This month marks Ten Key’s 10th year in business. It’s an important milestone. Statistically, only about one in three small businesses will make it this long. But as with everything we do, it’s not just about the numbers. It’s about the people. We’ve stayed in business because our clients have continually inspired me to be strong in tough times, to build our knowledge, and to provide great service. This anniversary is dedicated to you!
Here are the lessons clients have taught me over the past decade in business:
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
Julie Murphy of Designer Draperies went from running a business out of her home to doing $1 million in sales and being featured in Boston magazine last year. She has moved through the challenges of starting a business, building a business, acquiring a business, and growing by leaps and bounds. Everyone has fears, but Julie tackles those fears by asking questions, surrounding herself with the best and brightest, and going after what she wants.
Always Be Doing More
Jim Filbin of Beacon Telecom is always pushing me to think of what’s next. He’s been with us from the start, and we’ve seen each other through every business challenge: gaining and losing contracts, opening multiple locations, embracing new technology, adjusting business models, diversifying investments. He never stops! From Jim, I’ve also learned to value people first. Whether it’s rewarding loyal employees or taking care of your family, it’s always about people.
Follow Your Passion — It Will Take You Places!
Sari Brown of Lux Couture began her business selling handbags, and now travels to New York, Paris, and Milan to “shop the world” for her clients. Her combination of analytical and creative skills have helped her turn her passion into a thriving business: once a self-confessed shopaholic, she’s now a maniac about selling. She stays on top of her competition by learning about the latest trends, demanding the best from her vendors, and providing personalized boutique-level services for her clients.
Find the Right Balance for Your Business and Stick with It
Not every client needs to travel the world to succeed. Jay and Lisa Tracy of Flooring Designs have worked smart right here in Massachusetts for decades. I learned specialized skills in construction accounting through my work with them. But more importantly, I learned about building a base of clients of all sizes. Many businesses ignore smaller clients to go after the “big fish.” You need to find the right balance for stability. Flooring Designs has done this by serving large companies and organizations as well as residential clients with equal dedication.
Invest in People
From the day we sat at a Longhorn Steakhouse going over my business plan, entrepreneur Bruce Moyer has been like a surrogate dad to me. He always advised me to go above and beyond in appreciation for my team, because they’re the ones who keep the business going. (We’ll be celebrating our Ten Key team in a January post, so stay tuned!) Even a major health concern wouldn’t sideline him, and his team works just as hard through life’s challenges.
With their hard work and amazing attitudes, these six clients have motivated me to succeed. But there are many more to thank. I want to thank all of my clients, from the bottom of my heart, for your support these past 10 years. Our success is linked to yours, and we look forward to another 10 years of helping your business succeed.