It has been a year of ups and downs. January and February started really well for the business and we had some substantial contract gains which, following on from a strong end to 2016, put us in an excellent position for the rest of 2017.
Caty Graham, Business Development Manager in the north east left to have a baby and little Jessica arrived in November 2016. Tracey Langstaff, who had been on the marketing side of the business fancied stepping in to Caty’s heels and has become an exceptional Business Development Manager. Ideally Caty has come back part time now and both Caty and Tracey job share the role which is excellent.
Two low points happened in May when we lost our Business Consultant, Jodi Davidson who emigrated to Ottawa in Canada with her family after three years of helping us build up the Yorkshire region and we lost Raymond (Rogey) Lee who had worked with us for 17 years. Rogey had been a supervisor for us covering many accounts in the Hexham area and he was a huge loss when, due to poor health, he decided that cleaning was just a bit too much. We wish them the very best for the future.
It’s funny how things turn out but I was looking for and interviewing for Jodi’s replacement for quite a while as we knew Jodi was going to go from the beginning of the year. Strangely enough, I’d met Rachael McCarthy a couple of years earlier when she was running the administration part of a school we’d quoted for. I’d also known about Rachael from her days at Cofely and had been recommended to speak to Rachael by one of our customers who knew and dealt with Rachael at Cofely at the time. I hadn’t realised Rachael and her family had moved to Yorkshire so when I received a message from Rachael, I couldn’t believe my luck. Jodi worked with Rachael for a while before she left too which worked out perfectly!
Other new recruits included Trevor Stockhill and Tracey Booth, new Operations Managers in Yorkshire and Rebecca Dance and Kathryn Imrie joined us on the marketing side of the business.
New business sales continued very well throughout 2017 and we reported a 43% growth at the year end in August, which was amazing and has placed us in a really good position to create more jobs and opportunities across the company. With now over 400 staff and 300 customers, it’s been an incredible year.
I’ve always worked hard in ensuring that we get the best teams we possibly can in the sales, operations and administration sides of the business and this has proven more than useful as I’ve personally been suffering from a debilitating back problem since September which has stopped me doing the things I really enjoy (like visiting clients and our excellent colleagues) as I just can’t drive, sit or walk far. Hopefully early 2018 will have this resolved but the team have been fabulous and have dealt with absolutely everything thrown at them. Just goes to show the value of having such brilliant people working with us.
We’re hoping that 2018 bring us more success and new additions right across the business as we look to expand further. With such marvellous teams of people working so well, I can’t see anything else happening.
We wish you a very Happy Christmas and good health, wealth and happiness in 2018.