Episode 178: The Recap: July 2019
I’m in the throes of summer around here, but July has been anything but lazy. In this episode, I’m sharing what happened at Scoop Studios and Small Business Boss in the month of July.
I’m sitting down to record this on August 2nd, and I literally can’t believe how fast July went by. In preparing for this episode, I was trying to remember what happened, and I had to dig deep as it’s been such a whirlwind.
Before I get into specifics of the businesses, it’s worth acknowledging that this month wasn’t super focused on either business. We started this month with a short vacation at the lake, took possession of our new house, moved, and have been doing DIY projects and getting settled ever since. But here’s the good news: I love my new house. I’m glad we did it and like how it’s coming together — but I’m never moving again.
Juggling everything has been a bit of a challenge, and I’m very grateful that I had the insight to realize that work-wise, July would be a month that’s all about maintenance mode — especially as I seriously underestimated how much work it would be once the move was done. I’ve not had a single normal week, and I’ve just had to roll with it.
Maintenance mode was the name of the game, and while we had client projects and ongoing work, I managed to keep my time invested in the agency very contained. It’s really a testament to how the team has really stepped up in the last year and how I’ve been giving up control as needed.
Oddly enough, we had a couple of new business opportunities roll in that were super aligned with the direction we’re heading in, so I take that as a sign that the universe has our back. After being so proactive for the first half of the year, it was lovely to have these fall into our lap. Proposals are out there, and I’m waiting for an enthusiastic yes so we can start with them in August.
There were some other new business opportunities that popped up that I’m filing under the category of “sent to test me” as they weren’t well-aligned with our more corporate focus, yet I have a hard time saying no to these opportunities — especially right now when things are quieter. The truth is, these types of clients need to be a hard no from here on out, as they’re not an ideal fit, they’re less profitable, and have a tendency to need way more handholding than our corporate clients.
And, yes, I’m sharing that to help hold me accountable and to show you that your client base will evolve, but it’s not always going to be easy to say no to potential revenue — no matter how long you’ve been in business.
As we’re into a new quarter, you may be wondering about my goals. Yeah, so am I. I’m only sort of joking, but setting goals in the middle of everything going on and a period of time that’s anything but normal has been interesting. I have one goal for the agency which is to land two new mid-sized retainer clients by the end of September. That would fill in our monthly recurring revenue nicely and help us hit goals for Q4.
Also, I’m aiming to land 3-4 projects by the end of the quarter too, so we’ll see. It all feels pretty squishy right now, and the next few weeks are about getting my head back into it so this actually happens.
Small Business Boss
Moving over to Small Business Boss, I set two goals for the quarter. The first one was to get the Freelancer Proposals site launched and start promoting it in September. In July, the website got built out, and now we just need to create some content and a promotion plan. I need to give some deeper thought to what we’ll do with this site beyond focusing on SEO, but ideas are percolating.
The second goal is to get our “sales” bundle for freelancers ready to roll with help from Hailey and her team at Your Content Empire. I’ve been sitting on so much IP that needs to be out there, so we’ve come up with a “mini” offer focused on sales, and this will focus on solo and freelance business owners.
With the last month being less hands-on with Small Business Boss overall, I’ve had the chance to really think about what’s next, and there’s a definite fracture in our audience. We have freelancer/solo business owners, and we have micro-agency owners, and their needs are very different, so I’m going to be talking about that more this fall. The truth is, both models have the ability to scale, but the strategies and tactics are different, and I’m tired of the one-size-fits-all advice around this.
And while I’m, ahem, complaining, can we just have a little chat about the fact that I’ve been carefully tracking questions and feedback in the last year related to Small Business Boss, and there’s one thing I hear time and time again:
“Am I going to be too advanced for this?”
“Are these people going to be on my level?”
You know what, the more I think about this, I think it’s a load of BS. If we really want to succeed, we need to open our minds to the fact that we can get ideas and insights from our peers and from those who may not be as far along as us.
Truthfully, this question is now at the point where I’m getting pissed off. I understand why people ask it, but here’s the thing: If you aren’t where you need to be, getting support is key. And letting ego or the need to validate yourself by being fancy is standing in your way.
Plus, we need to stop looking for “advanced” tactics. Running a service business is about mastering the basics — and that’s likely what you’re missing. If you’re not making the money you want, I challenge you to look harder at what you’re currently focusing on and what you’re learning.
Going back to basics and skipping the fancy shit will help you grow way more than some BS blueprint.
And you know why? This question is the result of what we’ve been led to believe in the online market, and it’s a lie manufactured to make us buy more programs and masterminds and courses. Period.
As someone who runs a mastermind and a community, I can tell you this much. I learn every single day from people who aren’t as far along as me on this journey, and I’m grateful for it. As a successful service business owner, I can tell you that I don’t do anything fancy to market my agency. It’s basic and it works incredibly well. By making the decision to NOT buy into the hype of growing my business according to the gurus, I’ve been able to build a stable, profitable business. Plus, I feel better about myself and how I’m doing things.
In the next episode, I’m going to talk about something related to this, which is “scale” and how we’re bloody brainwashed to think that’s the thing we need. And it’s time to rethink it.