Transformation (part 1)
We've all had moments in our life where we know change has to happen – points where we hit a roadblock or even just a speedbump, and then wham, you know things have to change. It's in these moments that we realize the kind of person, or in this case – the kind of company – we are meant to be.
I started Zerion in 2005 with a few other close friends, and for those who haven’t been along the ride for the entire journey, I can assuredly state the company looks vastly different than what it originally did back in ’05. However, as I look back, I can clearly recognize a few key moments in Zerion's history that made a drastic change in our path going forward. I have always found it helpful to glean lessons learned from other successful companies, so I’m going to take us back down memory lane briefly to share some of the lessons our company has learned along the way.
From the start in 2005 to 2008, almost all our work depended on large consulting and training jobs with large companies. Of course, there are only so many of those that were buying Eclipse to use, or already on it. Essentially, we were fishing for whales in the pond that it was. In addition, we worked hand-in-hand with Intuit-Eclipse at the time to help implement new customers they had recently acquired. Then, from 2008-2010, Zerion was literally running out of money.
And although we weren't going at it alone, we were entirely dependent on what Intuit was doing. In 2010, the well was drying, and with the sale of Eclipse to Activant, it was clear we needed to forge a new path. At this point, several key actions occurred:
At that point, we had about 45 total customers. As we approached 2011, we had more than double the number of customers than we had the year prior. The combined tactics of commissioning and cold-calling directly resulted in a monumental shift within our company, and we still feel the impacts of those changes today. In fact, nearly all the customers we gained in 2011 and 2012 are still customers today.
Around the same time, we made four new hires – Peggy and Steve Gonter, Rick Canida, and Susan Chandler – who entirely changed Zerion’s ability to service the Eclipse customer base well. These hires literally changed Zerion’s expanded our service offerings overnight.
And since then, we have continued to add incredible consultants to the team. I’m often asked how – over the course of the past 10 years – Zerion has been able to attract such a talented pool of consultants. My answer is always the same. It's actually pretty simple. When someone comes to you for a job, pay attention. Every person who works for Zerion now asked for a job with Zerion at some point when there wasn’t a specific opening. Look at capability, not insecurity. Most people are capable. They just need someone to believe in them, encourage them, and help them get to where you know they can be.
Curious to know where this is going? Check back next week for the continuation of this blog post.
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