4 Helpful Tips on Building and Growing Your Team and Your Business
Find Your Flock!
Last year, our Principal and Co-Founder, Beth Bender, had the honor of speaking at the IDS meeting in the beautiful Codarus showroom on how to successfully build and grow your team, what we affectionately refer to here at The Dove Agency as “Finding Your Flock”. After all, half of the battle in running a successful business is finding your people and positioning them well. Some say find your tribe, we say find your flock. In this article, we provide you with 4 helpful tips on building and growing your team and your business in the most efficient and strategic way possible.
1) Collaboration is Key
At the start of The Dove Agency, Beth & Kenda were frequently asked, “What kind of clients do you like to work with?” To which they would respond, “Designers, Showrooms, and Artists.” However, as time went on, Beth & Kenda were able to more clearly understand the ins and outs of working with and consulting other firms. This experience allowed them to gain a better perspective on the types of clients they truly liked working with and which types of design firms proved to be the most mutually beneficial relationships. If you ask them the question today, the answer is different than before. They will tell you, “We work with Designers, Showrooms, and Artists that understand that working with us is a partnership and that our success is dependent upon them having a strong understanding of who they are, and a desire for our team to support them behind the scenes so they can do what they do best.”
When it comes to building (and running) a business, you must take personal ownership of finding your flock and positioning them correctly. At The Dove Agency, we come alongside our clients as strategic partners to help drive their businesses forward. Although we are an outsourced solution for back-office operations, our clients are not hands-off. Instead, we work closely with our clients to ensure our joint efforts are appropriately aligned to accomplish the goals our clients have set out before them. Ergo, collaboration is key!
2) Time Management and Prioritization
Successful firms that we work with whether big or small all have one thing in common - They have streamlined their operations. One of the most common problems we often hear when talking to clients, is the struggle to let go of a responsibility because they feel guilty outsourcing something that they are fully capable of doing themselves.
Our team knows that you, our clients, are capable of doing many things. However, this doesn’t always mean you have the time to do these things, or that it is an activity where your time will best be spent. As a business owner, you have to learn which activities are most essential to implement on your own, and which activities would be more appropriate and strategic to delegate and outsource. Our goal as a partner to our clients is to provide support when and where it is needed and to help identify what operationally should stay in-house with an employee and what responsibilities are prime for outsourcing.
3) Relationships and Transparency
The interior design industry is extremely relational. These relationships evolve over time and professional trade partners become personal friends. However, sometimes when you are so close to the relationship with a trade partner you can’t see the operational flaws. Project management systems and online ordering are increasing the efficiency and speed at which designers are able to deliver on a project. With the increased efficiency comes the ability to service more clients… So, what can vendors and designers do to leverage on their relationships and customer service to ensure the professional relationship does not wane? First, directly request feedback from your partners on how your performance could improve. People are hesitant to share critical feedback unless given permission. The insight you receive from those you respect can help shape and define the direction of your company. Secondly, consistently and strategically engage with your partners.
Actively look for ways to increase the network and opportunities for those partners that are valuable to your business. One of our most inquired about services we provide for clients is social media strategy. This medium is either a blessing or a curse to a business depending on how it is handled. Your content can be all things curated and beautiful, you can spend thousands on digital advertising, you can post daily but if you are not using the platform to engage and interact with your audience, you are wasting your time and money. It is like having a conversation and talking the entire time and not listening. Use your social platforms to promote and introduce your industry friends to your personal network. It is safe to say that our success working with a vendor or designer is completely dependent on their commitment to personally invest in the community we are helping to market them towards.
Everyone needs a flock. Whether it is us or someone else, in-house or outsourced, virtual or physically present, everyone needs a flock. We hope these 4 tips help you think more critically about your business and the best ways you can utilize those around you to your advantage.