I'm very happy to announce that October 10th was Forward View's first birthday! So much has changed in the past 365 days, but I honestly can't imagine a more successful year. This is the only company I've ever owned, and I didn't know if Forward View would survive to celebrate this special day. Not only is the firm still open, "I" has become "we." When I created the business, I did every job myself. I was CEO, CFO, CTO and CJO (Chief Janitorial Officer) in addition to completing every consulting project without assistance. Then, I was blessed with opportunities to add team members who have talents that I do not possess!
Kerri Costello came aboard first, and she brought impressive digital design skills to the business. I cannot even draw stick people, but Kerri's logos and graphics have added beauty and class to our website development projects. (Kerri also drew our firm's logo! It's so awesome that the CFO of a multi-billion dollar company once wrote just to say that the Forward View logo was perfect! He never commented on my 20 page analysis of his corporation, though) A couple of months after Kerri joined me, Forward View lost a large consulting job following my serious efforts to win it. Missing that work (and the large fee) made me realize that we should have a copywriter. Jamie Brown's ability to find the right word every time made her the perfect fit for our copywriting and content strategy needs. Forward View has never lost a project since she began working with us. Coincidence? I think not. Jamie also crafted our own marketing materials, and they generate a great first impression for Forward View.
During the summer, I realized that relying solely on my own investment research skills wasn't smart. I needed analytical support and assistance. Thus, I contacted David Wilson, a good friend from my Southern New Hampshire University B.S. program. David was finishing his M.B.A. and wanted to get financial research experience. It was perfect timing. Collaborating with David on Forward View projects is easy and fun because we worked together in our SNHU classes so frequently. He fits in with the business perfectly and just visited the headquarters of Westmoreland Coal, a company whose stock we cover. David's meeting with the CFO generated great insights for our research clientele. Talk about a success!
This fall, we rounded out the Forward View team by adding Grace Wu and, most recently, Chelsea Hippler. Grace provides wonderful website development and graphic design skills to our rapidly growing number of digital projects. She also has a degree in Business Finance, so you might say that Grace is Forward View personified! We love mixing finance with technology here, and that's an accurate summary of Grace's abilities. She's also a wonderful friend from my SNHU classes. Chelsea, meanwhile, was suggested by Jamie when we needed additional copywriting and editing support. I can't imagine finding anyone better to dive right into helping our clients! There was no training period necessary for Chelsea. I look forward to working with her as long as she's interested!
I thought writing about the Forward View team would best illustrate our first year's growth. I must also say something about our wonderful clients. Without them, there would be no Forward View Consulting! To date, we've had fifteen website development, logo design and digital marketing clients along with hundreds of investment research clients/readers. Forward View equity analyses are read across Wall Street and around the globe. (South Korea's central bank even requested access to our reports.) If you have investments with any of the world's largest financial firms or banks, they've almost certainly read our research.
A sample of the coolest projects we've completed are:
- Developing a custom online ordering system for my county's hottest new restaurant.
- Providing the first websites and logos for two wonderful churches.
- Creating an online membership database for the Dickenson County Chamber of Commerce.
- Valuing equities for a professional trader.
- Providing an on-demand industrial company earnings analysis to another research firm.
- Visiting a Joy Global machinery rebuild shop to prepare a unique analytical report.
Last but not least, let me acknowledge our wonderful business partners, Bigcommerce, StockViews and Thinknum (more about this last partnership soon). Without their support, our business wouldn't be where it is today. Forward View's potential is limitless due to our collaborations with these other companies. We all share a desire to focus on small and medium businesses as well as those underserved by the big players in our respective industries. I look forward to years of shared success!
I don't know why I've been so blessed this past year. I thank God every day for this opportunity to do what I love and to work with so many wonderful people. The best part of this business, though, is that we're just now beginning to get serious traction. There's so much more we can do over the next 12 months, and I couldn't be more excited. Our best days are still ahead. That's the Forward View!
A very blessed,