Why I changed everything about my business

15 years in business and I was stuck in a rut. Work was plentiful, the company was profitable, but I didn't feel like I was making a mark. My team didn't feel like it was making a mark. We felt like we were doing a job.

What we wanted was a passion.

2015 was a trying year for me:

  • I lost 3 amazing employees I loved, not only as employees, but as people
  • I had a number of misfires hiring their replacements. Ugh. This impacts the remaining employees and I've learned many lessons about how to be more discerning about who I hire
  • I was scrambling to fulfill all the roles and not getting the time I needed to run the business

2015 was a trying year for me

But, it was during this trying time that I learned a lot about Fenix, and made some of my biggest decisions. Decisions that have put Fenix in a great spot today, two years later.

First, I had coffee with one of the employees that left Fenix 6 months prior. She had been our PM for 4 years, and no longer wanted to be a PM. She wanted something more. Something different. In a 10 person company, how could I offer her that?

It took her leaving to make me realize I could create a new position at Fenix for her. A position I had never thought of prior: I would hire her to run the business, so I could focus on running the company. I desperately needed this help AND she was someone I trusted implicitly. Because she is amazing.

I fired the employees that weren't working out

She agreed. Big decision #1 was in play. I had hired someone to help run the business and fulfill a role I had little time for. I wanted to focus on running the company (sales, revenue, growth).

Second, I fired the people that weren't working out. These were good people, but not the right people for Fenix. Big decision #2 done.

Then, I hired an amazing PM to run the projects and haven't looked back since. This girl is amazing! I love everything about her. Big decision #3 done.

I then looked at Fenix. Who were we? What did we convey? How were we positioned in the industry, market, against our competitors? Sadly, it wasn't good. We had no strong presence, no strong brand, no personality or culture. We. Were. Boring.

Our new brand has a personality, interest value & marketability

Our brand did not convey the brilliance of our team, the fun and engaging nature of our office, the intrapreneurial spirit of our team. It said nothing.

So I re-branded fenix. We went with a script font, boutique style and added fun colours like pink to the mix. We created a brand that better represented our team: fun, modern, boutique. Some people said "no, it won't work, you're in tech."

They. were. wrong.

Because it doesn't matter if my logo says "tech" or not. It says something about us, the team, our culture and lends us a personality we can leverage. It says something. And the employees were on board.

And I love it.

Big decision #4 successfully executed.

We then decorated and updated the office: new furniture, new colours, new pot lights and ceiling, new signage, new decor.....ooh fancy! The staff loved it. We have candy and chocolate, coffee and bourbon. It's amazing to be here. We bought a frothy milk thing for fancy coffee. Wow! Decision #5.

None of that matters. And yet it does. My employees are happy, they loved the brand, they loved the renewed vigor of the company, the changes in the office. They felt proud of our new look and sharing our great culture and brilliant successes with the world (ok with those who follow us on instagram).

Fenix is fresh, interesting and worth talking about. We bought branded swag (hello Drupal North, we are coming with tonnes of fun giveaways) and people are proud to wear them, drink out of them and so on.

A lot of decisions were made post 2015 and there are more coming. This new vigor feels good :)