Twenty-fifteen, the year just been

2015 is over. If that is as shocking to you as it is to me then high-five. I have no idea where it’s gone but I know it’s been hectic.

During 2015, we realised the importance of having a plan. Not only does it provide milestones for you to aim for, but it helps make sense of exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. From the “goal”, you can work backwards and and plan out what you need to do to get there. Sometimes having a huge aim far, far in the future can seem unrealistic and downright scary, so splitting it down into milestones, and then those milestones into tasks, has really helped.

The first year leading up to the creation of Club, followed by year 1 of trading, was a bit of a mad scramble. Looking back now, we realise that we said yes to anything; we were so focussed on making Club a success that we almost felt in debt to anyone who came to us — so much so that we always drastically overdelivered (which we still do to some extent) and massively undercharged.

We also invested a lot of time in our processes and making sure what we asked, how we worked, and what we delivered was spot on. Cash flow was turbulent to say the least — we liked to think of it as the storm before the calm.

The calm never comes.

Gosh, that sounds gloomy — but it’s true; there’s always more to do and more you could be doing. Before long I began to feel a little lost.

Then, Scott and I read Michael Gerber’s ‘The E Myth’, which couldn’t have come at a better time.

It confirmed a few things, made us question others, gave us confidence in the processes we’d worked hard to perfect and, most of all, taught us a whole lot more.

Not that either of us plan on stepping away, but learning how to structure the company in a way that means it could run exactly the same without us, helped regain control of something that was taking control of us. Our roles are a lot clearer and the goal for this year still stands strong. Where we aim to be and what we do to get there has never been clearer.

We also set to work on our new website. The first version took so long! This one seems to be just as difficult to squeeze into the schedule. We’re trying to treat it like another project by scheduling time in but it naturally tends to be the thing that gets sacrificed first when we’re busy. It’s coming along though. Slowly.

Another big change has been our environment. Moving to Altrincham has been great. We get involved in everything we feel we can help with and have met some wonderful people along the way. It’s a really exciting place to be and it’s great to feel part of the town’s forward momentum.

I guess I’ll round this up by reminding myself that I didn’t get into this expecting it to be easy. To progress there has to be testing times and, looking back, I feel like I’ve learned more in the past 3 years than I would in a lifetime of working for someone else. Sure it’s challenging but it’s also really rewarding. Here’s to 2016, whatever it may bring!

To our clients, friends, family and team — thank you!

Have a good one,

Hannah

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