Looking back on 2014, Hobknob has had the ideal amount of growth to enable thoughtful contributions to projects and impact success. With each new project, Hobknob employs the following approaches in evaluating its business.
Understand the customer's needs and execute a strategy to achieve these goals. My biggest measure of success for Hobknob is whether or not client's are seeing positive change towards what they set out to do when we started working together. For example, my first client, Implement Productions, was focused on better SEO in order to get more projects. After a few short months, we were able to improve search rankings. The real proof of success has been a significant increase in inquiries about videography jobs resulting from search engine queries.
Takeaway: Establish the primary goal with clients and be laser focused on achieving that goal.
Ensure alignment between the customer and Hobknob. Does the relationship benefit both parties? It is important to establish a scope of work. In the services business, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing too much outside your area of focus and not being able to say no. Over time 'doing too much' can take your business down a road that is not desired or intended. While it is nice to be needed, it is important for me to steer Hobknob in the direction that inspires me. By establishing some up-front expectations with clients, this can be avoided. For example, part of my business specializes in e-commerce deployments. Once a site is fully implemented and operational it is important to train and hand off the operations pieces. This can be a shock to small business clients who don't realize how much time investment customer service and other operational activities will require. For Hobknob, it is important to continue to focus on the digital strategy and evolve the services we provide.
Takeaway: Honest communication throughout the project is paramount in setting expectations for both parties. The goal is a win-win situation.
How will each project evolve over time to continuously provide added value? Most or all of my clients should be long-term. Once we get the heavy lifting of a massive site re-design done or a social strategy in place, continuous analysis and updates are still needed to support the digital strategy. Without thoughtful planning and execution, even the best laid plans can fall short and become unsuccessful.
Takeaway: Don't lose sight over the long run. Plan for continuous value-add activities and evolve the business.
So far this approach has led to tremendous success for Hobknob and its clients. I hope to continue the trajectory of slow but thoughtful growth in 2015.
P.S. Thanks to all of our wonderful clients, Hobknob was able to donate more than 1% of proceeds to the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter this year. Wishing you a Happy New Year!