Itâ€™s all been a bit busy of late, which is why my blogging has been neglected (what? you didnâ€™t notice! , but there are some things that you just have to stop and acknowledge. And what better to acknowledge than us moving into our 3rd year of trading.
2 years old eh?! Where the flippin heck did that evaporate to? It wasnâ€™t long after we started out on this little (ad)venture that the news turned to the somewhat cataclysmic global economic tailspin â€“ the worst since the 2nd World War they said. Oh great. Brilliant. So we start a business that services the recruitment sector at one of the most difficult economic times for a century. Just fan-bloody-tastic.
And apparently it might not be over yet. But whether or not we hit the much talked about double dip recession, itâ€™s still a tough climate to be operating in thatâ€™s for sure â€“ and youâ€™d think the long established ATS vendors have probably had a royal sized kick up theyâ€™re collected backside too. So over the coming months I expect the competition to be doing all that their bloated, legacy-code-limited carcasses can to raise their game too. Interesting & challenging times for sure â€“ but when youâ€™ve known no different then I think it could be argued that these are indeed ideal times in which to start a business. Certainly we know how important every single client relationship is – whatever their size or spend.
Sure, we still lose out from time to time for being â€œtoo young a businessâ€ and therefore in some peopleâ€™s eyes a risky proposition, but despite that our portfolio has grown exceptionally well by anyoneâ€™s measure, proving our delivery credibility long the way. Our clients are giving great feedback, each one willing to stand as a reference, and with every new requirement HARBOUR goes from strength to strength. I mean whoâ€™d have thought that 2 years in weâ€™d have brands such as Heinz, Weight Watchers, The Environment Agency, Kimberly Clark & Comic Relief being delighted by what we do. Not to mention having a server established in China just waiting for our first full project there to get the sign off.
Thereâ€™s been plenty that weâ€™ve learned the hard way, and thereâ€™ll of course be plenty more to learn over the coming years. But itâ€™s with lots of excitement that we look ahead. Having our own office has been a great leap in the right direction (letâ€™s just say the novelty of home working very much lost its shine for me). We have a support team in place who have so quickly become embedded with the business itâ€™s hard to remember a time when they werenâ€™t here â€“ or indeed consider how the business would run without them being there. And some wonderful client relationships blossoming, with a couple more (fingers crossed) very close to being announced.
In some ways Tony & I of course feel like a proud Parents looking at what weâ€™ve achieved, but at the same time itâ€™s as much us who are the toddler here, so the luxury of standing back and admiring isnâ€™t one we can really afford â€“ itâ€™s about concentrating on the next step and the next and the next â€“ ensuring we continue our progress smoothly and without coming a cropper on the corner of a coffee table that we didnâ€™t spot.