This year was definitely one for the record books in so many ways and I am really grateful to be on the other side of 2020. As a luxury small business owner there was plenty of uncertainty, but I feel like we not only survived, but thrived and learned a ton that will benefit our business beyond what I could have imagined. Here is what is on my mind as we close out this crazy year...
I think we all know this on some level, but 2020 really brought it to the forefront: You can plan all you want but you have to be ready for a curveball and have plan B ready to go.
Hiring smartly and intentionally is always worth the effort. To do this, be sure you know exactly what role you need to fill and find the person to fill that role, not just to add a body to your team. We added a new lead designer this fall and it was a game changer for our business and projects. I will never again feel the rush to have extra hands, but instead really think about what we are lacking and how that person will fill that void. To take it a step further, I have already outlined my "ideal" team for the next five years, so when I feel we are struggling and needing help I can use this list to help me navigate which role to hire next.
I learned that by saying 'no' to things that aren't a good fit for my business I am also saying 'yes' to the right possibilities. Because we practiced this more than ever in 2020, almost every one of the 21 projects we did this year were either ideal clients or ideal projects for our company.
The most exciting thing that 2020 brought was the knowledge that we can do full-service design virtually. This is HUGE for us because it allows us to reach outside of Southern California. In the beginning of the year, we were working with our first out-of-state client and the Covid-19 pandemic hit right in the middle of the design process. We had to quickly pivot and put processes into place that we had never used (or even needed!) before. We designed, procured, and installed this project almost entirely virtually and were able to give our clients the same beautiful outcome as if it had been business as usual. Not long after, we booked our second out-of-state client and I feel confident we can handle a full-service project anywhere in the US. ICYMI: Working with Long-Distance Clients
My most personal growth lesson was learning it's okay if things don't go the way you planned. We intended to open up our Studio right after we moved into it in March, but were unable to open to the public at that time. Now, I am so glad we had an entire year to make the Studio what we really wanted it to be and put lots of systems and processes in place to make sure everything runs smoothly. And, we did it all at our own pace.
I am learning to slow down and focus, like REALLY focus on making what we are good at, what we are GREAT at. That means taking a deeper dive into our systems, processes, revenue streams, client experiences, courses, etc. I am pausing on the bigger "on to the next" dreams to relish in the place I am in right now. Sometimes, taking the time to reflect on what you have is even more important than dreaming of what's to come.
Just for fun, here's What We Learned in 2019.