An open letter to Clients, Suppliers, Staff and Friends - December 2013
Another year has nearly come to an end – the final few days upon us all too quickly.
2012 was a particularly difficult year for us in a number of ways – we had the expense and stress of moving premises, a number of our people suffered the loss of loved ones, and trading was particularly disappointing.
It was not all doom and gloom though, late in the year, we gained two beautiful young “nieces” with the birth of Chanelle’s Maddie, and Amanda’s Emma – marvellous additions to our work family, both of whom have recently celebrated their first birthdays.
So (babies aside) it was with an element of relief that we wiped the slate clean with the coming of the New Year, and in putting all the “bad stuff” behind us prepared ourselves for better things in 2013.
We’ve always had a policy of growth by acquisition, and to that end spent much of the year in negotiations with various parties trying to stitch a deal together – unfortunately, in spite of our best efforts, nothing came to fruition but we remain ever hopeful moving forward.
Having said that, whilst many of our long term clients are still slowly clawing back to the numbers enjoyed in previous years, we have invested quite heavily in developing new business through pure hard work – and most will appreciate just how tough this process is.
We all live in an ever changing world, where what was state of the art a year ago, can be junk today – is may be hardware, software, systems & processes – it can also be people.
Fortunately, our people continue to differentiate us from others in our industry – we start with the best we can find, then invest in training and development, with the end result usually proving the effort is worthwhile. Each and every one of our team punches well above their weight.
Each of the team has the traits of many successful people – the first of which is that they genuinely care, and this is far more valuable than ability or knowledge. They’ll take the time and effort to satisfy the client even if it means traversing unknown territory to do so.
So, with the benefit of hindsight, we can take heart that whilst we’ve had a few disappointments and knocks, we’ve enjoyed more wins than losses. We don’t dwell on the past, and we try to celebrate success.
Our clients have shown us great support and loyalty, for which we’re very appreciative – hopefully we have returned the favour, both to them and to those other companies that we rely on to provide the complete package – thanks to all!
So, what will 2014 bring?
Most pundits (other than the politicians with a vested interest in seeing business fail), seem to believe that the economy is on the rise. Our recent experience supports this and we’re prepared to hit the ground running. Critical Mass and Economies of Scale are what all companies look towards, and we’re no different.
So, while we’ve had our ups & downs, our friends and colleagues in Australia have been suffering badly, almost the perfect storm. By all accounts, this situation was caused in part by the desperate actions of now departed politicians prepared to lay waste to so much in an effort to remain in power, the collapse of mining (and other significant related industry) in most parts of the country, with the impending closure of Ford and Holden to look forward to in 2016/17.
We have an election to look forward to late in the year, and we can only hope that whatever the outcome, economic momentum won’t be lost.
As has been our tradition in recent times, rather than buying gifts for clients, we’ll be making significant donations to a couple of favourite worthy causes, namely:
Starship Children’s Hospital
One final note to end.
I started in business in April 1985, after being fired ignominiously from TNT for not toeing the “Company Line”.
On day one, there was only one client who believed in me –Wade Marshall from Petrochem in Taranaki. Wade encouraged me to give it a go, and promoted my little business to anyone who would listen – and fortunately a few did, most of who still trade with us today.
Wade remained one of my closest friends in the 28 years since, (and is the name sake of my second son), but died suddenly on December 6th.
Thank you Wade, the success we enjoy today would not have been possible without you.
So, all the best for the festive season, stay safe, be happy, and love the one you’re with!