nexVortex BLOG

Lessons Learned — Inc. 5000 for the 7th Consecutive Year

Chuck Harris

It doesn’t happen by chance: growing your company is hard work.

The Inc. 5000 is a prestigious list to land on. Those who do are hailed as the innovators, vision makers, and job generators, ranked among the greatest privately-held companies out there. For nexVortex, 2017 marked the 7th year in a row that we’ve made the rankings. We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way and we wanted to share some of them.

Lesson #1: Always focus on the customer – the rest takes care of itself

From the first day of our founding we committed to being an Uncommon Company which delivered Uncommon Service.  Due to that commitment and what it takes to execute on that promise, we enjoy a customer retention rate of over 99%.  We are very proud of our retention rate because it is an indication that we are doing the right things and prioritizing our clients’ needs properly which builds trust and long-term relationships.  Amazon and Zappos are classic examples of customer-centric businesses and they worked hard to establish that culture.

Everyone knows that attracting new customers can be a challenge. Figures reveal that businesses have a 60%-70% chance of selling to an existing customer as compared to a 5%-20% chance of selling to a brand new one. If you are devotedly focused on satisfying your existing customers’ needs, trust is earned and your reputation grows. Referral marketing is the single most trusted form of marketing, with huge percentages across many demographics choosing their next purchase based upon recommendations.

Lesson #2 – Hire the best people – never compromise

You’re hiring for your company, so only you can say who the best people are. In general, there are a few key character traits to look out for. Across a wide variety of business models, cultural fit, a willingness to learn, and a positive attitude consistently come out ahead of the requisite skill set for the job. The reason those three are so important? Fitting in with an existing culture shows a candidate’s people skills, compatibility with your vision, and fit with the team. A willingness to learn shows flexibility and a capacity to grow. A positive attitude, of course, speaks for itself.

Once you have the desired qualities in place, it’s time to gather your candidates. There are a lot of other businesses out there competing for talent, so make sure you follow a few golden rules to make the application and interview process as painless and productive as possible. Hiring the right people is a two-way street and the fit has to be right for the candidate and the company.

Lesson #3 – Stay close to the market

While part of this is staying abreast of the competition, the more important lesson is that you need a trusted relationship with your customers, which enables you — and them —  to discuss their business challenges and opportunities with you in an open and honest manner.

Your customers are your finest judges, and the input they provide is worth its weight in gold. So listen to what they have to say – for better or worse – and put in place a systematic approach to addressing any concerns, as well as a process for gathering product intelligence from them.

Lesson #4 – NEVER get comfortable   

Will Rogers said it best when he stated, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

The technology market moves incredibly fast.  One has to look no further than some of the interesting statistics we called out in a recent blog post called “Technology: Here today and Gone Tomorrow?”

Delivering a value-based, quality product takes hard work and operational discipline.  Your entire team must be very demanding of themselves individually, as well as accountable to each other collectively and to the customer. That goes all the way back to Lesson #2: Hire the right people.

Process is not a dirty word.  Consistent growth is tough because the percentage of growth is always applied to a larger number each and every year.   Be open to change, put in place scalable processes and always be looking for better ways to run your business more efficiently.

Final thought

We know growth and improvement doesn’t come easily. It’s taken more than a decade of constant, vigilant commitment to our guiding principles and a lot of amazingly smart and talented people to get on and stay on the Inc. 5000 list for seven consecutive years.

While we’re thrilled and honored every year to receive the designation, we are most thankful to our channel partners and customers who continue to put their trust in us as we deliver to them cloud communication services with the highest quality in the market.

For over a decade, nexVortex has been a leader in providing cloud communication services which deliver voice quality for premise-based (PBX) and cloud-based (hosted) voice services.  Contact us today to discuss your business communications needs.

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