2023 Year In Review

2010 to 2023

I just finished our 2024 projections and wrapped up 2023 look back, and that got me reflecting on where this company came from WAY BACK in 2010 when I started tracking things.

Here’s a our year over year growth since 2010:

2010 = 1st year tracking #s
2011 = 95% growth
2012 = 22% growth
2013 = -9% shrinking (had too many eggs in 1 clients basked)
2014 = 11% growth
2015 = 11% growth
2016 = 22% growth
2017 = 26% growth
2018 = 71% growth
2019 = 65% growth
2020 = 4% growth (cancelled division)
2021 = 65% growth
2022 = 78% growth
2023 = 84% growth

A friend of mine, Cris Rodriguez, made a post a few weeks back to look back 10 years and write down where you were and where you are now. That got me looking ALL the way back in my business journey with this company. In 2008 I started this company and in 2009 I thought “hmmm I guess I should start tracking things” and my 2010 Goals google sheet was born.

Here are the highlights for the different years.

2011 I hired Ashley Sparks Mullins my first employee (who’s my director of opps today). This allowed for the 95% growth you see.

2013 I realized the dangers of having larger clients that accounted for a big chunks of revenue and what happens when the relationship ends. This is our ONLY year of no growth in 16 years.

2016 we decided to shift away from being a local marketing firm and launch our nationwide restaurant program.

2018 we launched a restaurant agency training program, somehow I thought training my future competition was a good idea:)

2020 It’s NOT what you think, it wasn’t the pandemic. We cancelled the agency training at the end of 2019 and that accounted for 26% of our revenue. So while global #’s show only 4% growth, the restaurant division grew by 100%.

2021 to NOW is a product of focus. We got rid of a lot of distractions and focused 100% on our restaurant clients.

From 2021 to 2023 we also built the America’s Best Restaurants media company at the same time as the marketing firm. So when people tell me “it’s hard” to run a company and focus on growth this is why I have ZERO sympathy. You either run hard, or don’t run hard enough.

In 2023 we scaled in a BIG WAY. With lots of people, now 56 employees, and moving parts with our ABR Roadshow.

In the late Summer of 2023 I almost crashed. My stress levels were insane and I honestly wasn’t sure I knew what I was actually doing with the business. My October I was in a bad place mentally from the stress of what I built. I didn’t know how to fix it. But the funny thing was, every day I’d wake up REALLY early and the solution would HIT ME!

Literally, many nights I’d wake up a 2am and start working. The ideas would flow and 1 by 1 each solution would come to me. This was 100% from stress and it sucked, but it’s what pushed me to the solutions.

OH and in the middle of these stressful months I was in the midst of negotiating the acquisition of a software firm (we closed on that Nov 3rd).

By November I’d figured out the problems and put a plan in place to right the ships by early 2024. By December the plan was in full swing and working great. And now as I stare down 2024 I’m beyond excited.

2024 is going to be UNREAL and now I can’t fall asleep at night from excitement, because I don’t want to go to bed and stop thinking.

So, there you have it, my end of the year thoughts.

My goal for 2024 is simple, run the company how it’s built to be run and get Christy’s dream home under roof by December 2024.
When I’m able to do that, it means a lot of other great things have happened.

Good luck everyone, I hope you can find some vision from the past like I have.

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