Asking people to take 365 days and summarize them into one word is no easy feat. There was a lot that happened in the industry this year, and depending on where you sit or stand, synthesizing a year’s worth of ups and downs into one word is a lot harder than it looks. Which is why I don’t do it and I ask others to do it instead. AccountsRecovery.net reached out to a number of industry professionals and asked them for the word they would use to describe 2022. Here is what they said:
Tim Collins, InDebted
My word for 2022 is WOW! Wisdom comes from experience, and 2022 was full of them as we transitioned out of the pandemic and had to adjust to all the changes it sparked, hiring challenges, technology adoption, and economic uncertainty, to name a few. Opportunity is most present in times of uncertainty, and forward-thinking companies are seizing this time to fundamentally change how they do business. Welcome to 2023, a year we all hope will be better than the last.
Jack Gordon, WebRecon
Here’s a good word for 2022: Anxious.
- Reg F launched a year ago and its external impact has been minimal. So far, but not likely indefinitely.
- Hunstein rocked the industry in 2021 and was all-but-resolved in 2022. But anyone with an appreciation for the environment we exist in knows that the next big thing can hit at any moment and cause a new year of chaos in our industry.
- The march toward consolidation continues on, meaning smaller agencies are going up against bigger, better funded competitors more than ever before.
- More companies are investing in new technologies that reduce labor and communication costs, making it even more challenging for smaller, legacy agencies to keep up.
- The various windfalls of the pandemic era have mostly dried up, reducing resources that many companies were able to use to cover up aging business models.
These are all valid reasons for anxiety. The agencies that are complacent may very well be swept away as the agencies that adapt grow and dominate.
Anxiety isn’t inherently a bad thing though. The good news is that harnessing those anxieties to address these challenges head-on will ensure that your agency has the opportunity to be one of those that thrives into the future!
Jake Corlyon, CCMR3
The one word I would use to define 2022 would be Growth. Throughout 2022 we continued to see growth in our people, clients, technology, recoveries, and our family of companies. We acquired 4 additional companies this year, and we are so fired up to continue that acquisition momentum into 2023. Not only did we gain amazing clients in that process, but more importantly, we gained amazing people and for that, I am truly grateful. Our people are the driving force for our companies and they are the ones who will help us continue to grow and thrive in 2023.
Mike Frost, Frost Echols
Pivot. Many businesses enter each new year with anticipated modification in market conditions or other elements of the business that will require change to some aspects of its core product or services. Businesses might “pivot” to better meet customer demand, to shift their target audience, to boost sales, or some combination of these goals.
My business was thriving in 2021 with unprecedented growth. Unexpectedly, in June of 2021, my business partner (Robbie Malone) passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Prior to her illness, we were having great success as a business and having fun. Our individual talents complimented each other. After her passing, I found myself focusing my time and attention in areas of the business that I am not passionate about and not having much fun.
A business pivot is a structured course correction designed around product or service enhancements, strategic modifications, and growth objectives. It is also about aligning skill sets and passion for the business to areas of responsibility within the business for each person – or as Jim Collins said in the book Good to Great, “Those who build great organizations make sure they have the right people on the bus and the right people in the key seats before they figure out where to drive the bus.”
In October 2022, I joined industry veteran Chad Echols in developing Frost Echols, a boutique law firm that is committed to the nationwide protection of creditors and the collection industry. Once again, I have been blessed with a business partner where our individual talents complement each other. I am again able to focus on the things that I enjoy and where my skills are best utilized. We’ve taken the time to meet as an entire team and evaluate our individual talents, passion and where we have the most fun (collectively and individually). The bus is loaded, the bus driver has the directions, we each have our seats, and are excited about 2023!
For me, 2022 was a year of introspection, self-awareness, strategic planning and execution of a business pivot.
Kelly Parsons-O’Brien, Pacific Credit Services
The word that comes to mind first is unrelenting. As the Legislative Co-Chair for the California Association of Collectors, the legislative season was unrelenting, with constant challenges from lawmakers and groups in opposition to our industry. Our supporters in Sacramento and in the industry were also unrelenting in their support. The determination of our legislative team and our industry constantly leaves me in awe. I think we can expect that 2023 will continue its legislative challenges and if you are not already supporting the state(s) you collect in, you should start now. 2023 is the time to get involved!
Brandy Rouselle, Capital Recovery
I would say 2022 brought us a season of adaptation and innovation. The dust was still settling from 2020/2021 and the year started with a greater sense of uncertainty due to the unknowns of Reg F and its aftermath. As my favorite “Friend” said, an immediate “PIVOT” was necessary for our daily operations. We looked at machine learning, AI, and a more robust database that could handle the compliance and logistics of Reg F. We also had to change focus on how to approach the hot topic of credit reporting and how that impacted our medical clients. The greatest impact for us this year was creating a Virtual Agent that impacted the customer experience with the least amount of frustration and the highest impact on our bottom line. 2023 will be a continuation of that tweaking that process.
David Williams, Williams & Fudge
Perseverance. The ARM industry is essential in ensuring the credit market in this country works. Without our credit-based economy, what would this country and this world look like? We have been dealt many challenges and have to work through them with grit and determination. Perseverance has been and will continue to be key as we navigate our challenges and prepare for significant opportunity in the very near future.