Why 2020 Was Our Best Year So Far

Why 2020 Was Our Best Year So Far
Michel Cohen

I have something to tell you. We still can’t believe how incredible this year turned out to be for us, but I discovered that it was all thanks to a factor very few know, and it’s the difference between being carried away by circumstances and transforming yourself into something extraordinary.

The invisible obstacle

When the pandemic was declared, international travel restricted, and airports closed, we realized that, even though we’re a remote software development company, we were not exempt from the need to move freely. Until then, we had a habit of traveling to the U.S. to meet with our clients to discuss business. We even met with our friends and made new connections with interesting people working in various industries, giving us many opportunities to obtain new clients. But now, like everyone else, we were at home. In our place, what would you have done? Most people would have thought twice before doing what we did.

Damian and I decided not to let fear, apathy, and a stagnant world paralyze us. Rather, we got down to work and resumed the projects that had been on hold for years for various reasons. We started redesigning our website, writing and launching our blog, and nurturing our social media presence. Of course, you can’t do quality work without quality workers, so here comes the good part.

Damian and I decided not to let fear, apathy, and a stagnant world paralyze us

We hired a team of English-native writers, expanded the design team, and incorporated a community manager. These creative and content experts boosted our online presence and gave our networks and website the modern look we wanted. But that was just the beginning.

We also launched new perks for our devs, including biweekly sessions with a professional therapist, a career plan for each member based on performance valuations, and weekly English classes with Billy, our English teacher, who won the hearts of our employees. We also hired two new project managers (PMs) and promoted two developers who had demonstrated their excellent leadership capabilities to PMs as well. As a result, we now have a team of 7 PMs who are making  sure clients receive the best possible service, applying agile methodologies. Additionally, we welcomed Javier, an old friend and former partner of Damian, as a growth manager.

Analyzing the impact travel restrictions had on BEON, we saw an opportunity to reshape the way we did business, and we realized that our sales system needed to be more efficient, in harmony with the new circumstances. So, we decided to build an elite sales team in Buenos Aires that automated and did on a large scale what we had been doing to a lesser degree. As a result of all of these changes, in just 10 months, our headcount grew by 46%. Why would we do something like that in the midst of so much uncertainty? The answer is simple.

We did everything out of passion. We love what we do and, amid the uncertainty, we had to follow our vision: bringing the best software development talent in Latin America to the U.S. market, and we were confident of our potential to do so, especially considering this would be the “digital transformation” year where everything would go virtual.

We did everything out of passion. We love what we do and, amid the uncertainty, we had to follow our vision

Our optimized service quality led to our reputation growing by leaps and bounds. At the same time that we were starting work with new clients, those who already appreciated the effort we put into quality left us 5-star reviews on Clutch. Our profile on this platform grew rapidly. As a result, we received an award for being one of the best resource providers operating in Argentina. And our customers weren’t the only ones who were satisfied.

On our Glassdoor profile, 43 of our employees shared how good it feels to work at BEON. Many were grateful for the in-depth training, English classes, therapy sessions, and even the approach we took of coping with personal adversities together, as a team, through events like a mindfulness workshop, in which Francisco Vanoni, the director of the Mindfulness, Science, and Meditation program at the prestigious Torcuato Di Tella university, showed us all how to cope with anxiety and apathy.

Our success made it clear that we managed to overcome obstacles that were previously invisible to us: caution and routine.

But the true nature of these obstacles became more apparent with situations we faced with our clients. Let me explain.

We didn’t know it was impossible, so we did it

The pandemic affected not only our internal operations, but also our customers. Two of our clients are directly dependent on the events industry. It’s well known how much that industry suffered this year. Some businesses of this type closed until further notice; others tried to resume their activity as soon as some restrictions were lifted, but without any success, as people were still staying home to try and stay healthy. Still, we weren’t afraid.

Instead of focusing on the negative, we kept our vision, and saw the opportunities. We realized that, in the long run, the world during and after the pandemic will be much more virtual — in other words, a world that needs the best software development talent, and we have that.

Thus, one of our event-dependent clients decided to launch a digital event platform and relied on us to implement it. They asked us to quadruple the size of their team, and we happily delivered, everyone gave their best effort, applying their extensive knowledge and experience to create an exceptional product. We successfully launched the platform in October and the client was so happy with it that he sent a large bonus to every person on the team. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of pride and joy we had at that moment; I can only tell you the effort was worth it.

Looking back, the real risk to our business didn’t come from restrictions or sudden changes, but from getting stuck and passively waiting for things to change, when we were the ones who had to take the initiative. I think we can all agree that things will never be the same again, but this gives us many opportunities to face our fears, do new things, get out of our comfort zone, and experiment. If you use this strategy, the results will be better than you can imagine.

The real risk to our business didn’t come from restrictions or sudden changes, but from getting stuck and passively waiting for things to change

What 2021 holds

In January 2020, BEON was a company that offered the best Latin American talent to companies in the U.S., and we were leading our team and striving to meet customer expectations. Today, BEON is all that and more, as it’s now a company recognized for being among the best talent providers in Latin America and awarded for its high quality. Its reputation continues to grow thanks to satisfied customers and a culture that focuses on training and helping each team member grow and give their best. 

Facing these circumstances has taught us something we will never forget: life is uncertain and it will always have risks, but there’s only one risk that you should avoid at all costs, and that’s doing nothing.

What awaits us in 2021? We don’t know, but we do know that, whatever happens, we will continue to do our best to provide a top quality service, promote the professional growth of our team, and help our clients develop extraordinary projects. Thus, within the uncertainty, we will have the certainty that we’re doing the right thing.