2021 was supposed to be a different kind of year. It was to be the year of greater societal stability, the end of Covid, and the hopes of a return to normal. Instead, we saw a continuation of the struggles of ‘21 along with inflation, the Great Resignation, product shortages, and greater cyber(in)security. Through it all, we continue our mission with heads down and minor pivots to ensure that we deliver what the market and clients ask for.
Was ‘21 a success for C3?
Did revenue grow significantly?
Highlights of C3 in 2021:
- Acquisition and retention of talent. We know this seems counterintuitive, but we care more about this than actual revenue. With great people and great strategy come great results. Revenue will never be more important than our people. We focus on our culture and people first. Revenue and happy customers are a result of this. Focus on the first, get the second.
- We are truly happy to have brought on several C3ers that, we can only hope, stay here for the rest of their careers. One of these is our Corporate Recruiter, Kylee Ackley. It is not commonplace for a company of our size to bring a recruiter in-house. We did this because, as stated above, the acquisition of talent is of paramount importance. We just happened to get lucky in finding Kylee (no pressure, Kylee).
- Revenue growth in our target markets - medium to medium-enterprise organizations. We find that revenue commonly sold below this market can often be transactional and less sticky. The pursuit of clients in the large enterprise segment is time and resource-consuming. Name recognition from buyers in this market oftentimes poses a challenge. The medium to medium enterprise market is one that we thrived in throughout ‘21. We will continue to focus our resources on these markets well into the future.
- M&A continues to happen all around us. Our clients continue to buy up companies and our competitors continue to buy or be bought up. Money from private equity is everywhere. While we believe that we’ll be beneficiaries of this, we will not be pursuing inorganic revenue and organization growth. Free cash flow will fund further growth. We refuse to have arbitrary growth goals set by anyone outside of C3. We have promised an anti-corporate culture to our employees and we intend on delivering on this.
- Continued growth in security and infrastructure revenue. It is our belief that cybersecurity will be a top 2 product for us in the next 3 years. We must skill-up and hire-up to achieve this secondary organizational goal.
- Our pivot from a sales organization to a consulting organization is well underway. We do not intend to give away our IP, expertise, and market knowledge without a commitment from our customers.
Largest threats to all business growth in 2022:
- Inflation and wage growth will be negative factors in our growth. Simply put, it is more expensive to operate our organization now than it was at the end of ‘20.
- Product shortages continue to delay significant projects. It’s our hope that supply chains can get remotely close to normal in ‘22.
- Price compression in the UCaaS and telecom product sets will reduce revenue growth in each area. (So now is the time for your business to buy UCaaS)
I would like to close by saying that I’m incredibly blessed to work with such a wonderful team. I love who I work with even more than what I actually do. I’m excited to bring on more SEAL team caliber talent in ‘22 to join us. Thank you especially to Taylor Vossler for your leadership. I used to joke that she’ll probably end up running more of the company than I will. This is no joking matter anymore.