This act of setting aside time from doing actual billable work to sit down and think, strategize, and act on how to further your own ends is for me one of the most exciting and stressful parts of being a small business owner.  It reignites my passion for the business, why I started down this road in the first place: being able to invest myself in something that belongs to me, and follow my own instincts.  It also reignites a few dormant ulcers as the number of billable hours I put in for that particular day/week/month start to dwindle.  But it’s critical that we remember and experience that passion on a regular basis as more and more of our time becomes consumed by working in the business- the part that helps keep those ulcers at bay.

today’s musing: sometimes integrity means saying no

Integrity can be a scary word. It’s more than just common parlance for honesty or truthfulness, it challenges us to be true to ourselves and take a long hard look at how we may have compromised our own professional standards for the sake of advancing the business, rather than improving it.  By working on the business you are keeping your goals, aspirations and ethos in front of you, not just the next job/gig/client.  Sometimes this can mean saying no to a project, business decision, or client that is ultimately going to compromise the way that you’ve chosen to do business. Integrity challenges us to choose who we’re going to be, and stick with it.

what we’ve been up to

These blog posts are a way to keep us accountable, and serve as a reminder to practice what we preach.  So here’s a few things we’ve done lately to help develop our business:

  • Notice the sharp new design?  It’s almost a month old now, but that was a major hurdle (no different than any other launch) that we had to surmount to put our best foot forward.  Our first website design was serving one purpose: to exist.  This is never a good place for a website to be for very long, and ours was certainly long over due.  Our new site incorporates far more bold messaging and spends more real estate talking about who we are, and what our client relationships look like.  It also has a gigantic portfolio broken up by categories and deliverables, that retrospective was a lot of fun, getting a headcount on how much work we’ve done over the years.
  • Live chat– We did some research and decided that a “live chat” button could be beneficial as a way for potential clients to get quick answers, so we set it up and are currently in the process of tracking how effective it is as a sales tool.  However efficient it ends up being in the end, we do enjoy the occasional chat from our visitors, feel free to take it for a spin!
  • More testimonials!  We set up our rotating testimonials on the homepage, because we are so proud of our client relationships and we want everyone to know.  Cultivating those long term relationships is a crucial part of our success!

what have you been up to?

Take a few minutes today and reflect- what have you done this summer to not just advance your business, but also improve it?  Is there an area or task that you’ve been neglecting?  The end of the year is fast approaching, how close are you to meeting your goals?

Published 08/23/11 by Ian Wilson