As the year winds down with festivus celebrations, we checked in several businesses featured on Insureon's Small Business Spotlight this year. These small-business owners have had a busy 2015, and they're ready to take on 2016! They shared their biggest accomplishments of the year and their goals for the next. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
What's the biggest accomplishment your business made in 2015?
"We put our social responsibility and community outreach objectives at the forefront of the company's plan this year. We spent more money and time than any other year in the company's history on mentoring at-risk youth, collaborating with a breast cancer organization, participating in charity events, and donating to worthwhile causes that empower our local community. Profitability will always be vital, but thinking beyond ourselves is a conviction our parents instilled in us at a young age."
"I completed both the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business and the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) training programs. These programs helped me to analyze my business, growth opportunities, and potential funding sources. We are definitely a better business today as a result of this training."
— Crystal L. Kendrick (@VOYC), president, The Voice of Your Customer (Hiring Summer Help with The Voice of Your Customer)
"This year, we surpassed growth expectations and had to hire additional help, expanding us beyond a 'family-only' business."
"Our team came together on selecting new collaboration and project management technology. There are so many choices on the marketplace these days: CRM, project management, contact management, HR, payroll, ERP, and on and on. It may seem like an almost trivial accomplishment with so many other important business functions our team has to succeed at every day to serve our customers."
"In 2015, we recovered from serious flooding during the Memorial Day weekend, working to ensure our customers still received their orders. Additionally, we are so honored to be included in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately held companies, as well as the ICIC Inner City 100."
"What we're most proud of this year is automating our business. Once the order comes in, we don't have to do anything and the customers get their products on time. It has saved us countless hours of shipping that we can put toward marketing and growing instead."
— Adelaida Diaz-Roa (@Ruffit_USA), COO and co-owner, Ruffit Dog Carriers (Prepping for the Holidays with Ruffit Dog Carriers)
"I am most proud of being recognized this year as a go-to company for creating personal style in our clients' homes. And I was proud to be featured on NBC's daytime TV show to talk about that subject."
What's your next business goal for 2016?
"Our biggest goal for 2016 is re-claiming our artisan heritage by developing a much larger workshop in New Jersey for us to showcase the talents of American workers and reaffirm our commitment to the local community." — Billy Bauer
"In January 2016, The Voice of Your Customer will launch a new media targeted to African Americans in the Greater Cincinnati area. The media will offer news, a calendar of events, business listings, and other information that is relevant to the target audience. We are very excited about this new opportunity, and we are working very hard to meet our launch deadline." — Crystal L. Kendrick
"Based on our current projections, we believe we will triple our monthly billing in 2016 (as a conservative estimate)." — Courtney Barbee
"We saw our industry grow in 2015, and all signs point to an even higher growth rate in 2016. Netfloor USA is heavily involved in all things IT, regardless of the specific industry. With the Internet of Things, big data, connectivity, and collaboration at the forefront of everyone's mind, we are primed and ready to grow!" — Ryan Hulland
"In 2016, we hope to be in a place where we can pursue a new location to open a new store." — Bobby Jucker
"We're adding a 'Deluxe' version of the carrier to our products. We'll be launching a Kickstarter campaign for it in March and showing people our new features! We're also making sizing for both products easier to pick and will be reaching out to stores such as PetSmart to try out wholesale." — Adelaida Diaz-Roa
"My goal for 2016 is to continue the great work that we are doing and to get my book on personal style published. I know that I can't reach everyone to be able to design directly for them, but if I can get a book in their hands to help them tap into their own unique style and create it in their own home, that would be amazing." — Sara Chiarilli
Is your small business getting geared up for the New Year? Share your goals for 2016 with us on Twitter!