In the next couple of weeks, blogs worldwide will be rife with posts recounting the year that was 2011. You’ll see the top 10 lists, recollections of world events, and recaps of personal achievements. You’ll also see goals for the new year – bright, shiny and full of hope. It’s a great time for all of us to take a collective breath, look back and learn from what was, and prepare ourselves for what will be.
We’re no different in our thinking. The WrightIMC office will be closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s. After this whirlwind year, we all really need some time off to rest and recharge our batteries. We’re gonna need that rest, ‘cause 2012 is shaping up to be a doozy.
This year, my goals for WrightIMC were to double revenue and add some key players to our staff. We achieved those goals. I also wanted to expand our presence by adding offices in additional cities. That goal remains unfulfilled (we did add clients across the country), but shows promise in 2012.
Achieving those broad goals doesn’t highlight the most lasting impression I’ll have of 2011, though.
WrightIMC goals were to grow by leaps and bounds in 2011, and we did. We more than tripled the number of staff we have. We significantly increased the amount of physical space we occupy, and as I mentioned earlier, we more than doubled revenue. I’m waiting on the final numbers, but we actually might have tripled revenue (if all clients get their checks in before the end of the year – hint, hint).
Still, neither doubling revenue nor increasing in size is what I’m most proud of. Not even close. We’ve doubled in revenue every year since the company was started in 2007. Increased staff is awesome, but simply adding people to the mix doesn’t guarantee success.
I’m most proud that we have been able to provide true, measurable results for our clients.
Here’s something for you to chew on – in 2011 we increased the sheer number of clients by 139%. During that explosive growth, only 2.7% of our clients decided to stop working with us. Those former clients all left because of circumstances beyond our control, not because they weren’t happy with us.
Studies show the marketing industry average “client churn” rate is around 30%. Many agencies see a client turnover of more than half of their clients in any given year. In SEO, where it can be difficult to get results, some agencies are lucky to keep any client an entire year. We have several clients who will be entering their 5th year with our firm.
Our monthly reports tell a great story. Our clients are making money because of our efforts. And that’s good because many of you know we rarely do long-term contracts with clients. Almost every one of our clients can fire us with only 30 days’ notice. In particular, that’s why losing so few during 2011 is impressive. Almost my entire working life has been spent in agencies – and I’ve never even heard of an agency performing near this level. (Much less one without a legally binding long-term contract hanging over the client’s head…)
Oh, and in 2012, one of my WrightIMC goals is to triple revenue, triple profitability and get our churn rate to below 1%. WrightIMC folks, buckle in. This year is going to be a rocket ship to Mars.