Traditionally, the busiest months of the year for Detailed Image have been March and November because 1) those are the months that demand is highest (in March because of Spring time, November because of the holidays), and 2) that’s when we run our craziest sales. Ever since I can remember, March has always leapfrogged the previous November as our highest grossing month in company history, and then when November comes along it beats March, and the pattern continues on the next year.
What’s made 2011 so special is that after a record-breaking March, April was essentially even (slightly less revenue, slightly higher profits because of less promotions), and then May came along and somewhat unexpectedly blew them both out of the water! While all of this was happening, we had a slew of manufacturer mishaps that created a ton of extra work on our end, and my partners and I each had a comedy of personal issues all arise at the same time. Because we were so busy, we were often in the warehouse on our scheduled days off, and using the late nights and early mornings to get whatever work done that we could. I can safely say that this has been the craziest few months I’ve ever known while running a business.
And while it’s definitely been a bit stressful, the stress associated with growing is not nearly as stressful as wondering where your next paycheck will come from, something we all remember quite vividly. The stress is also lessened by all of the good things that have come out of the past few months aside from the increased sales. It’s great to see everyone working together “selflessly” – chipping in wherever and whenever it’s necessary, doing whatever is necessary. It’s great to see our systems scale, and to fix the minor things that didn’t. It’s great to see our employees step up their game and keep their cool when things are changing every five minutes. And it’s great to see everyone joking around and having a good time together, even on what could be perceived as a rough day. I think that says a lot about the quality of people we have on our team.
Personally, I found myself stressing most about not being able to get to the development projects at the rate that I’m normally used to. That’s when I stop and remind myself that right now we’re reaping the rewards of all of those projects from 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. I mean, the goal of any project is to, in one way or another, bring in more sales. So when that happens, and my day is temporarily filled with more day to day operational stuff, it’s difficult to be too upset about it! We’ve got the right plans in place to hire in the coming months, and there’s almost no way some of the crazy random stuff will happen all at once again, so hopefully by next Spring we’ll be able to easily handle another wave of growth.