2014 IN REVIEW + GOAL PLANNING
Well, 2015 feels good so far. I always look forward to the holidays; not only for the festivities and rich quality time with family, but also for the time to reflect, soul search, evaluate, plan, and strategize. Every year around this time I block out some space to look at a few components. These components really help me and my team think clearly about the direction we want to go, who we want to work with, and the people that we want to become, both personally and professionally. Below are some categories for how I evaluate and plan for the future of our company.
1 // IDENTIFY & CELEBRATE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
First things first. Celebrate the accomplishments. As busy people we can get caught up with the next thing on our to-do list and we don’t stop to celebrate all that we have accomplished. So, my team and I make an intentional effort to celebrate by literally toasting to our accomplishments. Ash, our creative manager puts together our yearly stats and we look at what we’ve spent our time on, what we launched, and what our highlights were. Acknowledging hard work is good for the soul. Below are some things that we celebrated.
IN 2014 WE: designed 2 website theme collections // Coached, designed, and helped 428 businesses through our services and resources // Designed and launched Jasmine star website and the new A Beautiful Mess website // Created an E-course for A Beautiful Mess // Had 3 Go Live workshops in the LA area // Spoke at Yellow Conference and Circles Conference // Planned and hosted Designer VACA conference // Rebranded the business from Sitehouse to Go Live HQ // Designed and launched our first ever Wordpress blog theme collection // Created new resources for the store (mock ups + launch kit) // Added designer (Brooke) to our team // Relaunched our Brand Restyle service // Designed and launched Melissa Jill, Jana Williams, Jaime Delaine, Yasmin Sarai, April Smith, and 6 others through our brand new TKO service // and had our first 3 day online live stream event.
2 // IDENTIFY WEAK POINTS
Next, I spent time evaluating our the weak points; what didn’t work last year, what we need to improve on, and what is no longer worth our time. There are things in the business that we just don’t want to continue doing, and what’s a good thing. We are constantly refining, pruning, honing, and moving forward. As a team, we send around personal evaluation worksheets so we can learn how to be better team members for each other so we can work together to the best of our abilities. One of my absolute favorite parts of this company is the incredible team that I get to work with everyday. Having a fun team that works GREAT together makes work not feel like, well... work. Our team chemistry is AWESOME and something I never want to loose.
Some of our weak points in 2014 included: Time management (not understanding exactly how long specific tasks would take) // Introducing to many new things at one time // Exclusively working with only one website building platform // Holding workshops in only one location (CA // Working late hours and on the weekends // Accepting a few projects that were the wrong type of clientele for our business // Inconsistent marketing strategy // I did not respond promptly to emails on occasions // I gave too many discounts on products and services // and there were several loose ends in our processes, etc. From these weak points we learn, refine, and move forward for 2015.
3 // REASSESSING THE MISSION AND VISION
After reviewing the weak points it’s hard to know what to improve, what to ditch, and what to re-invent… Because let’s be real, we can’t do everything. So, I spent a bit of time regrouping. I re-assess our vision, mission, desires, and goals and list out all the different components that make up our company. Some of the main components include: communication, team, internal systems, external processes, products, services, workshops, Designer VACA, and marketing. Because I’m a big picture person, I like to know all the moving parts so I can prioritize what’s most important to yield the best results in order to accomplish our mission. So, if a particular weak point (if improved) does not align with our mission and vision… we ditch it! And visa versa. For example, our Go Live workshop is all about helping our attendees build, design, and launch their website in two days. And part of the mission for our company as a whole is helping small businesses knock out a knock-out website. So taking the time to revamp the workshop will be “on brand” and TOTALLY worth our time in 2015 because they have the same end goal.
4 // BRAINSTORM PROPOSALS
I love this part. We have the opportunity to tweak and refine a few things in our company workflow for 2015. So, we spent some time focusing our plans and putting together a plan of action for our goals. An example of some of these items included: Taking our workshops on the road (Seattle, Nashville, maybe Hawaii, etc.) // Expanding the platforms we build our websites on to Showit, Wordpress, and Squarespace // Refining our processes // Hiring a 5th designer // Creating more online resources to help creative small business launch their brands and websites // Blog and create helpful content regularly // Livestream another event // Reconfigure our website wording, and a bunch more.
I am completely thankful for the highs and the lows of this past year. I am very grateful and thankful to God for everything I've learned through the good things and the not so good things. I love my amazing design team: Liz, Meg, and Brooke; And I’m oh so thankful for our creative manager Ash, who has been with us for almost 2 years now. I’m excited for what 2015 has in store for everyone.