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Look at us toddle

posted by Alex Hens
10 June 2010

It's all been a bit busy of late, which is why my blogging has been neglected (what? you didn't notice! ;) , but there are some things that you just have to stop and acknowledge. And what better to acknowledge than us moving into our 3rd year of trading.

2 years old eh?! Where the flippin heck did that evaporate to? It wasn't long after we started out on this little (ad)venture that the news turned to the somewhat cataclysmic global economic tailspin  the worst since the 2nd World War they said. Oh great. Brilliant. So we start a business that services the recruitment sector at one of the most difficult economic times for a century. Just fan-bloody-tastic.

And apparently it might not be over yet. But whether or not we hit the much talked about double dip recession, it's still a tough climate to be operating in that's for sure and you'd think the long established ATS vendors have probably had a royal sized kick up they're collected backside too. So over the coming months I expect the competition to be doing all that their bloated, legacy-code-limited carcasses can to raise their game too. Interesting & challenging times for sure but when you've known no different then I think it could be argued that these are indeed ideal times in which to start a business. Certainly we know how important every single client relationship is - whatever their size or spend.

Sure, we still lose out from time to time for being“too young a business" and therefore in some people eyes a risky proposition, but despite that our portfolio has grown exceptionally well by anyone measure, proving our delivery credibility long the way. Our clients are giving great feedback, each one willing to stand as a reference, and with every new requirement HARBOUR goes from strength to strength. I mean who'd have thought that 2 years in we'd have brands such as Heinz, Weight Watchers, The Environment Agency, Kimberly Clark & Comic Relief being delighted by what we do. Not to mention having a server established in China just waiting for our first full project there to get the sign off.

There's been plenty that we've learned the hard way, and there'll of course be plenty more to learn over the coming years. But it's with lots of excitement that we look ahead. Having our own office has been a great leap in the right direction (let's just say the novelty of home working very much lost its shine for me). We have a support team in place who have so quickly become embedded with the business it's hard to remember a time when they weren't here or indeed consider how the business would run without them being there. And some wonderful client relationships blossoming, with a couple more (fingers crossed) very close to being announced.

In some ways Tony & I of course feel like a proud Parents looking at what we've achieved, but at the same time it's as much us who are the toddler here, so the luxury of standing back and admiring isn't one we can really afford – it's about concentrating on the next step and the next and the next ensuring we continue our progress smoothly and without coming a cropper on the corner of a coffee table that we didn't spot.