Wow. Three Years.
April 1, 2023, is Passion Fruit Partner’s THIRD birthday, it is really hard to believe. We have a lot to celebrate as we reflect on this past year.
As we’ve mentioned in prior posts (Year 1 & Year 2), when Passion Fruit was founded three years ago, we wanted to do things differently by prioritizing people over profits, staying true to our core values (Passion, Authenticity, Integrity, and Quality), and making sure that we never lost sight of the impact our work has on the amazing nonprofit organizations we support.
The purpose of these annual posts is not only to take time and reflect on our progress year over year but also to publicly hold ourselves accountable to the commitments we make and honestly assess if we are living up to them or if there is more work that we need to do. As we look back and reflect on our third year as partners, we want to share a few milestones achieved, lessons learned, and final thoughts on our third year in business before we focus on what is ahead.
Beginning year three, on April 1, 2022, we had some goals that we set for ourselves, some more easily quantifiable than others:
- Grow our revenue by 67%
- Grow our team to 15 awesome people by April 2023
- Give back by donating $15,000 to nonprofits in Year Three
- Do another team retreat in person in 2023
- Host more local meetups
- Create client case studies
- Growth, not at the expense of others
- Personal development and opportunities to learn new skills
- Maintain work/life balance for our team
- Stay true to our values
As we write this, looking back on those goals that we set at last year’s team retreat, we are once again reminded how fortunate we are to have a team of amazing individuals, who are able to come together as a collective and achieve in many cases, much more than we thought possible.
In our third year of business we:
- Grew our team to 14 awesome people who demonstrate and live our core values every day and are currently hiring for more!
- Grew our revenue by 101% YoY
- Worked with 55 different nonprofit organizations
- Maintained a client satisfaction rating of 4.96/5
- Had 67% of our clients from year two return for additional projects or support retainers
- Brought on 34 new nonprofit organizations as clients of Passion Fruit Partners
- Exceeded our goal of $15,000 and gave back $21,713 to nonprofit organizations in 2022
- Improved our benefits offering to our team by implementing a week off for everyone at Christmas, adding a Stress Management & Well-being program to our health benefits, increasing paramedical coverage to $750 per category at 100% coverage, adding Long Term Disability Coverage and Vision Care, and rolling out a $500 Tech Budget for our team
- Continued learning and increased our average to 5.1 Salesforce Certifications per team member
- Launched the Resources Page on our website to share client case studies (more coming soon!)
- Will be hosting our second Team Retreat this May and have been able to host local meetups in Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary, and attend Dreamforce, World Tours, and participate in Salesforce Community Sprints
- Continued to live by our values and remain authentic to who we are as a company and as individuals
While our third year has been another amazing year of growth and accomplishments, we always want to make the time to reflect on what we learned and where we can improve. To share some key lessons learned this year:
- As you grow, you need to be able to let go. When we started Passion Fruit, we both were involved in every client meeting, every project, met with each employee daily, and did all of our marketing, finance, operations, etc. As we continue to grow as a company, we need to constantly be making sure we are setting up our team for success and then moving out of the way to let them shine. It can be challenging to give up control at times, but when you do, the result can be amazing!
- We wouldn’t be where we are today without our team. We have continued to grow 100%+ year over year for our first three years and the biggest driver behind this isn’t our sales or marketing strategy, it is that our clients love working with our team. We are grateful for all of the time that the team has spent passionately and authentically serving our clients and being fierce advocates for the work that we do. Likewise, we are equally lucky to have amazing partners!
- We will always be a remote company, but in-person meetups do make a difference. When Passion Fruit was founded, we started working remotely and we have no plans to change this! We believe that having the team work from home increases flexibility and productivity, however we also realise that Zoom meetings cannot fully replace the connections we are able to build in person. Along with our Annual Team Retreat at Loon Lake in British Columbia, we have prioritized in-person meetups with the team this year and it has been wonderful to see the impact that has on our culture. A few highlights from this year include team dinners in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver, our Leadership Retreat, pottery classes, arcade games, escape rooms, and attending Salesforce conferences. We are committed to continuing to facilitate regular in-person meetups moving forward and have allocated a budget for each team member to travel, attend conferences/workshops, and meet up with their fellow Passion Fruit team members.
- Maintaining work-life balance requires constant work. From day one, we have always been insistent on having time for the team to disconnect and enjoy evenings and weekends with family and friends. The consulting industry is full of smart, talented individuals who are burnt out and exhausted from constantly being overworked. In order to make sure we are living up to the commitments made to our team, it requires constant review and thoughtful decision making. Sometimes, this means making difficult decisions like turning down exciting projects, but it is in these times that challenge us to go back to our core values. This year, we did well but there is always room for improvement as we found a couple of busy periods where our team was stretched thin. Going into this next year, we will focus more on forecasting, hiring ahead of bandwidth crunches, and continuing to ask the team for feedback on how we can create the best work environment possible. While we won’t always be perfect, we will always be committed to work-life balance for our team.
Closing Thoughts on Year Three
Similar to previous years, we end on a note of gratitude for how far we’ve come and excitement about what’s still ahead.
Thank you to the amazing nonprofit clients who have partnered with Passion Fruit and given us your continued trust. The work that you do each and every day to try and make the world a better place is truly inspiring. We appreciate the opportunity to support your missions.
Cheers to our amazing team for accomplishing all that we have this year. Thank you to Junette, Reagan, Jenn, Lihan, Scott, Jim, Arjan, Cindy, Kevin, Courtney, Billy, and Katie for bringing your authentic selves to work each day and for always looking out for the best interests of our clients. You are all the secret sauce responsible for Passion Fruit’s success and are the ones who make all the magic happen for our clients. We would not be where we are today without such an incredible team!
Heading into Year Four, we couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team and are excited to see what the future holds for Passion Fruit!
Ben & Clair