Yesterday my project manager/assistant Alex and I got together for our annual reflecting and planning retreat for Promise Tangeman Creative. I Love that Alex puts this together for us…. Cause honestly I probably would not. But this has helped me realize how important it is for your sanity and for the business to be reflecting & planning. It really helps to take a step back and look at the big picture of your business. I think so many times we can just ride the wave wherever it takes us….then at the end of day you don’t have a business that you WANT to be a part of… and instead of you running your business…. It RUNS YOU! This process really helps us stay on top of things and thinking clearly about the direction of where we want to go, who we want to work with, and the people that we want to become both personally and professionally.
1// IDENTIFY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
One of the first things we tackled was identifying all the accomplishments from this past year. We looked at what we spent our time on, how we did it, and even what some of our favorite highlights were. During this past year we Designed 16 custom projects, Art Directed & collaborated with 6 graphic designers, had 686 graphic design inquiries, developed an e-course, launched a graphic design reel, spoke at 4 conferences, had surgery to remove half of my thyroid, was a speaker on an 18 city / 6 week speaking tour around the country, Launched 2 collections of Site House website designs, went to contract with a developer to customize our SiteHouse Showit Websites, designed our first ever 160 page magazine, finished & launched our first big celebrity client (blog post coming soon), and took a week vacation to Hawaii.
2// IDENTIFY WEAK POINTS & SELF EVALUATION
The next thing we did was identify what our weak points were… what we could improve on, and what didn’t work last year. Alex made a worksheet for all of us to fill out…. Including our graphic design assistant, Liz. This worksheet asked questions about what we could do better, how our communication was, and what we all liked and didn’t like about this year. And honestly we had several BIG things that did not work this year. So… we will not be doing them next year. hahaa. This could have been a point of discouragement… but, its all in the way you look at it. and we are just glad that it’s behind us and we are moving forward. An example of some of our weak points included: Taking on WAY to many projects, accepting and going to contract on a few projects that were the wrong type of clientele for our business, Promise did not respond promptly to emails on occasions (needs improvement). … oh come on… i have a bit of hermit artist in me. Cut me some slack. jk. haha.
3// EVALUATE ALL MAJOR COMPONENTS OF THE BUSINESS
Alex put together a several page document calling out all of our major components of the business, total stats from this past year, questions for the future, and items to eliminate or improve. These major components consisted of: Communication, SiteHouse, Custom Graphic Design, Promise Tangeman Blog, Social Media, Money, Short term Goals (within this year), and Long term Goals (1-3 years). We reviewed the stats, evaluated each item, and decided how to move it all forward.
4 // BRAINSTORM PROPOSALS
We have the opportunity to tweak a few things in our business workflow for next year. So, we spent some time focusing our plans and putting together a plan of action for our goals that we decided upon. An example of some of these items included: identifying and refining our ideal client, revamping the e-course, revamping our portfolio website, launching a workshop, trying some new ideas with SiteHouse, getting more organized, developing and refining all of our processes, and getting back to blogging regularly.
WOW. I can now look back and I am completely thankful for the highs and the lows of this past year. I am very grateful for all that I have. We have worked extremely hard…. like harder than i have ever worked. And i am thankful to God for all that he has shown me and taught me.
And I am EXTREMELY thankful to Alex for working with me for almost 2 years now. I am overwhelmed and blessed. AND I am very thankful for our graphic design assistant, Liz, that is not only very talented but also shares a kindred spirit with us and is OH SO prompt and down to business. She is a girl we can count on. #THANKFUL