It’s been a fascinating year for me at CFS!
Q1 and Q2 were very bumpy from a numbers perspective. Lots of longstanding engagements with several of our clients were coming to a close. Q2 was a period of formulation and concentration in our business, which paid off in Q3 and Q4. We were increasingly more profitable from July onwards, and will end up the year around breakeven. While this result does not thrill me and fell short of our budget at the beginning of the year, comparatively we did OK, given the tough economic climate.
We overhauled our processes, stepped up our marketing (especially in the social media sphere), launched our Forum Series, improved our systems across the board, redeveloped our own internal PlayBook, and added a 401K program for our employees. Our weekly operations meetings continued to exceed my expectations and accounted for much of our success in delivering such great service to our clients. Ironically for a sales training company, I think that we could have sold more. We became significantly involved in our clients’ businesses, which reduced the amount of time we spent on developing new opportunities for ourselves. So, to anyone reading this who would like to give us a referral, all I can say is please don’t be shy!
I am grateful to all our new and existing clients who have provided us with the opportunity to contribute and teach, as well as learn from them. In 2009, we brought in more new clients than we had in any year in CFS history, from a variety of industries including retail, services, manufacturing, real estate, technology, media and entertainment, and distribution. Our work with clients was spent almost evenly divided between exploration (assessment), training and coaching, and general consulting. We also enjoyed the opportunity to build sales PlayBooks for our clients, as well as improve our PlayBook offering overall.
Looking back, I realize that I will have visited seven foreign countries this year, mixing business with pleasure. I traveled to Canada, Scotland, St. Martin, England, Spain, and Denmark, and will be in Cuba later this week.
Last week we started a new tradition, and our holiday open house was a great success. By around 5pm our conference room was bursting at the seams!
In 2009, I made tons of new friends, had an absolute blast, and can’t wait to grow even more in 2010. I wish all our clients, business partners, and friends of CFS a happy holiday and a joyful, healthy, and prosperous new year!