How did your 2021 shape up? It’s a great time for reflecting on your business, celebrating, and making plans for success. Have you sat down and sorted out what went well, not so well, and what needs to improve?
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We are wrapping up yet another year of business! It’s so important to look back over the previous year, and I want to lead you through an exercise called the reflection framework. I’m going to walk you through this framework while sharing what we have done here at The Ops Authority. I want you to do the same for your own business, looking back over the last 12 months.
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The Reflection Framework
First off, draw a diagram with one horizontal and one vertical line in the middle of the paper so that you have four quadrants.
Label the quadrants as follows:
- Upper left: what’s working
- Upper right: what’s not working
- Lower left: missing
- Lower right: confusing
What’s Working (Wins!)
We have had substantial team growth this year, and even with that investment in our team, we still have a profit margin of 52%! That is exactly what we closed out 2020 with, so even with the team growth we have been able to maintain that profit margin. As you grow a business, profit margin is one of those metrics that means the most. We have also had zero turnover this year!
Another win is the ratings that we continually have based on the women who go through the Director of Operations (DOO) certification program. We continue to have unimaginable ratings, over 2x better than the industry standard!
“To be complemented with fabulous ratings and big transformations, I am reaffirmed that this is the path I’m supposed to be on.”
Another thing that is working is delivery, or rather overdelivering. This is quickly becoming a value inside of our company. We are using a launch model, and have executed six launches this year. This open/close model has worked well to build community.
The fabulous, real, rich community that we have built at the Ops Authority is definitely working. We have The Ops Insiders Faceboook group, which is a continuation of this podcast. The other group is our Certified DOO alumni group that is cultivating partnerships, referrals, and real friendships. When we market and I show up as my true self, we really bring in people who align with me.
“We are pulling in a dedicated values-centric community and it shows up in the quality and the depth of the relationships.”
Today we are on episode 128 of this podcast, and we haven’t run out of topics yet! Thank you for listening and for your feedback on what topics to cover.
Another win has been visibility in general. I was recently featured in Forbes, and it came to me organically. Our efforts through the podcast and our organic efforts are really paying off.
Candor is really important to me and also, curiosity. These two things have given me the hunger to openly ask for feedback and/or criticism. I’m grateful for our students who give us really rich feedback. I see them wanting to make this a more valuable certification by giving me that honest feedback. And a shout out to my team who is just as interested in this feedback and have come back to me and the community with solutions.
One thing that has helped is to be very clear on our promise. It has been important to return to that promise and use it as guardrails to know when to say no. By doing this we will be able to identify what is outside of our promise and make referrals accordingly.
Things That Didn’t Work
I’m all about trying, evaluating, and pivoting if we need to… whether it’s an offer, a tactic, or a team member.
I don’t feel that our paid ads worked well in 2021. We have always done them internally, and we will continue to use a paid ads strategy. We have increased the amount of money, but with the iOS changes I’m not sure if we got our return back.
Everyone reporting to me did not work well. I love pouring into everyone, but the hard part is that when you have an expanding team it gets difficult. I’ve found myself frustrated with making decisions, and it caused me to adjust our organizational structure. Our new structure will allow me to truly be the leader and visionary and pull qualified experts to lead in 3 departments: marketing, operations, and coaching.
What is Missing
Coaching for me! I have almost never been unsupported when it comes to my growth and development. I still leverage my mastermind, but I don’t have a dedicated coach. I’m not sure if I’m going to be on that journey in the new year.
Another thing missing is marketing metrics. I’m looking to get more clarity in 2022, figuring out if different strategies are working, and understanding when we need to double down or pull back.
Our affiliate traffic could use some work. We started using affiliates in the fourth round, but we aren’t getting the numbers that we did when it was first implemented.
We have used Trello since the business started. We transitioned from Trello to ClickUp because the team wasn’t jiving with Trello. It has been a confusing change, so we are looking forward to start fully leveraging the power of this tool.
We still have some software duplication. We are always looking to minimize the expense and also how cumbersome the processes are for the team and students.
Also, do we need to have six launches? I love doing the Scope Creep solution, but my team brought it to my attention that this may be too many launches. We figured out that there is a way we can reach our goals by doing only four launches in 2022.
I am tempted to bring a new product to life, but simplification has been so critical to our growth.
“I know the power of one product… but I continuously come up with ‘a new thing’.”
Fortunately I don’t take quick action, and I have an amazing team that is so candid with me, so I don’t know yet if I will have a new product in 2022.
I’m excited about what we have planned for 2022. We are expanding our team, growing our marketing and operations team, growing our hiring, and our coaching team. We will have a content upgrade and redesign of our DOO program based on the feedback of our students.
We will have four cohorts this year, so if you are interested, make sure you join us for the Scope Creep Solution at the end of January.
Weekly Ops Activity
Share one thing that’s been confusing in 2021 in the Facebook group.
Previous Episodes Mentioned
Episode 77: 2020 Business Update, A Year of Unexpected Growth
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