As 2017 comes to a close, taking the time to reflect on the things I’ve learned from the past year and predict what’s ahead for our company in 2018 is not only necessary, it’s tradition. Resolutions, after all, are born out of reflections on our past. What things did we learn in 2017? What changes can you expect from us in the year ahead? Let’s take a look.
The Year in Review
I am pleased to report that Writing by Design had its most successful year on record in the past 11 years! I attribute that to three key things:
- People: I know, everyone says it, but as a small company, we can’t underscore it enough. I often refer to the team at WBD as “small but mighty,” because with just a few people, we provide some really important and effective solutions not only to local companies in Wisconsin, but to some much larger companies across the United States—and as far away as Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia. All from our small offices in Appleton, Wisconsin. By keeping our overhead down with our small, shared office space and a few mobile workers, we are able to provide exceptional solutions with significant savings to our client base. While other companies boast of their fancy digs and trendy workplace accommodations, we have found a way to do the same work without all the fanfare—and the results spoke for themselves in 2017. I am so proud of our small team who works hard every day to provide strategic communication solutions to our client base of all sizes. Our reward is in their satisfaction and continued business with us.
- Partnerships: I learned a very important lesson early on as CEO of this small company—success lies in the company you keep. I have been fortunate enough to partner with some amazing companies and people that help us provide strategic solutions at a reasonable rate to our clients. For instance, our partnership with Laurie Tema-Lyn, of Practical Imagination Enterprises®, and Bruce Duhan, of Duhan Creative, has provided us with opportunities we would not have had on our own. Now branded The Triad Team, this team of thriving individual consultants brings richer branding, positioning and concept writing solutions to each of our national and international clients when the opportunity presents itself (and we have a lot of creative fun in the process, too!).
Additionally, we added translation partner C-Soft International in New York to provide reliable, in-country translators for our international marketing clients. Consequently, our clients demanded more international language solutions than ever before, including translations in Portuguese, South Korean and Arabic! And finally, our video and animation partner, Northcoast Productions out of Green Bay, Wisconsin, provided a record number of projects in partnership with us this year. From providing internal corporate videos to explainer sales videos used on the internet to unique 2-D and 3-D animations, this company (led by a former L.A. writer, director and producer) helped provide state-of-the-art solutions with us from our neighboring city to the North.
We are thankful to have each of these partners who allow us to do what we do every day in a seamless manner for our clients.
- Productivity: While WBD has been in business since 2006, it’s only been since 2015 that we’ve had a small team of employees. Because of that, it has taken awhile to build an infrastructure for our fledgling company. Looking back, 2017 was a historic year for us as we not only implemented project management software, but we also installed a company network and hired an IT support team to assist in connecting the small-but-mighty WBD team to increase efficiency. Our well-connected team now has access to each other in ways that didn’t exist before no matter where they are, making us more flexible, agile and responsive to our client base.
What’s Ahead for 2018?
With much to be thankful for in 2017, I am filled with optimism about what lies ahead for us in 2018. Here is a snapshot of what you can expect to see from us in the future months:
- More resources: We’ve earned a reputation for our work, and now need a few more hands on deck to help keep our operations running smoothly! The good news is that we will add only two new positions, keeping our cost of delivery in line with our clients’ prior expectations. We will now add a new Director of Crystal Clear℠ Concept Writing to our Concept Writing division, as well as a Director of Crystal Clear℠ Communications to our Everyday Business Writing division.
- More efficiency improvements: We have made it our top priority to bring our clients the most flexible, agile and resourceful solutions (all grounded in strategy of course!) in 2018. While clients may not see these improvements directly, the impact of these solutions should be noticeable in our client communications and relationships. Expect to hear from us more frequently and watch our cat-like reflexes in responsivity in action by the end of 2018.
In closing, I would like to take this time to say Happy New Year to all our business partners and clients here in Wisconsin, all over the U.S. and overseas! We are blessed to do work with all of you and promise to continue providing Crystal Clear℠ communications in 2018.
Patti Purcell brings 25+ years of journalism and marketing skills together to provide national and international companies with outstanding concept writing services via the company she founded in 2006, Writing by Design, LLC. She and her growing team, based in Wisconsin, have written hundreds of concepts and achieved many successful A.C. Nielsen BASES test scores over the last 10 years using their Crystal Clear™ concept writing methodology.