It’s been a truly incredible year at Verbal+Visual, the best yet by far. We’ve now completed our 7th year in business, and we’re so excited about what’s been going on this year that we’d love to share some of our highlights with you! Here’s what went down in 2015:
We’ve honed in our focus within the lifestyle and startup space, with most of our work centering around ecommerce. Our platforms of choice are Shopify Plus and Spree, both of whom we’ve partnered with this year. We’ve launched projects for Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, Long Island Index, and Zelkova Ventures, amongst many others. We’ve had several Awwwards nominations this year as well, and we’re excited that strengthening our focus has led to doing better and better work.
Over the last few months, our team has settled nicely into a 12 person structure, with 8 full time employees and 4 part time employees. This structure allows us to scale up and down anywhere from 8 employees up to roughly 20. We’ve nailed down who the team members are for any type of project, and put in place processes to add and remove from our flexible work force as needed.
Another huge initiative for this year has been refining our processes by implementing systems and documentation along the design and development tracks. We now design and develop entirely using Bootstrap, saving us countless hours in those two phases. We’ve settled in on 3 main content management systems / structures (Custom RoR applications, Shopify Plus, and WordPress, depending upon project type). We’ve implemented more Agile processes following the initial Strategy phase with a client as well, which allows us to design and develop at the same time. Lastly, we’ve moved to a content first, modular approach to design and development. All of this adds up into a much greater level of efficiency with projects, and a greater focus on client goals, analytics, and growth.
Partnerships and Referrals
One of the big gains in 2015 has been the partnerships and referrals we’ve gotten from agencies bigger and smaller than us, as well as complimentary agencies (PR, Social, Branding, etc). Couple those newer relationships with existing referrals from past clients and partnerships with platforms such as Shopify, and we’ve seen an exponential growth in both quantity and quality of leads coming in.
As we’ve grown up as a company, we’ve said no to countless opportunities, heavily weighing their upside, risks, and desire to work on them. This newly found balance in decision making has truly fueled our growth, and opened up doors to opportunities that we wouldn’t have been able to take on if we had said yes to every potential client. Saying no to the wrong opportunities has definitely led us to the better ones.
Over the last few months in particular, we’ve put a strong focus on getting everyone in the company involved in creating content. Each person is required to write at least one blog post every two months, and in addition to that, each person contributes to our weekly Learning+Leadership seminars every two months as well. In these seminars, one team member gives an in-depth presentation on a topic that would be beneficial to the entire team. These talks fuel interesting conversations and the desire to improve greatly on everyone’s work. It’s also valuable from a thought leadership and speaking perspective as well.
Having Fun Through It All
Of course, none of the year would be worth it without such an amazing team. We celebrated Halloween by having aHalloween costume competition, did Super Bowl squares, had countless happy hours, and laughs throughout the days. As we continue to grow as people, teammates, and as a company, I expect 2016 to be a continuation and growth of the incredible year we’ve had in 2015.
Cheers to 2015, happy holidays, and here’s to an even better 2016!
What were your favorite memories of 2015 in the agency world? Share below!