Apr 5, 2021 · 6 min read
Three months of 2021 have already passed, and it’s strange thinking that ¼ of the year is gone. 2020 was a year of new shifts, significant changes, and difficult situations, so going into 2021, we were all ready to jump on this new boat and start fresh. But three months passed like a blink of an eye, and it’s already time to plan the second quarter of 2021.
Reviewing Q1 2021
For me, the past three months were challenging in client relationships, team management, and working on our company’s messaging and brand values.
It was difficult not because I had to work so many hours but because I was feeling myself falling short and realizing that I’m not as capable as I expected.
In real honestly, work isn’t what stresses me out. People do. Whether we’re talking about clients, friends, or even our team members, people cause problems in my life.
Seriously though, I went to the point where I came up with strategies on how I could run my business with a minimum number of people I needed to talk to. As an ISTP, it’s not normal for me to juggle so many people with my hands, and last quarter pushed me beyond my comfort area for this.
Despite this, we made some major improvements and changes.
Last quarter, I went through every single word on my application page for our services assessed whether I believed it wasn’t manipulative in any way. Being in the industry for such a long time, I realized I was using words and phrases that were commonly used by others, but I did not stand for.
So we went through every single word and re-wrote the page with our intention in mind. This one change improved our application page conversion rate significantly. While it may not be because of the exact changes we made, it was good to see almost an instant result from the changes.
Clubhouse for Generating Leads?
The past quarter was pretty interesting for Clubhouse. There was definitely a surge of people joining after many big-names hosted rooms and it impacted how the app was being used for sure.
Personally, I hosted a few rooms myself and decided I was only going to use it to host rooms and not listen in. The reason? It’s just hard to find rooms that are good from the beginning to the end and my time was better spent focusing in silence or listening to a podcast or an audiobook.
Planning Q2 2021
We’re going to divide the second quarter into four different sections: Team, Operations, Clients & Personal.
The reason why I put my team at the top is because of two things. First, it’s incredibly difficult at this point to operate my business without my team members. However, we struggled last year and last quarter with contractors coming and going and not having a stable team where we’re all in it together as a group, long-term.
So this makes me think, should we hire more people full-time than part-time contractors?
The problem with hiring full-time is that while we have lots of projects to work on in some months, in other months, we have all client projects pretty much wrapped up. In that case, we would be paying salary for some people without actually having any work for them to do.
Then it goes into the question, such as acquiring more clients, but that would cause more work for other people who already have recurring and consistent work to do each month.
It’s definitely a tough call to make, and this is what we’re set to figure out in Q2.
Last quarter, I made the mistake of creating SOPs in unsustainable forms. Instead of using documents and actually documenting a process (hence standard operating procedures), I used recording Loom videos and video explanations.
Not only did this require me to update processes frequently and almost start from scratch each time, but it was also hard for my team to go through these SOPs and use them.
So this quarter, we’re focusing on translating all those unsustainable SOPs to Google documents where everything is written down step-by-step.
This goes hand-in-hand with operations, but our goal is to create a much better client onboarding and fulfillment experience. To make sure everything is streamlined, we’re dividing SOPs, templates, resources, etc., into three categories.
- Internal client onboarding (items we need to set up for our internal operations for that client)
- Client-facing onboarding (resources we need our clients to complete to get work started)
- Review sign-offs (agreements our clients sign each milestone of the project understanding that they approve all content and no revisions will be taken after)
I specifically added #3 because I noticed a few of our clients changing minds every other day, and it was taking our team extra time to revise what we finished and completed for review.
So we’re setting specific milestones for the project for our clients to agree that after this part, we will not take revisions for what has been done. In cases where revisions must be made, it could be negotiated for extra time and rates.
I’m not going to lie; I haven’t been the best at keeping everything together and organized in my personal life. I’ve noticed myself being less active and literally sitting in front of my laptop all day.
So first, I’m getting myself the LG 34 inch ultrawide monitor. Oh my goodness, it makes me shriek just thinking about it. As someone who designs and develops websites on her own, I’ve been dying to get a monitor that allows me to open two to three windows side by side.
Since I’m building landing and sales pages left and right for our clients, I’m excited to improve my workflow and speed when it comes to pumping out client projects.
Also, I have a treadmill that I got for about $50 years ago, and I want to make a habit of walking and working every day. Since I will be writing more often, hopefully, I can be productive and work on moving more every day.
Wrapping Up + More Stuff
There are a few more items I want to improve this quarter, but I’m trying to stick to those four main departments of my business and life.
However, the one thing I learned last quarter is that ultimately, I am the most valuable asset in my business. My brain, thoughts, and brilliance are truly what make this business roll. As arrogant as it sounds, it’s up to me to move this business forward.
So with that said, I appreciate you for joining me while I map out the second quarter of 2021. Now at this point, if YOU know that you are ready for the next big thing in your business, but you just don’t have the time or energy, I want to invite you to Subscribed.
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Thank you so much for joining in today, and I look forward to our next session!
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We design & develop websites of festival level and bring strategic value to make a change for timeless brands and businesses.
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Meet the Founder & Director of Made at Dawn.
Haeun Park —
As a professionally certified website design & developer, Haeun has worked with brands worldwide to deliver websites that turn ideas into thoughtfully planned-out digital experiences.
Haeun spends most of her time behind her desk, with a 35" monitor she proudly boasts to her family, who doesn't understand why it's crucial to a designer.
A moment of silence for her monitor.
Her life motto is "ignorance is a form of bravery," which motivates her to try new, bold things in life that most people are afraid to do.
Haeun's eye for design, detail in development, and experience in architecting websites enables her to combine creativity and technology to provide an all-encompassing solution that is not just well-designed, but practical and well-planned.