Stewardship means different things to different people. It’s a word I have been thinking about a lot lately.
“A leader is performing the act of stewardship whenever he or she is actively preparing for an organization’s future vitality” – Excerpt from “What is Stewardship, and should all great leaders practice it?”
It is 2017 and Break The Ice Media is in its 8th year of business – we have passed the 5 year hump when most businesses fail and are around the corner from our ten year anniversary. The journey of growing a business is exciting and provides the opportunity to build something that is greater than oneself. As the business grows and the years move on, I want to be sure that I am a good steward for the business. I want the business to survive into year ten and be around long after I retire. I want this business to provide a solid foundation for its employees and offer them the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
With this in mind, I have made a personal and professional commitment to stewardship. Here are the ways that I am practicing stewardship in my business:
As the owner of a business, there are challenges that I struggle with that others in my circles might not. Decisions I make can impact the overall health and success of the business. My commitment to continuous learning includes membership in a small agency owners group that requires me to travel to meetings 2-4 times per year. When our group gets together, we share financial statements, talk about our challenges, share great ideas and create a network of support and offer accountability for each other. This commitment requires time and money resources and it is well worth the investment.
Strategic Planning Retreat
In December, we hosted a strategy day for the entire team. Even though we were in the midst of planning a large campaign for one of our clients, we dedicated a full day to thinking and visioning for Break the Ice Media. The day was productive and ended up being the perfect way to end our year. We created our company mission and vision statements and defined our core company values. We also spent time looking at projections for 2017 and reviewing financials with our accountant. Another big commitment requiring time and money resources, and well worth the investment.
We are a marketing firm and we produce awesome programs for our clients. When it comes to marketing ourselves however, those tasks get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. In 2016, I made a commitment to making marketing a priority. First step, dedicate budget to hiring outside help. Paying someone else to make our marketing a priority is the best thing I ever did. (It’s kind of like hiring a house cleaner – also something I did in 2016 – even though I can do it myself, someone else will make sure it gets done.) We launched a podcast in October 2016, dedicated to the travel & tourism industry. In addition, we have hired a writer (even though we have awesome writers on staff), a programmer and designer to create a new Break The Ice Media website. The website has a launch date of March 15th, which is when I will be with my owners group again and I told them it was my goal to have a new website. Remember the accountability thing I mentioned?
These are three steps that I am taking now to make sure that this business continues to grow and thrive. To ensure that our employees have a solid foundation. To prepare for our future vitality! What are you doing to be a good steward for your business?