A TELL-ALL DISCUSSION: What we dare to share about 2016
It was the third week of January 2017 and another evening at the office. A brainstorming session just finished and everyone was ready to get back to work, except the three of us. Christian, Yorren and I stayed behind as we sat down to talk about last year: what we did, what we achieved and what we plan to do from there. Here’s how it went:
A: So, 2016. It was a good year, wasn’t it?
Y: Business was great! Our growth rate went up to 50% more than the previous year.
C: We finally started to figure out our sales funnel. Before, we had been focusing on building a strong and solid design team, and last year we started to optimize other departments as well.
A: Right.. Design team IS the core of every design agency, however each step that clients go through before meeting that core also needs to be optimized.
Y: Starting with leads; we managed to optimize our digital marketing channels which drove more leads than we had ever had before. Inquiries kept coming in from many different fields of industry: manufacturers, distributors, F&B… and also from several multinational companies.
C: We still had a lot to take care of, though. We needed to tidy up and strengthen our overall work flow to avoid any serious bottleneck problems.
A: We needed to improve all departments, from frontliners all the way into the core.
C: And that’s where Yorren came in. He was the one who brought back our weekly meetings where every department should give detailed reports. It helped to maintain consistency of performance.
Y: Speaking of performance, we started a marketing department in 2014 and never went back since then. Especially last year when it began to show great results.
C: From there, it was just a matter of solving any bottleneck problems, which by the way, are actually signs of a healthy company.
Y: Our new office also did have a lot to do with it. Location’s good with a large 1200 sqm floor area, enough for some meeting rooms, a photo studio…
C: And to share it with our partner, High Street Studio. Having the same workspace under one roof helped a lot with coordination, since we did a lot of projects together. And it didn’t stop there. We also opened our doors for more collaborations than before with fellow industry players of different expertise.
Y: We also became more environmentally friendly. A lot of us started using public transportation for commuting and going to meetings- which saved a lot of time and cost.
A: Also… didn’t we have at least three groups of college students over? I couldn’t imagine having so many people in our previous office space. This new space also helped us in sharing knowledge to more people and give back more to the design community.
A: We also had the most number of interns at one point than we had ever had, didn’t we? And they came just at the right time. Work load was quite crazy back then; we really needed extra sets of hands.
Y: Speaking of design team, a lot of change also happened there. More projects, more team members, more working hours…
C: We had some restructuring on some levels. Having a Junior Creative Director stepping up helped a lot with delegating more tasks to more team members.
A: Quality was also our concern: we started having weekly designer meetings where we share problems and find solutions right on the spot. Each team members were also encouraged to expand their skill sets through monthly tasks.
C: There were also some sharing sessions. As a result, we started to see designers mastering more techniques and softwares, which increased our quality of work.
A: In conclusion, 2016 was a great year for us. How do we go from there?
C: I think we have all we need to double our growth rate this year. We just need some more restructuring and more team members.
Y: We have actually started doing that. With a new work flow each post in the design team is given its own scope of work. New members are being added to the design team as well as account team.
C: We’ve also started developing a strategic offer that will give mutual benefits for us as well as the client. There’s also one high-risk decision that we made: starting this year, one of us is switching gears from creative development to content creation.
A: Oh, right, the new Content division that we’re starting to work on. The first goal will be having a system that works for Kamarupa and its business units, and then bringing that system that we know works well as a packaged offer that helps our clients in marketing their businesses.
C: That also includes finding balance between automation and personalisation, so we can tackle both quantity and quality of customer relations.
Y: We’ll also do more researches in order to sharpen our skills in design and marketing. This year, we will produce designs that looks good, functions well and has impact to actual sales. That way, clients can be assured that they are in the right hands.