Wow, we’re six weeks into 2019 and we still haven’t posted our annual “goals post”. We started this tradition in 2017, and we doubled down in 2018. We think it’s important to set goals, and to reflect on those goals.
The problem with goals is that they’re not rooted in the reality of the moment, they’re rooted in the perfect future that lies ahead. We’ve done a lot to mitigate this by setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals, and we check in on them four times a year (every quarter).
These are the goals that will define the next six months (through the end of June 2019) for NorthIQ.
Find more clients
We have figured out three niches that we can help significantly. Home builders, solar companies and technology companies. Through Manage Comics we can also significantly help Comic Stores. We should focus on those companies that we can best help.
Home Builders are being addressed with our Home Builder Demo website, our Solar Companies clients need a Demo Website, as do the Technology companies that we are targeting. We also have demo websites created for Comic Stores, and we need to link these to the current Manage Comics pages.
- Link Comics Microsites to Manage Comics by February 22, 2019 – COMPLETE
- Create Solar Company micro-site by March 8, 2019
- Create Technology Company micro-site by March 15, 2019
Use our own tools
We’ve been selling Sharpspring for about 6 months now, and we’ve done some great things with it, but we haven’t fully set up our own automation pages. We need to solve that problem quickly. Our goal right now is to get an Onboarding system in place for Manage Comics stores when they sign up, and put all existing stores through it over the next month.
- Build demo campaign for Homes contacts by February 22, 2019 – COMPLETE
- Build onboarding for Manage Comics stores by February 28, 2019
- Build demo campaign for Solar contacts by March 15, 2019
- Build demo campaign for Technology contacts by March 22, 2019
Continue content marketing
Content Marketing was the best thing we did in 2017, and we continued with it in 2018. Being seen as “thought leaders” is really important in our space, and showing the smart things that we do helps to explain to others what it is we do, and more importantly HOW we do what we do.
- 26 blog posts in 2019 (2 posts a month) for NorthIQ
- 26 blog posts in 2019 (2 posts a month) for Manage Comics
Invest in the business
We need to put some money into Manage Comics and help it to really pull ahead of the competition. We’re planning some POS incorporation with Square – which will put us in league with other players, but that will take a significant investment.
- Have POS specs completed by March 29 2019
- Have funding in place for POS work by April 19, 2019
- Begin working on POS project by May 1, 2019
Refine our Tools
We started out with just Basecamp for project management, but we’ve added some Jira tools to the arsenal. We need to refine, and revise what tools we use and how we use them. Basecamp is incredibly simple, but we may need some extra tools in order to hit our next milestones.
- Get Help desk running by March 30.
- Determine triage and routing rules for new requests by March 30.
- Service Level Agreements for all new work that is incoming. New work should not take priority over already prioritized and planned work by March 30.
At the beginning of 2018 we set out The NorthIQ Goals for 2018. Our business has a June year end, which means we technically were in 2019 by July…but for the purposes of the blog we consider January 1 – December 31 2018 to be the calendar year.
We set a number of goals to hit, and for the most part we did quite well, but we didn’t achieve all of our goals…and part of that might have been that we were being too aggressive, while some of it can be due to the fact that as a fairly new business we are still figuring out how to optimally do things. Our philosophy so far has been to build things, refine them, and then figure out how to do them repeatedly. We’re doing a great job at building and refining, we’re now in the phase where we need to repeat them.
Craig and I have both worked for companies that dogmatically stuck to unrealistic, aggressive goals. Sticking to goals despite logic dictating that they no longer make sense demotivated us, and didn’t encourage us to do our best work. In a number of cases we actually did the wrong thing in order to hit an unrealistic target to please “the powers that be”. One of the things we’ve decided with NorthIQ is that we would do the right thing even if it goes against our business goals.
A good example came in the summer when we realized that in order to hit our goal of 52 blog posts in a year, we would have to post things that we weren’t convinced were good. We chose instead to put the blog on hiatus for a month to build up a good backlog of posts, and we finished the year out strong with some of our best posts. (more…)
We were recently interviewed by Sean Meyer for an article in the December / January London Inc. Magazine. In the article we talked about how our online comics subscription management tool for comic stores, Manage Comics helps stores improve their customer service and their profitability.
Our goal for Manage Comics has always been to help modernize comic shops, and give them a leg up on the other forms of entertainment out there. By making it easier to subscribe to comics, and even removing some of the barriers around the actual purchase of comics, we have proven that Manage Comics can make stores more money.
Removing the barriers of people having to come into your store to experience it, you’re expanding your business – Brian Garside
In the article we also talked about some of the stores of Manage Comics, which currently are all across the United States, Canada, and even in the UK and Australia.
As stores have closed over the last few years, people are travelling further to get their weekly comics fix. By making it easier to subscribe to their comics, be alerted when new things are ready for them, and even be able to pay for their orders online, Manage Comics helps keep stores in business.
To read the entire article, visit “Managing the Books” on the London Inc website.
To learn more about Manage Comics, visit the Manage Comics website.
When NorthIQ started in August 2015, it was just one man with a mission, to make the web a better place. I started out with one client, All New Comics, and a plan to build out Manage Comics. Very quickly I found that people wanted to talk about bigger projects, and in a few short months it was too much for one person. In May 2017 Craig came on board, and this summer we brought on two new awesome ladies to become a fantastic foursome.
We thought it would be a good idea to introduce the entire NorthIQ team. When I started NorthIQ, my goal was to work with awesome people, and do amazing things. I think when you see the team, you’ll understand that vision is coming true. (more…)
There’s something about the summer that is kind of ingrained in our DNA. It’s a time for rest, reflection, and to get re-energized. That’s why we’ve decided to take the rest of the summer off from blogging and promotion. We’ve got some cool projects that we want to work on, and we’d like to really focus on a big push for the first week of September. You’ll still see us on social media, and we’re still around for client work (both new and old), but we’re not going to put a huge push on putting out a new piece of content every week.
It’s important when you run your own business to look back at what you’ve done recently, we take regular stock of what we’re doing, and we posted some annual goals.
Way back in January, we posted our “Start, Stop, and Continue” post, where we figured out what we would focus on for 2018. We’ve been doing a ton of work on this stuff recently, and we will be making some major announcements in September with some new focuses. We’re also working with our friends at Code Elves on a major product launch that will be ready for some beta testing later this fall.
In the meantime, we’re going to take some vacation time, spend some quiet time reflecting things, and come back on September 5th with a brand new blog post, and a very cool download that we can’t wait to show you.
See you back here September 5th!
In the meantime, we want to hear how you refresh and refocus your own efforts? What do you do to make things better?
This is the recipe for the NorthIQ Hot Buzz Fermented Pepper Sauce, which we are calling Hot Buzz Fermented Pepper Sauce V1.
When I started thinking about what I wanted in a hot pepper sauce, I knew that it was more than just heat. I wanted well rounded, flavourful sauce that would go well on a variety of dishes, but it would be the main event of the Hot Buzz final round.
Here’s what we did to make this version. (more…)