So, how is the economy recovery doing for you? Not feeling it yet in your industry? Well, we have some good news for you. If you have not started to see it yet, it’s on the way.
Blytheco is a leading indicator for most recessions and recoveries. The good news is we see the recovery before most businesses. The downside is we feel the recession before them as well. For us the recovery started in the second quarter of 2010. In fact, I am happy to report that Blytheco posted record revenue for 2010 – 20% more than our previous best year. We are hiring and having challenges finding the additional personnel we need to fulfill our growth expectations for 2011. Blytheco is also honored to once again be awarded the Sage Software Business Partner of the Year for 2010.
Let’s face it – the last thing a company does when times are tough or they begin to feel a slowdown is decide to implement an ERP or business system. I could make a strong case that that is the best time to implement one, but the realities are unless they are growing, companies are not focused on upgrading their business software. As they say … ‘When you are waist high in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp’.
When the economic engine begins to tighten up and slow down as it did in 2007, the first thing we see is businesses pushing off or dropping new system implementations and growth-style projects. This shows up in a longer sales cycle, increased objections, higher scrutiny on the products or services and approval delays. We usually notice that the larger enterprise-class business are the first to react, followed by the mid-market and smaller companies. However this is also different across industries and market segments.
In most recessions in my 30 year history with Blytheco, the “New Business” transactions lost in a down turn are replaced by upgrade and maintenance projects to increase efficiencies with their existing staff. Thus, we usually see our consulting services expand as our new systems sales decline. This recession was different. We actually saw the expected dip in new business product sales but consulting services also dipped. Businesses held on to every dollar, financing was very tight and there were a lot of ‘alligators in the swamp’. A larger percentage of businesses went into lock-down mode. While it was different, most conservative, non-leveraged companies came through with limited damage.
During the recession, Blytheco continued to acquire VAR and consulting businesses to add to our existing customer base and expand our geographic coverage. Blytheco now has active consultants in 16 states. This allowed us to continue to grow, even though we had to replace the nearly 20% of our customers that went out of business through the three year recession. Our “National Presence, Local Touch” philosophy to our clients has paid off – especially for our clients with multiple offices or distribution centers. We also were fortunate to not have to trim our professional staff due to the recession. Thus, when the recovery began we were fully staffed to assist our clients in their growth and recovery projects.
Today we are seeing our clients initiate CRM objectives to streamline their lead generation and marketing campaigns and automate many customer-facing activities. Knowing your customer is critical to providing them the products they need and the level of service they require.
We are also seeing an increased interest in Human Resources and in-house payroll systems to meet ever-growing employee compliance and reporting requirements as