Today is the 2nd anniversary of the incorporation of Method Agency if you go by the tax man, but in reality, Nikki and I have been working together in some way or another for almost 7 years, threatening to take our hobbies official and professional for almost as long!
On this, our second anniversary, I want to reflect on some of the lessons we’ve learned in having our own business, running a small and nimble agency and working together professionally with a close friend.
1. Make time for friendship.
I confess I struggle with this one. Not because Nikki isn’t easy to be friends with- she is! But I have the tendency to always talk about what’s on our to do list when we’re together. Because when you have your own business, there is always something to do! But we were friends first and friends we will always be, so it’s important that we find time to do “friend” things together. Without discussing it, oysters and champagne have been our favorite way to celebrate business successes and enjoy each other’s company, and we have never come across a cheese plate we couldn’t devour together!
2. You gotta talk about money
And that’s a weird one. Maybe you know what your best friend makes, but I didn’t. But as equal partners in our company, we have to have awkward money conversations. Fun Fact: if you’re in an equal partnership, it’s ideal to pay each other the same salary (if the work load is the same) so early on we had to determine what that was or the salary goal we were hoping to achieve. Luckily we were both on the same page of 1.2 million being the target goal, so no problems there.*
*kidding. it’s 1.5 mil
3. Just because you’re small, doesn’t mean you don’t matter or can’t do big things.
Method is JUST Nikki and I. Plus some PR folks, web folks (HI JOE) and designers when the job requires it. But we’re not a huge operation. And yet we deal with larger agencies and publishers and entertainment folks on a regular basis. It’s easy to feel small and like you don’t matter when they have huge budgets and roll out plans, but the BENEFIT of us is that we get that side of the business. We’ve both worked for larger companies, and we started Method to be different.
We don’t need to talk in fancy agency speak (actually it’s part of our 10 Commandments to NEVER talk that way) or need huge corner offices to do the best work for our clients. And there are benefits to being small. We can make decisions quicker, we are in constant communication with each other and our clients, and we don’t miss little things the way that we see occasionally in the larger companies we work with.
4. Never stop Learning
Just because we have been working professional for as long as it takes to grow a baby and send it through the 5th grade, doesn’t mean we’re done learning. This year I’ve been devouring podcasts and buying every book recommended in them (much to the dismay to my huge TBR list). Nikki is constantly reading about social media and small business and sending things my way. And it’s a goal of ours in the next year to find an female entrepreneur group to join with like-minded women who we can learn from and grow with together.
5. Set Goals, and track your progress
We’ve been goal setting since we started Method and while it can be rewarding to dream big about the future, it’s often daunting to set a goal and think “Crap.. now how do we GET there.” But there is NOTHING more rewarding than checking in on your goals and finding them achieved. Nikki and I make a habit of having an annual business retreat AWAY somewhere from people we know and other distractions (oysters and champagne are always consumed!) We set our goals for the next year+ and check in on our progress. We don’t look at our goals much after that, but they are in the back of our minds as we move forward in our year. And it’s an amazing feeling to recap your year and see what goals have been achieved.
We have a lot to learn and hope to continue growing in our skills and experiences over the years. In that goal setting meeting most recently (thank you, Seattle!) we set big goals for the future- where we want to be and how we see our company in 5 to 10 years. We don’t have plans to go anywhere but forward, and after 2 years of the ups and downs of being a small agency in a big agency world with one of my dearest friends, I’m excited to see where the future takes us!
Happy 2nd Anniversary to us!