow for that. We quickly had to re-configure our daily sales routine. Initially we were thinking we would have to adjust for a few weeks. Our first step was to use this time to sort through our lead lists: potential clients, clients who were not interested and clients that we needed to follow up with. When working from home and coming to the realization that this is the “new normal,” a more concrete plan was implemented. We compiled all our lead lists and client information and migrated it to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program. This allowed for the efficiency and centralized platform that we needed in order to work together while apart. Covid shutdowns paired with an already favorable energy market gave us 25-year lows. We used this market intel to renew some of our current clients and lock them into future contracts while starting to close new accounts remotely. Year to date we have achieved a 78% growth rate, added 4 new products to our portfolio, engaged our first international client, and finally took a salary.
We have always been a proponent of strong partnerships; living by the motto “you are who you surround yourself with.” Towards the beginning of the year, we took our partner Taurus Advisory Group and made them family when we brought our pricing desk in-house – making Nicholas Gerome and Nathan Burroughs the COO and CCO respectively. It was a decision we decided to make when assessing our strengths and the strength of our team: we knew we would be unstoppable together. In a time where we needed to band together and help one another, we did just that. This was the year that we focused on quality over quantity. For our other business partners, we looked at our strongest relationships and made them stronger by more constant communication and incentives. We also added their services to our pitch and our company scope like LED’s, Poe lighting, demand response, on-site generation, and solar technology. The most important part of a successful partnership is cohesiveness. Keeping this in mind, we started to shy away from relationships that simply were not working or demanded too much effort with little progress.
Working from home gave us the introspective view of our operations that we needed. The positive aspect of this pandemic was exactly that: we were able to assess our processes and fine tune them. It allowed us to look at who we are as a company and urged us to start taking the steps to become who we wanted to be. Migrating all our client information to our CRM platform was an absolute must. In retrospect, I am not sure how we lived before it. We also changed our url to .com as opposed to .biz. Slight change, significant impact. We also finally made the migration to Microsoft Office from Google Suite. I will be the first to admit, this was not a pretty sight at first, but it was extremely necessary for synchronization of our team. Microsoft Teams, allows all four of us be in constant contact with each other and streamline projects. Eva and I have found the importance of setting aside one day out of the week solely for operations. We prioritize different tasks every week that allows us to work effectively and make deadlines.
Our biggest achievement this year was increasing our revenue during a global pandemic. We evolved our pitches and strategies so that they can be applied to national brands. We have engaged in pricing with multi-site clients, international clients, and property groups. 2020 also made us follow our goals of applying to Forbes 30 under 30 and being featured in various podcasts.
Mental Health & Company Culture:
Our goal this year was to celebrate the small wins. We did just that. We took time to celebrate milestones, gave ourselves slack when situations did not go our way, and were able to even laugh sometimes! While it was not easy to maintain a healthy work life balance; we continued to maintain an open line of communication and adjust. We also took time to enjoy the ride (or craziness if you will). We implemented virtual happy hours every Friday where the team could come together and laugh, catch up and give updates. Our first annual TAG/TEK Partners Summit brought the team, strategic partners, and suppliers together for a socially distanced weekend at the SkyTop Lodge in the Poconos. This allowed us to strengthen existing relationships, create new ones and hone our golf game.
Goals for the Coming Year:
Continual learning and differentiating ourselves from our competitors will be the theme of 2021. We strive to not only be experts in our field but to diversify our individual skill sets.
2020, that’s a wrap! We laughed, we cried, we…ran out of toilet paper. Cheers to a better and brighter 2021.