February Greetings Blog Readers,
Innovative Educator Consulting (IEC) Corporation. Wow- where have the five years gone? It has been a marvelous learning journey, but most importantly a monumental step for me personally and professionally as a woman business entrepreneur.
Many of you that know me professionally and personally- know that I am very driven, very inspired by positive like minds, and very competitive and will accept a challenge and or risk to make a transformational change when it comes to impacting k-20 education with teachers, students and administrators! Five years ago- I accepted this challenge head on to start my own edtech consulting company. My goal was to note and document its success or setbacks each quarter, and then collate this data into an annual review by the end of year one. I knew this data would showcase the bigger picture for me of my success or shortfalls of my company. I also knew this data collection would be my guide to make a choice to continue on with this edtech adventure, or choose to go back to the teaching world within a classroom setting from the annual review. By the end of year one I knew I was on the right track to success- as I had landed 72 separate school contracts to provide on sight edtech professional development trainings that ranged from 1 day of face-to-face PD to up to 10 days of tech immersion trainings and crafting technology action plans within k-12 school districts.
My long term goal was to grow the company at least 25-30% every year. This took careful and diligent planning on my behalf with creating consistent inspirational PD content offerings and technology leadership trainings that were much needed in the Midwest. By the end of year one we had a 27% growth factor based off my current postion working for an edtech agency. Year two and year three proven to be just as strong with a 30% increase in revenue. By year four we hit 34% and now the cmilestone mark of year 5 we are starting out with rocket numbers projected, and new edtech consultant hired on to continue our team's efforts. It can be contributed too many things- but my data reflects three main areas that have driven my business model: 1. Customer service follow through with highly collaborative communication and feedback, 2. Deliverables of high quality professional development of interactive keynotes, edtech workshops, or tech leadership focus groups, and 3. My social media presence.
The first contributing factor is that I am very adamant of following through and following up with all k-20 customers within a 24-48 hour time period- whether it is phone call, email or video conference. I do not break this rule of thumb. If I find myself in a bind and where I can not get back to an individual, I am totally honest and let them know that I can not meet the deadline I set, but will get back with them in the next 48 hours with a followup. I have had so much positive customer feedback on this communication technique and tech resource support/guidance- that is a by far the #1 contributing factor that has driven our business to where it is today.
John Pederson- my Twitter "Dad" for introducing me to Twitter- "back in the day" in rural southwest Wisconsin, when we were trying to figure out the power of this "Internet thing" out- and to think some people thought it was going to go away :-)
But the most important critical factors of what has made my company so successful- it is the individuals
I work with and surround myself with on a daily basis. These individuals are like-minded, positive thinking, emerging tech-geeky individuals that understand who I am and make me better every day! They challenge me to think differently about edtech and how it fits into the big picture of k-20 education, they pose and create new opportunities of digital design with PD offerings, and they inspire me and make me laugh to help me find a sense of balance between home, work and family. These unique individuals include the dynamic edtech consultants I have and will continue to hire
regularly of Tim Nielsen, Deb Norton, Jenna Linskens, Jeanette Armstrong, Jennifer Malphy, Jena Sherry, Heidi Catlin, Curt Reese, Joe Sanfelippo, Dan and Sally King, Beth Lisowski, Tammy Lind, Tom and Rachel Hartly, Sue Gorman, Kim Berg, David Kapuler, Ben Hommerding, Kris Szagner, and Angie Kalthoff.