A whirlwind of emotion has taken over me as I sit down and reflect on 2018. As a goal oriented person, I am driven by goals and objectives. This helps me stay focused and keep me on track. In the beginning of the year I challenged myself to connect with more people, get out and travel, take risks and stop over thinking things. As anything in life… it is much easier said than done.
The year started out promising with sales up, bookings up and a great showing at the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach with Pure Watersports. We were connecting with new lodges, hosts and various people that could help Fish Village expand their offering. To say that I was elated would be an understatement. I felt like industry folks were starting to look at us differently and take us more seriously.
It took me a long time to figure out that service oriented industries are tough shells to crack due to the fact that trust is the number one driving force for these relationships to work. This is something that requires more than a quick talking sales person to fix, this is going to take time. Fortunately for us, we have put time in and we have stayed honest with ourselves along the way. From our social media followers to our latest trip offerings, we have stayed true the entire journey and I am damn proud of that. Our social media following is growing by the day, yet we will NEVER pay for clicks or follows because they are not real, thus not important to our model and our customers.
As a result of our commitment to integrity, we have seen amazing growth in 2018:
- Most revenue in company history
- Most bookings in company history
- Most new customers added in a calendar year in company history
- Most repeat customers in a calendar year in company history
Our year was not perfect, it was not without its pains. We lost momentum in late spring/early summer and revenue slowed significantly. Then to add insult to injury we encountered our first bit of fraud and criminal activity which resulted in headaches and losses. Did this break us… NOPE. Instead we got fired up and pissed off to the point that we started to see things differently (in a good way).
After all of that we still ended up exceeding every goal we set out for ourselves in 2018. Wow. I am so proud of what we have built and I am so grateful for all of you that believe in it. Thank you all!
All I can say about 2019 is this… we have the best team in the industry looking out for ways to take your fishing experiences to the next level. Look for major announcements coming in early January.
Written By: Mike Ponce (CEO, Founder)