Entrepreneur & Investor.
Entrepreneur & Investor.

ClientFlo – Reflecting On 2017

It’s been one helluva year for ClientFlo and I can honestly say 2017 has been the best one yet. This year the company accomplished many things I am very pleased with, and overall the future has never looked brighter. Measured by the standard growth metrics, our revenues grew by over 85%, client base nearly doubled and expanded our reach to virtually every province in Canada and 8 states in the US. I also wanted to highlight a few points that numbers won’t illustrate.

First let’s discuss the good. The 3 major points I want to highlight are as follows:

Specialized in Medical/Aesthetic

This was probably one of the best decisions we have made in 2017. Up until this year ClientFlo didn’t really have a specialization, we worked with just about any vertical we could get our hands on.  We saw the rapidly growing market for medical/aesthetic services, won a key channel partner in the industry and decided to specialize.

Through specializing we achieved an economies of scale that I could not have imagined. ClientFlo has quickly become an authority in the medical/aesthetic industry when it comes to digital marketing. This has led to more strategic partnerships within the industry and close relationships with medical device manufacturers.

Medical/aesthetic will certainly be ClientFlo’s focus moving forward, planning to move deeper into the industry before we consider diversifying.

Implemented A Facebook Ads Program

Facebook Ads is something we have talked about at ClientFlo well before 2017, however with a strategic addition to the team we were actually able to pull it off this year. Our Facebook Ads program has really taken off, performing well beyond our expectations and generating very positive feedback from clients.

We believe Facebook Ads is presents great opportunities going forward and will be a major focus at ClientFlo. We will be looking to invest resources into our Facebook Ads program in order to continually grow and scale it.

Bolstered Our Client Relations Department

Client relations, similar to Facebook Ads, is something we had talked about well before 2017. However it wasn’t until this year that a key member of the team stepped up to truly build out the department. By doing this we were able to not only improve retention rates among our clients, but receive valuable feedback from them as well. This feedback is information we could not have found elsewhere and has allowed us to truly improve our product offering.

Simply put: relationships matter.

Investing in our Client Relations departs has proven to be a positive ROI, and we will continue to allocate resources to it.

Now let’s discuss the bad. The 2 major points I want to highlight are as follows:

Saying “Yes” To Everyone and Everything

It’s hard to hate on this point because I could argue that by saying “yes” to everyone and everything is really how we grew in the very beginning. But I guess times have changed.

By accepting every client that came our way, and saying “yes” to every request we received, it really bit us in the butt this year. We found ourselves held to unrealistic expectations by certain clients as well as being stuck in various rabbit holes on certain projects.

Going forward ClientFlo’s sales department has a strict mandate in setting expectations and turning down clients based on set criteria. We have cut down our product offerings to focus on our core competencies, and will be declining any special requests.

QA Issues

Rapid growth doesn’t come without growth pains. We experienced several QA slips when it came to campaign management. At ClientFlo we consider ourselves a “technology enabled agency”, which means that we utilize automation and software to provide a service. Even though the manual human portion of our campaign management is quite small, the QA issues arising from human error were enough to make us realize we need a better solution. This is certainly true given the volume that ClientFlo is doing.

For now, our  band-aid solution was to implement a “QA Department”. Extra set of eyes, QA checklists and reviews to try an catch any slips or delays. However a long term solution we are exploring is algorithmic campaign management (yes robots may take our jobs here at ClientFlo). This means eliminating even the very small human element in the campaign management at ClientFlo.

Moving Forward…

Stay tuned for the next post where I reveal our vision and strategic plans for 2018. There are some MAJOR transformations and exciting projects ahead.

Hi there! I’m Jay Vasantharajah, Toronto-based entrepreneur and investor.

This is my personal blog where I share my experiences building businesses, making investments, managing personal finances, and traveling the world.

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