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Branding, Growth

April 1, 2015

Lessons through Growth.

Learning and improvement should be baked into every company’s culture. It should be the heart of any company’s values. It’s important to document your lessons so that you can understand how you’ve transformed, changed habits and know the ugly truth about your company’s shortcomings. It’s the hardest part, but it’s a friendly reminder to your business about how your brand is developing. It’s inspirational to understand and truly know how and why you’ve changed a process, outlook, and even client relationships. Below are a few lessons that you will learn as you grow. Take some notes, because these things are bound to happen. 

Great Projects vs. Great Clients.
A great project easily fits into your core competency. It has a reasonable budget, timeline and creates legit “bragging”, read branding rights, once finish. A great client is patient but deliberate, respects your expertise and process, and knows that they want. Of course, the idea is to have both with every opportunity, but life just doesn’t happen that way, especially in business. It’s important to always know what each opportunity presents before you fully engage. But more importantly, make sure you weigh the compromise of a great project with a bad client versus a bad project and a great client. 

Great Expectations.
Define and then exceed expectations. Always communicate your goals and define what success looks like. Explain the point of every conversation, presentation, service, product, you name it. The more you define, the easier it is to substantiate what success is and/or looks like. 
Try to beat your estimated delivery date or budget. Bring five concepts to the table instead of three. Make your interactions with your customer/client unique each time. You want to create great experiences each time. 

But remember, managing expectations is a two way street. If a client is delivering, how do you firmly deliver on your end? 

Everyone does Sales.
In order for your brand to grow the way you want it to, EVERYONE has to do sales. Not just the CEO, the Sales Team, or the Marketing Team, but everyone! It’s important to understand that while everyone isn’t involved in writing a proposal or doing the actual pitch, but everyone DOES interact with potential customers and REPRESENTS your brand. And each of those interactions and representations is an opportunity that can either reinforce or damage your brands position to the public. 

You are always selling. Your vision should be sold during every step of your company’s presentation. Don’t wait to present your best foot until someone is a client. Do it beforehand, and all the time. You have to make sure they feel they made the right decision every day and every time they interact with you. 

Time & Organization Facilitate Growth.
Things will fall apart. You will always be anxious when launching a new product, service, website design, the list goes on and on. There will always be last-minute feedback, website development issues, unexpected change requests, missing contract documents, a ton of unforeseen issues that throw you off. So, always add a time and budget buffer to handle these issues. 

Organization is life. Cloud-based file management, collaboration, and task management can change your life. Always take notes diligently for every meeting and call. It will create a smart infrastructure into your daily life that will be key to success. 

Remember, quality stems from consistency, and consistency is created from processes. Don’t let this knock your creativity. Only allow streamlining for functional processes, checklists, or deliverables. 

Another set of eyes is always helpful too. You may think your new product/service is beautiful perfection. But just because it met your vision, doesn’t mean it makes complete sense in every form. So the more excited you are, always have a second set of eyes review. 

Trust your Gut.
Experience will help you develop invaluable instincts. Although every instinct doesn’t apply to every client or project. Always stay in tune with them. Especially when it comes to evaluating client or project potential. Always address problems as soon as possible. You don’t want small concerns to turn into huge problems. Make sure you always understand the why’s. It will help validate any instincts you have and ensure you make unbiased decisions.

Grow Slow.
Slow and steady wins the race. You want to play the long-term game when it comes to growth and improvement. Make small gains every day. Make sure your growth plan identifies a goal to tackle each month that build up to your large scale goal(s). It’s easier to define and stick to a few smaller goals, than try to blindly accomplish something you haven’t planned out. 


-give your brand the good life-

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