Milestones and anniversaries are important. They are an opportunity to look back on your journey with a critical eye; to celebrate your successes and develop systems to continue those successes; to honestly appreciate your failures and evaluate the lessons learned from those moments; and set in place plans for the future that will put you closer to the larger goals that you’ve set for yourself. Running a business is no different and I dare say milestones and anniversaries are even more important to reflect on as it is nearly impossible to move forward in business without taking stock of all your successes and failures and learning from each one. Hindsight is a critical tool to that end.
And in two very short years we have learned and grown a lot as a company. Some of our failures, and lessons learned, have been mostly in the arena of client interaction and managing expectations early. This is something we’ve talked about on the blog before, and more than once, but it needs repeating. Mostly for our own benefit. Managing the expectations of clients is absolutely essential from the very beginning of any project if you expect to have a successful working relationship. Even before the contract is signed or proposal sent, we need to do better at setting realistic expectations and being extremely honest with potential clients about a project. Even if it means possibly turning a client away. A client that leaves with the knowledge that their expectations are unreasonable or unrealistic is far better than one that comes to feel poorly about their project in some way later on down the road. One of the ways we try to do this for our clients is to keep careful track of not just the bid prices for our projects but also the final costs after construction is complete. This allows us to have a historical basis with which to help potential clients understand various types of costs analyses for a range of project types early in the design process.
Even though there is always room for improvement, we have also had great successes these last two years. Our first year in business saw the design and construction of about 30 projects. Mostly residential but with some light commercial and historic preservation sprinkled in for good measure. Our second year saw fewer projects but much larger in scope and more detailed, showing more of a signature style for our firm. We expect more of the same in the coming year. Stay tuned as we begin our third revolution as we have a lot in store. We’ll be launching a new website, revamping our blog, and beefing up our social media presence across the board.