2020 in review: looking back & forward

TL;DR? watch this video!

Q: How do you look back on a year everyone wants to forget?

A: By focusing on the good parts.

2020 offered many Cheqroom highlights. Our customer base proved resilient in trying times, and our new clientele enthusiastic. We all put our best foot forward to help them out as well as we could.

Our product improved and our team leveled up, unlocking new achievements. Meanwhile, smart hires boosted leadership, and we stood tall under stress.

COVID-19 was scary for everyone. But we weathered the storm, and are poised to smash 2021.

How it started vs How it’s going

January 2020 was solid. The growth curve continued, with new customers coming in at a predictable rate.

Then COVID-19 hit. In March, interest slowed down considerably in the US. It took us 3 months to recoup, but we still grew. By June, the uptick was there and we’ve performed strongly ever since.

Our team deserves praise for that. We kept looking for growth, continuously figuring out what to prioritize. Everything we did in 2020 was more deliberate: what, how and when do we do it? Hiring experienced leaders was part of that zoned-in strategy. 

Features that mattered

We hope we helped our customers to work safely throughout this rocky year. 

Some examples? Improving internal communications between equipment users with our push notifications and SMS messages. Or updating our Flagging feature to point out equipment that has to be disinfected or quarantined to prevent chance infections. Or our Busiest Times report, that lets equipment managers anticipate busy moments and spread out the planning.

A wonderful use case is Lipscomb university: automated SMS notifications with shelf numbers guarantee safe equipment handling for 157 art students. 

Running an equipment room from home is a tall order, yet plenty of our customers did so successfully. That’s because Cheqroom offers predictability and ways to collaborate with teams. When you need to keep track of everything, we rise to the occasion.

Things to be proud of

How our team coped working at home full-time was eye-opening. A lot of people stepped up. To just keep going at that kind of pace in uncertain times is a remarkable achievement. 

Everyone in Cheqroom leveled up last year. Training budgets gave people cool opportunities to elevate their skills, which means the whole team now feels ready to try new things. Cue exciting music!

And lest I forget: we displayed our core values throughout all of 2020, and kept a great company culture. We really took that to heart last year.

By the way: no mentions of new features here. We love our 2020 product output, we do! But we’re more proud of what it unlocked: a built-to-last team and thankful customers.

The new plans in review

If it doesn’t fit, change it. So, for the first time in 7 years, we changed Cheqroom’s pricing plan in June 2020. To be more in line with individual customer profiles and the value we currently offer. We also made it easier to “land and expand”: companies want to see some value fast, then go on to invest more. Cheqroom now simply scales with them. 

A new home, soon

Speaking of scaling, our new office will make a huge difference (well, twice as big…). It feels like home, perhaps for the first time. Painted in our brand colors, the space has something conversational to it.

We already use it now and then to collaborate on projects. Depending on government guidelines, we’ll really start working there the second half of the quarter. 

Cheqroom Office in Ghent

After working from home for a full year, you appreciate a great office more. Filled with vibrant energy and vibrant colleagues, little sparks of joy just flying around…

(Sorry for the syrup. This time of year, I get sappy.)

New Year’s Resolutions

This year we’ll be doing things a bit differently: bigger teams, more resources and specialized focus. The leadership team adds some necessary muscle to get more value in the hands of customers, faster.

Internally, we plan on giving back through more coaching and better team compositions. Great people deserve great leadership.

Together we’ll take a strategic approach, with sharper decisions and a clear scope: let makers make.

Once we get through the next half year, we expect smoother sailing. That will make it easier to invest in the US. We’d like to have at least a small team there, with better timezone coverage, closeness to customers and presence at events. Boots on the ground, if you will.

Me personally, I am very much looking forward to visiting customers again. I missed that human interaction, but then again, everyone did. Here’s to a more healthy and open world.

Creating happier employees

We run a business that creates happier employees who can focus on creation instead of chores. We want them to look at Cheqroom and know ‘business is taken care of’.

So cheers for our entire customer base. Thanks for sticking by us or even going on an adventure with us, when life sometimes seemed impossible. Many among you are truly visionary in finding ways to manage work. We love being your partner for that.