In Chinese culture the number 8 is deemed to be lucky. People with the number 8 are said to have strong intuition and insight, with the potential to explore things undiscovered.
Why am I talking about the number 8? Well because 4twenty2 has just completed its 8th year in business. So I thought it was time to reflect on what I have learned since setting up the business and also to look forward to the undiscovered things we may be exploring over the next 8 years.
I would like to kick off by saying a massive thank you to all our clients, everyone that has been a delegate, all of you that have had the courage to implement your new skills, and for all the feedback we have received over the last 8 years on the successes you have had.
So what I have personally learned over the last 8 years about what it takes to run your own business?
- Your network of contacts is everything – when you are a young brand you need people around you supporting/championing and referring you.
- Finding your next customer is always a priority – in order to be sustainable and growing you have to plan for your client base to change on an annual basis. Just because you have a big client today doesn’t guarantee they will be big in the future
- Never stop delivering excellence – what made you successful in the first place is the quality of your work. Your reputation is everything. Never lose sight of that no matter how busy you are
- Constantly change to be as relevant as you can – to keep your clients coming back and the competition out, you have to constantly refresh and re-energise your offer
- What you put in you get out – enjoy the wonderful and privileged position you are in, that everything you put in (even the long hours and emotional heartache) you get directly rewarded for
What have we, at 4twenty2, learned about our clients:
- Everyone wants to be successful – its making the collective decisions to make that a reality which is the difficult bit
- The bigger you are, the harder changing your business is, even if you know it’s the right thing
- People are finding it increasingly tough to stop and think, and therefore come at things from a different/more creative angle
- Creating an environment in which clients feel comfortable, happy to share their real motivations, and become a true partner with their agency, is not natural to so many client facing people
- What you measure is what you manage – therefore if you want real behavioural change you need to measure different things
So what are we looking forward to exploring over the next 8 years:
- How we can help our clients manage their people’s energy and confidence levels. We believe this is going to be the key to successful businesses in the future
- New and creative ways to help people stop, think and approach commercial success with their clients
- How to get our clients to do fewer things brilliantly and become famous for it
- Helping our delegates realise they have everything they need to be successful
So what will it look like in 2023? Who knows, but I am certainly going to enjoy the next 8 years of finding out.