2017 Year in Review and Looking ahead to 2018
2017 a Year in Review
For the last four years, it’s been a tradition of Startup Production to look back at the end of the year to see what was accomplished, take stock of what’s working, what’s profitable and which services provide the greatest return for our brand and our clients. As the Holiday season is usually slow for B2B Companies, the last few weeks of the year is a great time to slow down, reflect and analyze data.
I actually look forward to this slow time to recharge, reboot and remind myself why I became an entrepreneur and started my business. The last few years, I’ve needed this time to rest after a long, busy and somewhat hectic year, and 2017 was no different. This year, Startup Production was busier than ever with a 14% increase over 2016, as we:
- worked with 73 small to medium-sized businesses,
- published 17 new websites, maintaining & updating 30+ others, and currently are working on nearly a dozen other websites that are soon to be up,
- created close to a dozen new logos and revised several others (with the help of my graphic designer Tony),
- wrote dozens of blog posts and published hundreds of posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Google+ (with the help of my social media team),
- sent out dozens of email marketing campaigns for clients,
- provided internet marketing services for 19 companies with marketing proposals, analytics, training and on-going content management.
Again, I was invited to present Internet Marketing Strategy workshops and presentations to local community economic development organizations, including the following:
- Presented @330 Series: “Its Not You, It’s Your Website – Building an Effective Web Presence” on March 14, 2017 (Lexington KY) for Commerce Lexington
- Presented at the 2017 Business Resource Exchange on “Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies” hosted by hosted by Berea Economic Development and MACED on August 24, 2017 (Berea, KY) for Berea EDC
- Presented at the Kaufman FastTrac New Ventures class on “Promoting your Brand on Social Media” hosted by Berea Economic Development and MACED on April 10, 2017 (Berea, KY) for Berea EDC
- Presenting at MACED’s Kaufman FastTrac class, “Effective Internet Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses” on October 12, 2017 (webinar) for MACED
- Presented “Social Media & Content Marketing for Realtors” on August 8, 2017 at Realty World Adams & Associates (Richmond KY)
- Presented “Social Media Marketing Strategies” on October 11, 2017 at Benchmark Mortgage (Richmond KY)
- Presented “Internet Marketing 101” on July 5, 2017 as member guest speaker (Richmond KY) for MBX Networking
- Presented “Content Marketing Basics” on March 29, 2017 as member guest speaker (Richmond KY) for MBX Networking
Balance is Attainable
As many women in the workforce, the work/life balance is a constant elusive and often unattainable dream. Sometimes life has to come first and sometimes work (or your business) does, there isn’t much of a balance but a constant bartering, juggling and vacillating between the two. As a homeschooling mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend, I have vital priorities that have nothing to do with my business and finding the time for these become harder each year and take greater sacrifice. As a business owner, a board member on various non-profits, a corporate sponsor for various non-profits and member of several local networking groups, I have great passion for small business development in our community and an entrepreneurial passion to see my own brand grow stronger each year. How do I accomplish all of this?
- Balance. A balance that is constantly evolving, being tweaked, modified and rewritten.
- Endurance. Physical and mental endurance that is derived from healthy eating habits, regular exercise, mindful meditation, spiritual activities, and at least eight hours of sleep per night.
- Attitude. An determination to keep a positive attitude despite the trials, that needs to focus sharply on the blessings and turn off the negative dialogue (whether internally or externally).
- Support. Supportive counsel, advice and helpful words at the right time from my husband, my son, family and friends. I also derive much encouragement and inspiration from the networking groups I’ve carefully chosen to remain a part of, my clients, fellow business owners and community leaders.
Saying No is Not a Failure
I am encouraged and somewhat proud to see the growth of my business over the past few years, but have also seen the need to control the workflow so I can provide my clients the best quality, affordable and most beneficial products and services to promote their brands and grow their businesses. With that decision, I have grown a carefully selected and reputable database of professionals that I can confidently refer overflow leads to. Although, I still accept the majority of the business that comes my way, it is a comfort to know that if my project queue is full, I have skilled resources to redirect new leads to. This decision alone has not only provided much needed relief and more free time for my life priorities, it has sharpened my focus and allowed me to provide higher quality service and attention to my existing clients. When you are less stressed, have more time to rest, you are more creative, have more energy with a positive outlook … all of these are vital to my field.
I do look back with great memories, lots of laughs and great partnerships as I served on the board of Downtown Richmond Association for the last five years, as well as co-chairing the Jammin on Main event (formerly Family, Fun & Fitness). Although, the DRA will not be active in 2018, we all remain extremely supportive and involved in the progress and growth of Downtown Richmond. Every year, its a good idea to reexamine your company’s affiliations, partnerships, sponsorships and memberships to ensure your continued support of their direction, agenda and board continuity. I look forward to continuing my support as board member or sponsor on several local community and business development non-profit organizations.
Looking Ahead to 2018
Each year I set new goals, wishlists, plans and hopes, but I’ve learned each year brings it’s own set of trials, obstacles, joys and unavoidable changes so nothing can be written in stone. In life, I will try to focus on each day’s little joys and blessings, as one day we’ll realize they were the big things. Overall, I plan to simplify, simplify, simplify and find sources of peace, serenity and clarity. I want to give my best to all areas of my life which includes setting limits on my time, focus and attention. I have been blessed to been able to follow my dreams and passions, but I hope to improve my footwork on Life’s Greatest Balancing Act – the work/life balance.
In business, I will continue to focus on quality over quantity, providing services that bring the greatest return to my clients, continue learning and expanding my knowledge base, and working to build strong partnerships that enhance my brand. I will continue to provide honest feedback to my clients, services that they are not locked into or made to be dependent on, training that offers business owners freedom and control over their content and internet marketing, and education to demystify SEO and SEM so they not only understand my process but they can manage their long-term marketing goals, and on-going support and maintenance when and if needed. “I am not a very good salesman, which is why I have been so successful in business.” I will never sell a client something they don’t need, I often look for shortcuts and workarounds to save them money and I never shackle them by holding their domain name, hosting or company hostage with long-term contracts.
If your goals for 2018 include (1) building an impressive and memorable web presence; (2) setting and expanding your internet marketing strategy; (3) learning how to take control of your content management on your blog, social media and email marketing; (3) increasing visits and engagement on your website; (4) and converting those visitors to leads and customers; don’t hesitate to contact Startup Production for honest, affordable and gimmick-free services!