February 2018 recap

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Episode 103: The Recap: February 2018

We pulled back the curtains, and we’re still alive, so we’re going there again — behind-the-scenes of our day-to-day and into what exactly we’re doing at Scoop Studios and Small Business Boss. In this episode, we’re recapping February and sharing some of our insights and ahas from the past month.

You know what’s funny? We were both terrified to pull back the proverbial curtain in our last recap episode, but you all LOVED IT. If you missed it, you can take a listen to episode 98 for all the inside scoop for January. We love sharing all this with you (despite our initial fear) as it allows us to talk about what really goes into running a successful business in a given month.

February was an interesting month at SBB. In the short month, a lot happened, but we think the biggest lesson is what we learned about the power and strength of having solid foundations in your business.

So, our overarching goals for February were pretty similar to January — a continued focus on proactive leads, Small Business Boss rebranding, and staying visible. When we plan our 12 week years, we often have the same overarching goals for 2-3+ months, depending on the type of goal.

Proactive Lead Gen

  • Not as much “hustle” here, but our inbound leads were up which is a direct result of the previous months’ focus on getting out there.
  • We landed four new client engagements this month which is down from January, but most of these were higher engagements overall, and even better yet, they were all very ‘ideal’ type clients.

Small Business Boss Rebranding

  • One of the most fun things was that we were able to start seeing this come to life in February. We finalized our colors and overall mood, and by the end of the month, we were headed off to the website design phase.
  • We cannot wait to share it with you, but if you want a little sneak peek at the vibe, check out our latest Youtube and Instagram!

Staying Visible

  • Maggie: We’re building out our YouTube platform. We know this goes against a lot of what we say for using OPPs, but this is specifically for the SBB audience, not the agency.
  • Brit: At the end of the month, I had the Design Bloggers Conference in Beverly Hills. The talk on email marketing was very well received, and I actually really loved the event, the vibe, and the people. If you’re a designer, I highly recommend checking out their event for next year, which will be in Atlanta.

Other Items

  • Hiring is hard, especially for part-time assistant/administrative type positions. We tried bringing on someone to take some things off our plates, and it didn’t work out. We ended up finding someone, but it took a good handful of interviews, missed deadlines, and time we’ll never get back.
  • Brit: I was on a plane twice this short month — once for the DBC and another for a client meeting. We don’t often find ourselves flying to meet clients in person, and so this was a nice change of pace. I was asked to help a client in a meeting in NYC where she was pitching her group program to a large organization. The meeting went well, and it was a wonderful opportunity to meet this client in person and connect even further. It was another reminder that a) it’s good to get out from behind your computer and b) meeting long-time loyal clients face-to-face feels really really good, and it solidifies an already strong connection in a way you really can’t do digitally.

So, while all of these updates are what actually happened in February for the business, one thing we want to talk about is how much gratitude we realized for our foundations this month. It was a rocky month on the personal side of things…

  • Maggie: As many of you know, my father passed away in February after a brief illness, so to say my plan for the month was derailed would be an understatement. And this is where having my sister Sara work with us full-time makes things interesting.
  • While it was a challenge, and we’re still dealing with the aftermath of it, I think that the work I’ve done internally — on my mindset as a business owner — has been incredibly helpful. In life, bad things happen. This was sad and hard, but the show must go on.
  • Quite frankly, what I learned from this is that I have a choice — and for me, this is an opportunity and reminder for me to focus on the important stuff, and do what it takes in this business to get to a point where when things happen (as they always will), that it’s not a disaster.
  • I’m proud of how we handled this as a team. Everything stayed on track, clients were amazing, and I’m really grateful for all of it.
  • We even said to each other more than once that if this had happened a year ago, it’d have been a very different situation. We wouldn’t have gone out of business or ceased to exist, by any means, but from a mental strength standpoint, especially, we’re both in a much better place this year than last.

Some of the things we were grateful for:

  • Our strong base of clients allowed us to take the gas off of active lead gen this month and still land new clients.
  • Having a healthy buffer.
  • We say this a lot, but having each of our own personal finances handled made a really big difference in our reactions and stress levels. Had we not had this part taken care of, it would’ve made an already stressful time even more stressful.
  • Our team. Yes, hiring is hard, but for a long-term sustainable business, someone who is billable and/or can jump in and at least “play” you when you’re away — vacation, family emergency, etc. — is a huge part of what we both consider a strong foundation.

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Maggie Patterson Abou the Author

I’m Maggie Patterson (she/her), and services businesses are my business.

I have 20+ years of experience with client services, am a consultant for agency owners, creatives, and consultants, and vocal advocate for humane business practices rooted in empathy, respect, and trust.

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