Mark Dirks

Happy #15 to Beacon + A Look Back at 2012

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

On January 6th 2013, Beacon will celebrate its 15th birthday.  It’s hard to fathom that fifteen years ago, today, “Beacon Technologies” didn’t exist yet.  It was still just an idea – a plan to form a web development company.  What?  Hasn’t Beacon been around forever???  These milestone birthdays are a great time to reflect on the past.  It’s a long story of twists and turns, ups and downs… but ultimately, being around 15 years requires some level of success.  Rather than look back all the way to the beginning, I believe 2012 was a representative year – a year that brought everything together.

But before diving into 2012, I can officially say that the MAJORITY of my career has been at Beacon now.  Hard to believe that I’ve been here more than my time at RJ Reynolds and AT&T… combined!  I still love the work, the business, the technology.  It’s challenging.  We have really good, talented people.  This team of people that we call “Beacon” really cares about making a difference for our customers.  It’s not about the “cool” factor or the “pretty pictures” of the early internet days.  It’s about business.  It’s about driving sales and streamlining processes with technology.  That’s what we do.

Each year I ask our employees to take part of a day to reflect on the previous year, particularly their individual and team successes.  We all get so caught up in “today’s” activities and forget to look back at all the things we’ve accomplished.  Everyone works so hard – you need to take a moment to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!  It’s important to look back at what you’ve achieved, to remember that difficult web project that was launched for the world to see… that project that is now fully operational and producing results for your customer.  It’s motivating to know and see that your work has value and directly impacts the business of your customers.  For me, that’s all you can ask from your job, your work, your career.

As a business owner, I’m always thinking (ok, worrying) about today and the future.  If you are a business owner, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  But, over the holidays, I took some time to look back at 2012.  Wow!  We accomplished a lot.

  • New Business:  We extended our reach to now serve clients in 40 different states across the U.S., signing over 60 new clients, including companies like Hanes Brands, Honey-Baked Hams, Harvard, Syracuse University, Boston College, Total Wine & More, Renew Life and Shelba Johnson Trucking.  We now have over 30 universities and colleges as clients.
  • Existing Business:  We continued significant support responsibility for clients such as Bassett Furniture, The Princeton Review, Business Supply, Burton & Burton and Cone Health Systems as well as many, many other existing clients.
  • Web Hosting:  We now host/manage over 300 domains (ourselves…no outsourcing!) via shared, dedicated and cloud-based services.  This includes backup/recovery, email management, spam filtering, monitoring, regular maintenance upgrades, 24 hour support, database management and much more than the typical domain management farms.
  • Marketing:  We expanded our marketing strategy (and budget) to more of a national approach, attending trade shows & events in Oregon, Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, California and multiple venues in North Carolina.
  • Partnerships:  We established firm partnerships with nationally known leaders in analytics, email software, site search software and product recommendation software.  We concluded our sixth year of partnership with Google as one of their longest standing Google Analytics Certified Consultants and attended the invitation-only GA Summit in Mt. View along with 500 GACPs from 46 countries.
  • Community:  We increased our collective contribution to the Greensboro United Way, fed a family for 2 weeks during the summer and provided Christmas gifts to a local family of 5.
  • What else?  We hired eight new employees, had our highest revenue year since 2003, increased Beacon’s corporate 401(k) match for employees and produced over 200 blog posts, freely sharing Beacon’s ideas, news, expertise and knowledge worldwide.


The bar was raised pretty high in 2012, but we have many new, exciting things already planned for 2013!

Happy New Year!