Happy New Year! 2014 was a very interesting year for me and “Spack Enterprises.” My Dad has been sick for a couple of years, took a turn for the worse this summer and ended up passing away in October. Dealing with that set me back mentally/emotionally this past summer and fall, but I’m coming out of that and am feeling energized for 2015. In spite of my slightly unfocused 2014, business grew by more than 10%.
The biggest lesson I learned in 2014 is that I have an amazing team and I need to lean on them even more.
As a small business owner, my business plan has largely been in my head and I usually operate with a ready, fire, aim approach. We actually have very good systems set up to make sure we always deliver what we promise, but our marketing, sales, and content generation activities could be organized much better.
To that end, we’ve spent a good chunk of this week figuring out the plan for 2015. I’m using the framework of vision -> strategies -> tactics to organize our thinking about what we are going to do in 2015. Then we’ve broken tactics down into marketing, sales, and product delivery activities. Note, these tactics are largely working “on the business, not in the business” activities (nod to Michael Gerber’s amazing book The E-Myth).
Tactics were then prioritized into what we need to get done in a month versus things that can wait. Not everything can be a priority (by definition there is a priority, there are not priorities). Then we broke the tactics up into projects and assigned an owner to each project. This approach is making sure we are working in all of the important, but not necessarily urgent aspects of the business. We’re also dividing up the projects to better balance everyone’s workload, which hopefully leads to us getting more done.
We have a weekly accountability system set up and hopefully this method will allow us to move through projects faster. We’ll have a big review session quarterly to make adjustments and discuss new ideas. (we historically fall into the trap of rehashing/brainstorming more than we need to instead of working on our priority)
This overall approach we’re taking comes out of The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch.
In case you’re wondering, here’s our Vision for “Spack Enterprises”: Significantly improve the practice of traffic engineering and transportation planning.
Expect big things from us in 2015!