One of the reasons I picked the name Tahzoo was because it didn’t mean anything, the way I figured it, was that you never know how things might evolve. If I had named Tahzoo, Brad’s Digital Marketing Agency, we’d always be limited in our opportunity to grow and expand. We certainly couldn’t then become a software company. I wanted to create a company and a Brand.
A brand imbued with an ethos, an idea, and a promise.
When setting up the company, the first thing I did was define our values. As you’ve heard me say many times, our first value is “If you care about your clients and your care about your employees, you’ll have a company worth caring about”, that represents an ethos, a character or cultural attribute that defines us, defines Tahzoo. Although there are additional values to articulate, I think “We hire Smart and Happy people”, also needs to be mentioned because it describes who we are. We can do many different things and still be true to our brand so long as we stick to our values. Richard Branson’s Virgin brand is an example of this … regardless of the business, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Records or Virgin Galactic (https://www.virgingalactic.com they have a cool website), the essence of the Virgin Brand is persistent.
One of the reasons our mission is “To make millions of people a little bit happier every day”, is that it gives us broad latitude to pursue innovation and business models in service of that ideal. If we are making people happier, then any new business can fit into the Tahzoo family of businesses. There is much more to say about the Tahzoo brand and the stewardship of our business, but I’ll save that for another DOB. The point is that we are going to grow and grow significantly over the next few years, our Brand gives us the basis for not only growing the consulting business but also expanding into new businesses.
As I map out the next few years, I see us building three distinct but interrelated businesses: Our Consulting business, our Software business, and our Content business.
We’ve spent more than a decade learning how to drive digital transformation for Global 1000 clients. We have successfully targeted and won businesses with an amazing roster of clients. Our client list would be the envy of any agency in the world and puts us in competition with some of the most successful consultancies. We work for the best, we compete with the best and for our size, we are the best at what we do. What I find amazing about Tahzoo is that we do so much, there are a lot of agencies that can do UX, or Digital Strategy or Technology etc. but very few of them can put it all together. As much as we complain to ourselves about how “The Tahzoo Way” needs to be better documented and improved, we have to remember – we have case studies for a couple dozen Fortune 500 clients across a broad range of business problems and technologies.
Last time I looked, we’ve done business with 58 Fortune 500 clients, and we have active Master Services Agreements with 28 of them. We have a lot to be proud of. For me, I am most proud about our cultural agility – we’ve serviced clients in Asia, Europe and across the US, we’ve tackled business problems for Banks, Retailers, Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare and Global Manufacturing. From Starbucks to BCG to Viking River cruises, we are in very rarified air when it comes to consulting and our ability to be agile. The scope of what we deliver, and the breadth of our clientele is a core strength of Tahzoo. We do cool work for cool clients.
Over the past couple of years our growth has slowed, I think mostly due to Covid but also, we need to refocus on our quality and our customer service. A major reason I’ve reorganized the company with Darrell leading existing and former client growth and Dave driving new business is so we can be more focused and more targeted in our business development efforts. The work that Matt, Dara, and Tom are driving throughout delivery is directed at improving our quality and customer service. Gabi, Arden, and I are working on improving the employee experience. If we execute against these strategic initiatives, we can restore Tahzoo to the levels of growth we saw in the first five years of the company. As a reminder and if you weren’t with Tahzoo at the time, we were on the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies in America three years in a row, one year we were as high as 85 on that list.
At a minimum, I’d like us to be growing at 40% per year, consistently profitable, and have VOC scores above 3.8 on a weekly basis. To achieve this, we need your help. Every day, each of us makes Tahzoo a little better or a little worse. Did you go the extra mile for a client today or did you sit back and watch someone blow it because it wasn’t your job? NMP, (Not my problem) started out as a joke, but I fear it’s become a cultural artifact of Tahzoo. Although our work is challenging and our clients are challenging, that is not why our growth has slowed, it’s because too many of us have allowed neglect to persist. I take personal responsibility for this issue within Tahzoo, and I will work tirelessly to eradicate it from our company. Let me frame this for you, if you are in the position to see that someone is struggling and might fail to meet a client’s expectation and you choose not to take action to ensure that the client experience is excellent, then you are the problem, not your colleague.
Our Brand promise, “You will like working with us, we will like working with you and together we will do great things” isn’t a slogan, it’s a way of doing business, it’s an expectation that we all need to uphold every day. Like a great restaurant, you don’t earn Michelin stars because you’re occasionally brilliant, you win them because you’re consistently brilliant. Nordstrom built their business on consistently great customer service; we are going to do the same. What I learned working at Nordstrom was that great customer service was not a grand event or a new system, it was a lot of little things – the cumulative impact of an entire organization focusing on the detail of good service. The only difference between Tahzoo and Nordstrom is that we also make the product … That is why I frequently mention that Tahzoo needs to improve the quality our work and our service because they are uniquely interdependent. Keep this in mind as you’re working to make Tahzoo a better company.
We will be measuring our topline numbers in the consulting business more diligently and sharing out our score cards, so that each of you will have the data to make better decisions and improve our business. I will be paying particular attention to the growth with our existing and former clients, it is the easiest place for us to drive growth. How do you know if your clients are happy? They buy more services from you … It’s just that simple. This might be the most important lesson in business I learned from Mr. John Nordstrom.
To sum up our strategy for Tahzoo consulting over the next couple of years, we will improve the quality of our consulting and customer service, while using data to drive better decision making across the company. 40% growth, 3.8 VOC scores, and 2 new Global 1000 clients per quarter, leading us to 25 Global 1000 clients spending $4MM with Tahzoo per year. Time for us to buckle down and make it happen. I don’t know about you, but I am excited about our opportunity and how the market is aligned for Tahzoo to thrive and grow in the coming years.
I had intended this to be a two-part letter, however I think I want the strategy for the consulting business to sink in and be discussed next week. I will outline the strategy and goals for the Software business (Smart & Happy Inc.) and the Content business (Zoodio.io) in subsequent DOBs.
Let’s go be great!