“Don’t look back, you aren’t going that way!” Have you ever heard that? It’s a powerful statement reminding us to keep our eyes focused on what’s ahead and not what’s behind us. At SmarterServices, we are convinced that reflecting on the past is a necessary practice to evaluate our missteps, draw encouragement from successes, and be humbled by our failures. In 2016, we experienced new opportunities, enjoyed exciting growth, and learned valuable lessons. Looking to 2017, we have a renewed commitment to provide quality products and service that exceeds expectations. With that in mind, let’s take a reflective walk down memory lane…shall we?
Experienced New Opportunities
Since our recapitalization with investment partner, MainLine Equity Partners in spring of 2015, we began 2016, with more resources, business acumen, and lofty growth goals. The leadership team was tasked with improving personal knowledge of our respective job responsibilities. We committed to maximize productivity, inspire team members, and reach our goals. We started the year with our largest development staff in company history with plans to expand both of our products. We also had the opportunity to engage with a marketing firm who rebuilt our website, updated all of our collateral, and assisted us in launching Q1 and Q2 campaigns. Exhibiting at a record 36 conferences while presenting at many of those gave us improved brand awareness and product knowledge. Four of those conferences were in other countries-Chile, Brazil, and Mexico, as we introduced the Latin American Market to our Spanish version of SmarterMeasure. It’s been a year like no other regarding new experiences!
Enjoyed Exciting Growth
For the first time in company history, we are considered a high growth company at 30% for the year 2016! We are super excited about this milestone and recognize that the sky is the limit. A portion of the growth came from a continued solid reputation of our flagship product, SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator. With strong renewal numbers and 18 new accounts, it consistently meets the demand for a readiness tool. In addition to securing a state-wide contract in California to service all 113 community colleges. We also introduced our new assessment engine platform and BETA tested it. Which will mean new growth and expanded capabilities in 2017!
Other signs of growth include additions to our SmarterServices’ team. We welcomed Carol Moody, Solutions Consultant, Devan Flowers Account Manager, Leslie Grill, SmarterProctoring Project Manager, EmaLee Ross, Office Manager, and Katie Winter, Relationship Manager for California.
We expanded into new markets taking SmarterMeasure into Latin America and signing our first client with the Spanish version of the assessment.
Learned Valuable Lessons
They say that the first time you make a mistake it is just that…a mistake. If it happens again, however, it is a choice. With our exciting growth, we’ve also experienced some growing pains. We have made some missteps and learned a lot. We have reflected on those mistakes, analyzed what went wrong., are taking full responsibility, and vowed to do things better in 2017. This fall we expanded our client base with SmarterProctoring and were thrilled with our growth. However, with that increased load, we were not properly equipped to handle support and thus let some folks down. We’ve heard from some of you and appreciate your candid honesty.
SmarterServices has built our business on a commitment to quality product and outstanding service. However, this fall we failed to deliver on the outstanding service part and sincerely apologize for those of you who were affected. One of our biggest projects for 2017, is to rework SmarterProctoring and expand our support staff. In fact, we have already laid out the plans for the rebuild and placed job ads to fill the new positions. We vow to be ready when the need arises spring semester.
We appreciate our loyal clients and extending us some grace as we navigate through our growth. As we look to 2017, our goals are bigger and better than ever! We are going into the new year “SMARTER” and are ready to apply everything we’ve learned! Stay tuned for all the new and exciting news we have to share in 2017! It’s going to be a great year!