Biggest business lessons during 2017

By Rob Twells 1 year ago . 12 minute read

2017 has bought a year of growth and development for Frogspark; since the beginning of the year we’ve added 6 new members to our Derby based digital marketing and web development teams. We’ve seen a particular growth in the digital marketing side of the business this year, which has seen a shift in our business strategy – as previously we had a primary focus on the web design side of Frogspark. This year has brought challenges and successes, and overall has taught me some of the biggest lessons in business when it comes to growing a business.

Lesson 1 – Laying Foundations To Scale

This year has really shown me the importance of laying the foundations in business before aggressively attempting to upscale the business. There have been various processes I’ve had to focus on, with the first one being team structure – this is key when it comes to working out in what points we wanted to hire, and for what job roles specifically. In line with this comes considerations in terms of responsibilities, whether that would be giving more responsibility to existing team members or hiring new members better equipt to deal with them.

Throughout the year, I’ve put more thought into project management, to ensure we are all working efficiently, to a high standard and most importantly delivering high quality work for the client. Naturally, all of this is highly dependant on having well managed internal and external communications throughout the business – and again is something we’ve had to work on before we considered scaling the business further.

Lesson 2 – Spending Time On The Business

Something I’ve always been conscious of is that we didn’t spend enough time working ON the business, and focussed the majority of our efforts working IN the business. Whilst clients are our key priority, Frogspark represents us, and what we’re about therefore it’s important to spend just as much time on us as we would a client. That’s why this year we decided to hire help from a consultant to gain insight from another professional’s point of view. Doing so has really helped to take some time out of working in the business, in order to assess our progress and plans from a distance.

Lesson 3 – Try And Forecast Growth

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, 2017 has bought a year of growth for Frogspark, and whilst we planned for growth, we didn’t fully anticipate to what scale this would be and what the year would bring for Frogspark. Not accurately forecasting the level of growth resulted in us being ‘reactive’ as a business, which isn’t an efficient way to run any business. This has definitely taught us a business lesson this year, and going forward we’ll want to anticipate growth so that we can continually cope with demand, whilst maintaining a high quality service for all of our clients.

Lesson 4 – Don’t Be A Busy Fool

I’ve spoken about the importance of getting the work-life balance right as a business owner (feel free to read a little more about it here), and a concept I’ve really had to work on throughout the course of the year. Prioritising tasks that drive growth before anything else is something I’ve learnt to do better this year; putting my main efforts into those tasks that make an impactful difference in the business.

A growing company comes with more work and less time, therefore it has been important to put a key focus on the delegation of time-consuming tasks to those who are best equipped to carry them out. Whether this is in terms social media and blogging or account management, I’ve realised it is not viable to do everything myself; and that’s why we have a team and members within that team that have the skills to carry out these tasks.

Lesson 5 – Relationships Are Everything

I definitely abide by the idea that people buy people, and that relationships play a huge role in business. When it comes to building quality relationships with clients, always strive to give them more than you’ll get back. Above everything else, focus on providing value and a high-quality service – making sure to put your client’s needs at the forefront of what you do.

But what has everyone else got to say about their biggest business lessons in 2017 so far?

About Rob Twells

Managing Director, Frogspark Ltd

In 2012, I set up Frogspark whilst studying full time at University. Since going full time over two years ago, Frogspark has formed a fantastic team, worked with some great clients and is fast becoming one of the most widely known agencies in the local area.