What I learned from sticking to Dimagi's core values in the face of uncertainty
Earlier this week, Dimagi was honored as one of the top 10 Small Businesses of 2015 from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. We shared the podium with nine passionate small business owners who opened up about what it takes to run a business. Many of these companies have faced significant hurdles – from bouncing back from a failed Shark Tank deal to starting over after financial ruin. Their amazing stories made me reflect on one of the pivotal crossroads that Dimagi faced early on: the decision to part ways with a client that generated nearly 50 percent of our annual revenue.
Sounds crazy, right? 50 percent of our revenue? It felt crazy. But sometimes, crazy is the right decision. In this case, we were confident it was the move we needed to make. We hit a point when we knew we could not generate enough impact in the project to justify the cost of the technology. As an impact-first company, this wasn’t acceptable. I recall a conversation with our chief technology officer, Cory Zue, where we discussed whether it was worth running Dimagi if this was the only way to do it. We decided to have an honest talk with our client and part ways—and we have not looked back since.
This decision empowered us and gave us the confidence to uphold our values in the face of uncertainty. By the end of the next year, we made up that revenue… and then some.
At Dimagi, we credit a lot of our success to sticking to our core values, impact, team satisfaction and profit (in that order). These core values have attracted an amazingly passionate, smart and dedicated team. As a business owner, staying true to your core values – whether you are a social impact company or driven by the bottom line – is of utmost importance. If you don’t, you can never go back. And it’s not just the team that will know; you’ll know it too.
If you’re interested in hearing more advice from the “Nailed It” event, you can read a full recap from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce here. Or check out the pictures here.
Congratulations to all of the fellow honorees. Thank you for sharing your stories with us!
Top 10 Small Businesses of the Year:
- Boston Harbor Cruises
- Bald Hill Builders
- C-4 Analytics
- G-Force Shipping
- Project Repat
- Randolph Engineering
- Rentals Unlimited
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