Happy Anniversary and Thanks! It’s 10% Tuesday!

What the heck is 10% Tuesday?

Before I tell the story, let me first say thanks to those whom this story is about.  I mean this from the very bottom of my heart, sincerely thank you. Your sacrifice in no small part helped build Innovative’s culture, shape our values and cement our resolve to stand together in the face of adversity.

Here are those I honor today with this blog:

Mark Sta., Jesus S., Stephen W., Jason S., Jack M., Ken S., Klent P., Lonnie M., Brad S., Michael D., Jeff R., Britt W., Pepper H., Tim M., Adam R., Tammy G., and Todd M., Michael M.

Adversity? 2008 just sucked! It was tough on businesses and families alike. Innovative’s monthly sales through June of ’08 averaged $785,619. Then the wheels fell off. By the time we got into the first quarter of ‘09, it was apparent we had to make some dramatic moves to keep the boat afloat.

Sales in May ’09 hit a 28 month low of $485,425. That’s a 61% drop from our average month in less than one year. Try paying your bills with that kind of drop in income.

The challenge was the fact that our team was Legendary! Hell, we’d literally walked on fire together! I knew I had to cut payroll. I couldn’t cut people.

I got everyone together in our conference room. We conference called anyone not able to be there physically and I unveiled the plan. We would all take a 10% pay cut. I knew with that single move we could make it through the recession.

Getting the 10% back? That was put in the hands of everyone there. I committed to them that as soon as we put together a three month run that totaled $2.1 million, I’d put the pay rates right back to where they were.

I didn’t sleep much the night before this meeting. It was the single toughest meeting I’ve ever had. Looking those 18 people in the eye, people I really cared for, and telling them I was cutting their pay…that sucked hard.  See video interview about this by Inc. Magazine click here.

The positive feedback I got from the meeting was overwhelming. What an emotionally charged meeting; possibly our most inspirational meeting to date.  I really think just letting everyone know with this plan, we could make it without any layoffs did wonders for everyone’s peace of mind. Our families could sleep a little easier.

On September 29, 2009,( just 7 months later) we shipped $1,728,932 in that month alone. We smashed the $2.1 million quarterly goal. Tuesday September 29, 2009, Tim Mueller hosted our daily Hoopla with the theme, “10% Tuesday.” That was one hyped up, high fivin’ Hoopla! Tim had taped white sheets of paper and post-it notes all over the walls of the office simply stating, “10%.”

Did you know our telemarketing department was born that day? That’s another story.

BTW…We’ve broken our quarterly shipments record each and every quarter since Q3, 2009! Let’s keep that rollin’.

Love you guys! That’s those on the team then and all on the team now.

30/6/12!

-Gene

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