If you told me that I’d be fortunate enough to have found an amazing colleague, scaled the business and be surrounded by talented people every day – I’d have thought there was nothing more I could ask leading into a new year.

Equally, if you’d told me I’d be working most weekends, constantly challenged by putting in place the right systems and processes, having been through two failed recruitment processes and eaten A LOT of humble pie – I’d conceit the year has been a test to resilience and character.

This is the story of our year with Long & Co. May our wins and losses contribute to your success in 2018!

1. Know why, then how, how, how.

Knowing why we are doing what we are doing has saved our skin on numerous occasions. Our ‘Why’ is to help unlock a client’s marketing potential and take their business to the next level.

This guiding principle has seen us avoid the wrong relationships (the ones that may not be quite ready to go that next step yet), challenge ourselves internally and invest in the right tools to support the outcome.

Soon after why, comes how. Not just how, but how how how.

We want to attract the right client. How? By showing we are super good marketers. How? By leading the way in brand and marketing work. How? By having the right ideas and executing them skilfully. How? By having the right people and tools. You catch the drift.

Insight: Start with why, then ask how until you have clarity.

Ask how, how, how until you have clarity. Pic from @benchaccounting

Ask how, how, how until you have clarity. Pic from @benchaccounting

2. Invest in systems and processes.

Mr Kyle Loades, former NRMA CEO and current HMRI Chair, generously offered me this advice in this previous blog update. “To scale, you need investment in systems and processes”. While we have a way to go, a lot has been achieved. Every month we are iterating our approach. Starting with nothing but a laptop, a methodology and our charm (that’s our story and we are sticking to it) we have come a long way. Now we have things like workflow planners, meetings diarised, strategy frameworks, a great network of local and national suppliers, accounting and marketing software, a workspace, templates, processes.

Insight:  Just start. Listen. Then iterate.

Invest in systems and processes to take business to the next level. Pic from @reddangelo.

Invest in systems and processes to take business to the next level. Pic from @reddangelo.

3. Fire fast. Hire slow.

Seems cut throat for a leader who would say she dislikes conflict. I was surprised to find myself in two situations this year where we would let go of staff. Both times it was my fault. I rushed in, could have provided more support and most importantly made sure I was clear and real in the expectations set.

I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Although I had to learn the lesson twice, of which I am grateful to the impacted parties for their generosity and time. I have been able to consolidate, provide a full-time role for our pioneering first employee and made sure she has security and is awarded for the investment she is making.

Insight: Listen to the person you are hiring. Listen to your gut. When you know something is up; act fast and act decisively. Then look around and consolidate the base before you move forward.

4. Our wins

We have doubled our revenue, 10X’ed our leads and diversified our client base. We have the right bones in the company and the right positioning in the market (in case you haven’t heard, we are taking the whitespace of a marketing partner. More on why this sets you up for growth here).

We’ve gone from zero followers, to a dedicated few hundred and we are reaching thousands of people.  We have worked across social media execution, digital campaigns, rebrands and marketing strategies.

But our biggest win are our loyal clients. The ones who believed in us from the get. When we had nothing but our enthusiasm. Now we can look back on strong relationships cemented because we have been part of their journey in going to their next level. It’s more fun at this next level. People are happier here. There is more profit, more attention and more opportunity.

I go into Christmas, filled with gratitude, humbleness and pride. 2017: it has been real. What’s in the works for 2018? We are going to take our step to our next level. We want to double our business, hire another skilled marketing talent and continue to lift the bar in leading marketing work.

For now, Merry Christmas, thanks for your time and look forward to catching up in the new year!

Warm regards,

Cathrine

Merry Christmas from Long & Co family to yours.

Merry Christmas from Long & Co family to yours.

About Long & Co

Long & Co is a small brand and digital alternative to a big agency. We offer everything an agency does, without the overhead. We have a network of talent across Sydney, Newcastle and Byron Bay. We think and we do.

Looking to get your brand, strategy or new website right? Get In Touch With Long & Co