The start of June marked the three-year anniversary of Pixalytics! Given that statistics indicate almost half of all start up businesses fail with the first three years, the fact that we are still here is a major success!
Not only that, but in the last twelve months we grew turnover a little, paid salaries for the whole year, didnâ€™t take on any more debt and had our first employee â€“ albeit a fixed term and part-time employee, but an employee nonetheless! All of which we considered to be achievements; however we want more.
As any small business owner knows, itâ€™s very easy to get sucked into the treadmill of finding work, completing the work, getting paid and then going straight back to finding more work. You spend so much time working in the company, there isnâ€™t any time to work on the company which is critical for growth and development. During the second half of 2014, we spent time working on Pixalytics.
Weâ€™re in a mentoring scheme where we are based and we’ve worked with our mentor, Phil Johnston, to better understand our business. Having the external critical friend asking the awkward questions isnâ€™t easy, sometimes we couldnâ€™t answer Phil, sometimes we didnâ€™t want to answer Phil and sometimes we completely disagreed with Phil. However, all of his questions made us think harder about what Pixalytics was and how we wanted to develop it. By the end of 2014 weâ€™d updated our company brand, marketing materials, website and our strategic thinking.
Weâ€™re a science company, and we like to experiment and see what happens. At the start of 2015 we were ready to start our growth strategy. So far this year, weâ€™ve:
- Weâ€™ve written a book! The Practical Handbook of Remote Sensing is due to be published in October/November 2015.
- Exhibited for the first time at GEO Business 2015, and weâ€™ll also be exhibiting at the 2015 UK Space Conference.
- Expanded both our customer base and the services we offer.
- Started developing new ways of interacting with our clients.
- Forecasting growth this year in excess of 35%.
We still have a long way to go, to get to where we want to be; we need to continue to develop the customer base and the products we offer. Andy is spending more and more time within the business and this will continue to grow, but weâ€™d like to get to the point of being able to employee someone else full time.
The first three years have been a huge learning curve, weâ€™ve made some mistakes and there are certain things weâ€™d do differently. We experiment and if things donâ€™t work out; we remember the words of Samuel Beckett:
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
Weâ€™re a growing small company, and we want to do all we can to make sure it stays that way for the next three years and beyond.