Well, there she goes, growing up before our very eyes. My baby turns three in September and I can't believe how the time flies. We've accomplished quite a bit as a company in this third year of business so let's take a peek at what we've been up to.
How we grew in our third year:
- We added new leadership to our crew. There are no words for the gratitude I have for everyone who dedicates their time to this business and our clients, but we were very excited to add Bonnie Atkinson, our Business Operations Director, to our team. She assists in the leadership of our team, creating internal efficiencies and processes.
- We launched new services. This includes our Brand Control Workshop, Customer Research and our new Content Strategy, Social Media, and Email packages. These new services have all been launched in response to the inquiries and needs we've encountered from our clients.
- We added nonprofits that support women and girls to our focus. We had so much fun helping BA Women's Alliance rebrand and launch into the world and realized this is our calling. So while our focus is still dedicated to brands targeting millennial moms, we are also helping nonprofits supporting women and girls.
- We held a BCS branded photoshoot. More to come on this soon, but these new BCS branded photos might be one of the best things we've ever done. OMG. Sneak peek below. Now we can knock it off with the stock photos. FINALLY.
- We conducted proprietary research. We figured we should walk the walk and if we're going to suggest our clients invest in research, so should we. Over this last year, we've interviewed and surveyed hundreds of working millennial moms and just launched the beginning of our millennial mom whitepaper research. It's been months in the making. Don't miss out.
- We won a few awards. In December of 2018, we won the 2018 Wisconsin Marketplace Governor's Rising Star Award for a Women-Owned Business. It was crazy and such an insane honor. Then in February of 2019, we won 414digital's Trailblazer Award. It's been an incredibly humbling year!
Lessons Learned Running a Virtual Business
- Delegate leadership responsibilities. I believe at the two/three-year mark, it's time to start reinvesting back in the business and that also means figuring out how to take 100% of the burden of leadership off of your shoulders and bring in trusted advisors and partners to help you effectively lead your team to success. I brought in a Business Operations Director and I can't express how necessary this was for my company. Not only is she better suited for certain tasks and endeavors than I am, but having that support system at a leadership level so you're not entirely alone--that's priceless.
- Build scalable and profitable service offerings. One of my mantras this year has been "do more with less." So we've been working on creating scalable service offerings that offer value to our clients, but don't run us into the ground to deliver. These are new releases, so we're excited to see how these perform over the next few months!
- Grant yourself permission to have balance. I have been really intentional about balance over this past year. I've been focusing on setting goals that aren't directly related to my business to help create more space in my life and then I've given myself permission to indulge in them. I learned to golf this summer and, being in Wisconsin nice weather is a scarcity, so I allowed myself to take a Thursday or Friday afternoon off to enjoy being outside and not checking my phone for a few hours. And guess what? Everything was fine. I also found a lot of solace in kayaking and it realized that it was a great place for idea generation!
- Set aggressive yet realistic financial goals. This was the first year we really set revenue and profit goals for Brainchild Studios and the crazy thing is that we met them! We took a hard look at our expenses and were able to cut out $800/month in unnecessary expenses. Taking a look at what we had billed in the previous two years, we had a little bit of data to work with to set 2019 goals and we had a really strong Q4, Q1, and Q2. However, the summer slump has been a bit more of a struggle this year than in previous, which leads me to my next point.
- There's an opportunity cost to everything. This is probably my favorite concept from my microeconomics class. It's true. At the beginning of 2019, I was really focused on delivering for our existing clients but in doing so, I neglected to prepare for summer slump as much as I should have and learned a hard lesson about opportunity cost. If you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. Whether you realize it or not.
- It's still all about people. As I've said in my previous year recaps, none of this would be possible without the people who believe in you, your vision, and the company you're building. Always take the time to say thank you, acknowledge all the blood, sweat, and tears the people around you shed, and never take them for granted. At the end of the day, if you haven't invested in the people who will have your back, you'll end up falling over when the wind gets too strong.
That being said, I owe so many people so many thank yous now and forever. Thank you to every mentor, client, community supporter, hug-giver, Instagram post-liker, and blog post reader. And lastly, thank you to my Brainchildren. None of this would be possible without you.
Alrighty folks, we have a lot of exciting things on the horizon for the next year. We're fine-tuning our roll-out plan, but have no fear, it'll be a blast!
Owner & CEO
Kiley Peters is the Owner and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a boutique digital content marketing and website creation agency primarily serving brands targeting millennial moms. She is also the Founder of the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurial moms through the steps of starting a virtual business. She is the President of 414digital, Milwaukee’s dedicated digital marketing organization and a member of TEMPO’s Emerging Women Leaders program. Follow her on Instagram.more posts by Kiley →