I actually don’t know what should be considered the technical anniversary of my business. I registered my LLC with New York State on Sunday, January 5, 2013 via Legal Zoom. I know that on February 14th was the day I signed the papers officially ending my partnership at my previous business. Monday, February 17th was the first full day in my office at Casilio Communications.
Nonetheless, I am officially two years in – inching my way towards ten years of working in the communications world. I’m still learning many things about the joys and heartaches of owning a business – which is most likely a lesson I will continue to learn until the day I pass the keys to my successor.
Here were some of the joys of year two:
- I had over 100% growth from year one. Thus far, I’m pacing to have that happen again in year three, but there will also be an expected slight slowdown come August and September when my husband and I welcome Baby Bluhm!
- For the first time in my career, I professionally fired a client in March 2015. I naturally want every client to be a great, long lasting partnerships, and of course, I always want to see business income grow. However, I was in a situation where the demands, and communication were not healthy for the well being of the the rest of my business, and my employees/vendors time.Why do I consider this a joy? It was liberating and empowering. I was also very grateful that I was in a position to do that. I had enough business, and enough referrals and now enough knowledge to make an educated decision. It was also a fantastic learning experience. If the time comes – I’ll be prepared to do it again if needs be.
- I had an epiphany that I’m really good at what I do. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I’m notorious for typos. I talk loudly during meetings and I tell too many jokes. However, Casilio Communications produced incredible work that I am proud of (a portfolio on the website is coming soon). Mostly importantly, I’ve received a lot of feedback from clients about how much they appreciate my transparency in business.For those of you that know me personally, you know that I am an open book. In business – I am the same way. I give clients honest answers, and I give solutions that are truly for their best interest, instead of putting my bank account first. I unfortunately have seen this over and over again from other people in the industry. Their focus is how to make the most money from their clients. Based on my business model – the marketing decisions that are made (including spend, execution, message, etc.) have minimal affect in my income/fee – which means my solutions are unbiased. This had played a strong role in my company’s success, and my client relations.
Here were some of the heartaches:
- I had two major proposals that I thought were a shoe-in for my business – and I was wrong. I worked on these proposals for weeks. They were beautiful. One of the proposals I lost to a national company (which does terrible work, by the way – and yes I’m bitter). The other proposal I lost due to the hiring of an in-house marketing director instead of an outsourced direction. Both times were incredibly painful, but both gave me the opportunity to reevaluate my proposal strategy.
- I still let my emotions get the best of me. Casilio Communications is my baby. I want it to grow up to be strong, healthy, and happy. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to not question if I’m being a good parent. When it laughs, I laugh. When it cries, I cry.
- I have to improve my time management. There were some weeks I had more committee and board meetings than meetings for my business. Thankfully – I never let it hurt my business – but it would hurt my sleep and social life. While it is incredibly important to be multi-dimensional (something I will write more about in another blog post), I am trying in year three to say no a little more.
I would like to once again thank my family for all of their support. Zach is the best spouse to ever have if you want to own a business. He’s mine – but try to find someone similar to him. I would like to thank everyone that have supported this little business, whether it was cheering from the sidelines, or joining us through this journey. There are a lot of exciting projects launching this year, which I am very excited to showcase. There will also be some more exciting changes and growth with my little company for the better – and I can’t wait for you all to see!