2020 Review: Success and Failures

This post took me a while but it is time for me to reflect on some of the wins and losses for 2020.

Successes

  • Grew the Annualized Revenue Rate (ARR) for our company by about 40%
  • Expanded the full-time team further
  • LMS product revamp finally completed with lot of hard work from our dev team and I am really proud of that. We call it v4 version. It didn’t get done until Q2 though as initial target was Q1 but better late than never.
  • v4 version immediately showed better results in terms of finding our Ideal Clients and we finally believe we have nailed our Product Market Fit and the type of customers we really want.
  • Put a few more Systems and Processes in place compared to previous year and it has made a world of difference.
  • Grew our team further to almost 20 of us. Lost a couple of folks but haven’t lose anyone who was a great fit for us so far.
  • Gained good traction on relevant review sites like elearningindustry.com and got a few reviews there as well in addition to capterra.com.
  • Overall, it feels like we are really shaping up well to grow as a proper SAAS company.

Failures

  • Did not meet our “best” goal for 2020 in terms of revenue expansion BUT got very close. I set such high standards for myself that I would still add this to failure category even though we grew 40% revenue wise.
  • Failed to expand sales team to add outbound strategy. I hired someone for the role but I didn’t do a good job providing the right training and expectations for them to succeed in the role. We mutually agreed after 3 months to part ways and I learned a lot of lessons from it. First lesson: Train your reps extensively for first 4-6 weeks and make sure you set clear and specific goals for them early on. Also, product, product, product. In our industry, if your BDR/SDRs don’t understand your product well, they cannot just make calls and book meetings.
  • Not much traction on Marketing yet even though we started playing with PPC etc on sites like elearning industry.

Reflections

Most of the reflections below are copy paste from 2019 since I still have many of those challenges.

  • Looking back, I am always told by my team that I have super high expectations and goals for a team of our size. We need more people in more solidified roles in order to continue our growth trajectory for 2020 and beyond
  • I don’t have anyone to discuss high level Company and Business Strategy with. This is an area where I need to look for more networking and possibly mentorship with other similar entrepreneurs
  • Building a team (and that too a great one on whom you can rely) is THE hardest thing to do in a business.
  • Still in a dilemma on whether I should keep going bootstrapped or try and find may be a small angel to get funds for further growth.
  • Quality of clients matter and it is not just about making money. Better and more sustainable the client, the more valuable your business becomes especially if it is a SAAS with recurring model.

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