Lately the future of my company has been on my mind a lot and I have been thinking hard core about what I want from my business. As some of you know I run a web-development agency.
And the last few weeks I have been going all out on business and have had that laser focus on it. So, it makes a lot of sense to reflect and map out a bit and get my goals right.
I know that personally I tend to be a bit more instant gratification and tend to be motivated by short-term goals so I created a six-month business vision. It’s really a vision of where I will be at the start of next summer and how I am going to get there.
I will continue to drive, sell and produce relatively simple Shopify eCommerce sites that don’t contain fancy design elements or aren’t too complicated.
Our competitive advantage:
Because our offering is focused and specific in a somewhat narrow niche we are in a position where we are able to deliver these with both expertise and cost-effectiveness. It is this cross-road that leads to our high profit margins and relatively easy delivery. We are a boutique agency that is able to be efficient because a lot of the work will be based on specific mapped out processes and repetition.
Main points of the vision:
-Create a business that will both support my lifestyle but also be easy to run. This is done via a full-time project manager who will handle repetitive and low level micro managing tasks freeing more and more time for me to do other things and run the company.
-Reputation as a reputable vendor with more long-term clients, referrals and inbound clients. We want to have an upsell strategy for every client. There will be a referral process in place and I will focus on building more of an authority and presence throughout the web in order to gain some profitable inbound leads.
-I will be the main mastermind behind the organization having eCommerce specific knowledge that I then pass on to people.
-The workforce will exist in the Philippines with a strong in-house virtual workforce. We will mostly avoid working with freelancers as they tend to be difficult to manage, unreliable and expensive.
-We will deliver our eCommerce solutions at least 80% by our full-time employees that are working virtually on regular working hours.
-The workforce itself will be mainly consisted of relatively poor mothers who are hard working and obedient. They will work hard to not get fired because their families would starve and they will be eternally grateful for the company for being saved from the slums.
-I will have one girl working for me who already has experience on project management and HR (Ready to pay a little bit more on this). She will be able to bring some knowledge and leadership to the organization. Most of her work will be consisting of being a key account manager. This is the only senior position in the company, the only person who is allowed to be in her thirties (Rest of them need to be younger).
-I will have another woman who is more introverted working on the code side of things. She is more of an entry entry-level developer who is hungry to learn and develop. There are some things she can’t probably do at the beginning and those things will be outsourced until she learns them.
-My cheap lead generation girl who is a part timer. She doesn’t have much of a brain but puts in the effort and doesn’t complain.
-I have 1-2 project managers.
-IF I have more than 1 project manager there will be a lead project manager that will be the only one I communicate with regularly. I will only lead one person on project management.
-We have reached a point where the company can deliver its projects and communicate with clients 100% without my involvement. I can take a vacation and projects would still get delivered.
-Outbound contacting is done in-house by people other than me.
-On sales, we have moved the focus to be more balanced with referrals, building relationships and warmer sales. We have a relationship strategy in place to squeeze every penny out of our clients.
-Sales calls is still done by me (But we have got to a point where they are ready to being outsourced after $10k a month revenue is consistent.)
My personal input on the company:
-Show up on sales calls that are scheduled by my assistants and close deals.
-Monitor the efforts and results of the project manager. NOTE: Not managing the projects but the project manager.
-Continue to make sure that the lead generation is running smooth. (Easy)
-Be a strategic leader guiding the ship and shining it. People outside need to know that I am a captain. It is my own personal brand, (outwardly it appears to be a Finnish company).
Financial goals by June 1st 2017:
-Monthly revenue $10k with a solid 60% profit margin. Profit is consistently over $6k a month.
-Cost estimation: Fixed costs: ~500$ a month maximum + employee costs: 2500$ a month maximum + alternative costs.
So that is the 6 month vision.
Here is the 2 year vision:
-After everything is running somewhat smoothly I will put my time and focus on improving lifestyle and further free up my time from day-to-day operations.
-I want to keep this easy to run for myself but to still grow the company. Eventually I want to have 10 people on regular payroll. The reason why I want this is mostly because it is going to bring stability to operations so that if one person drops or something it will not be a big deal. This will lead to less fire killing.
-The company is 100% capable of running 100% without me. I want to act more as a board and have a COO & CEO who are 100% responsible for the results that they and their underlings provide.
-The goal is to run a company that is easy to manage (Micro management is one of my biggest pain points.)
-Profit margins are consistently 60% with a minimum $10k revenue and I can scale operations with sales people and step away from the company.
-If after 3 years I am not enjoying and having fun anymore then I will be looking to sell and do something else. I will be 30 and will not want to be doing anything that I don’t enjoy.
Immediate action steps:
-Flying to Manila in 10 days to train a full time assistant in person (Having part time assistants never really worked out). Going to provide her with thorough training so that she can take off the micro-management tasks from me. She is going to be instantly able to free up at least 15-20 hours of my time and most of the stress which will have a significant positive impact on my life.
-I will continue to sell a standardized product that I will be able to replicate very cost effectively with cheap labor force. I will expand our documents to include some specific areas and put more focus on working the systems during the next couple months.
-After the assistant is trained I will have her look for potential developers and will hire a full-time entry level developer that I aim to train in to a star and keep her around for a long time to come.
Was very helpful to take the time to write these down. I have more focus on where I want to go now.