Ya know – I can’t help but think about the good ol days. I remember that nice house on the golf course with a pool, and a nice view. That’s where I launched GearSource 5 years ago. My desk was in a room where I could see past the pool to the 6th fairway of the course. Great view, and a very relaxed vibe. I’d sit out by the pool for brainstorming sessions with myself (I know, sounds odd – but how often do you really get to clear your mind for creative thinking). It was an interesting time for me. I had just parted ways (not so friendly like) with Coemar, with whom I was a part owner. I was very much into Coemar’s people and philosophy at the time, but all that changed with the influx of Euro investor cash, and a bunch of people who thought they knew everything along with it. Suddenly, it wasn’t my perfect little life. Anyway, I digress…Back in the early days of GearSource, I was a staff of 1. The site was “designed” by a lighting friend of mine who was branching out into web design and hosting (that didn’t last!!). It was actually quite horrible, but the concept was good and the effort on my part to make it work was huge. It was a lot of fun in those days. I was learning the internet, and pioneering a new genre of “Brokers” in our industry. Sure, other people had already bought and sold gear, but not the way we did, and certainly not at the level we’ve taken it.Anyway, over the years, I’ve always made the decision to continue Investing in the business. We spend over $200,000 in custom website technology, and easily have a better business model than anyone else who does what we do. That means very little to most people, but to me – it was paramount. We could not grow to the levels I saw this going without a very sound biz model, and very complex infrastructure. We’ve never cut corners. This infrastructure now includes a staff of 9 people in the US, and 3 in Europe. Very soon we will open our Asian office in Hong Kong, and next – who knows. Again, we could be doing this with a staff of 2 – me, plus an accounting person – but would that be any fun? Would we be able to REALLY take care of our growing client and vendor base? Certainly not. Our vendors, including PRG, Christie Digital, and Martin are getting larger by the moment. We need to grow with them!Now, we’re taking a couple more leaps. First, as I mentioned, we’re soon to announce a new office in Hong Kong. Stay tuned on that one. Secondly, we’ve added another new salesperson. Shaun Robinson comes to us from Guitar Center / GC Pro where he saw huge success selling to clubs, pro studios, etc. Great guy who will certainly succeed in our system. The next piece of the puzzle for us comes in a much more boring package. We’ve taken the plunge into a very highend Back Office system. This is a serious piece of web based software that will handle all of our Accounting, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Scheduling, contact management, marketing management, sales management, and more. It’s the next logical step for us as we “grow up” in this industry, and spread our wings into more and more markets. I know that software sounds terribly boring. If you’ve outgrown your accounting software, it isn’t boring. It’s potentially catastrophic. We’ve not only outgrown our accounting system, we’ve creating a whole new business model that was screaming for a software company to come along with a complete solution. Why am I telling you this? Because the result will most definitely provide our users with better service, better support, better tracking, etc, etc.Of course, we owe all of this success, and our ability to continue growing to all of our dedicated Vendors, and our clients. Without all of the support from this industry, we’d obviously be nowhere. Thanks!