When we first launched Aqua Vita, we had very few systems or processes in place. One of my professors in college used to call the launch phase of a business the “shoe box” phase. All your receipts, paperwork, and so on go into a shoe box…and that’s it. That’s your system.
When we first started, we did all of our invoices in Excel, our project management system was a giant Word document, and we had little understanding of how to unite everyone on our team around a common goal, or even how to craft a good goal in the first place.
We did have some things going for us: We were good at our core services, we worked hard for our clients, and we were driven to learn, grow and become better.
And grow we did. We’ve grown over 400% since our first year!
The last three years in particular, we’ve really hit our stride. Here are a few key things we’ve done that’ve made a big difference.
Pulling Together: Pick A Theme For The Team
Having an annual theme has helped our team to focus our efforts in a common direction. And when we’re all pulling in the same direction, the effect is exponential!
Here’s an example of what I mean: I once read that a draft horse can pull up to 8,000 pounds working by itself.
So what happens when two draft horses are pulling together? The math would suggest 16,000, or double the original number. But in fact, two draft horses working together can pull as much as 24,000, or 3x what one could do alone!
In the same way, when two or more people are pulling together, in the same direction and with the same purpose, there’s a multiplying effect. To apply that concept, we’ve picked a driving theme each year for our team.
Here are our themes from the last three years:
2018: Excellence in The Ordinary. “What is one thing that we can do this week to be excellent in our whirlwinds?”
This year’s focus was on mastering the basic activities that we do daily.
Every week, each team member would share something that they do frequently as a part of their daily work, and would share 1-2 things that they could do to study, refine and improve their efficiency in those basic tasks.
2019: Focus! Daily accountability on key tasks.
It’s fairly common for us to have 30+ projects going at any given time. As you can imagine, this can get a little messy! To combat this, we created a new system.
Every morning, each team member shares their top 2 priorities for that day.This forces all of us to re-evaluate priorities on a daily basis, and to be publicly accountable for those tasks.
At the end of each day, we check in again to share progress on those tasks.
This focus theme helps us to stay centered amidst the whirlwind of our daily work.
2020: Lean & Clean!
After 11 years in business, there’s some “spring cleaning” that needs to happen.
I have a rosemary bush in my garden that’s experienced explosive growth in the last year, which is awesome! But to stay healthy and productive, it needed some pruning, shaping and fertilization.
In the same way, we chose to make this a year of refinement at Aqua Vita.
For us, this meant updating our file storage systems for speed and ease of access, consolidating our project management systems from three platforms to one, and reviewing our expenses for subscriptions or services that could be cancelled or pruned.
After all, one of the easiest ways to become more profitable is loss prevention. In fact, in previous years, we’ve discovered that just by focusing on loss prevention, we’ve increased profits by over 20%!
Are You Ready To Go From Good to Great?
If you’re running a business, you’re likely wearing several hats and running from dawn till dusk. Working on team culture, system designs and marketing managing everything else can be overwhelming!
That’s where we come in.
If you’ve got a good team and a great product, but you just need that extra push to get you to the next level, we can help!
Give us a call or email us. We’d love to hear your story!