Despite the fact that there are enough days in a year when we can set new goals, the transition into a new year is a unique opportunity to reminisce about the past and set new goals for the future.
Last year I was sacredly convinced that our story of a 100% growth in incomes and in the number of members of the team will stop and continue more slowly in the year 2016, but as it turns out, I was utterly mistaken. Even though we do not have the final numbers yet, I can tell you that this year we came close to a 100% growth. This can also be seen in the number of colleagues – the number rose from 17 to 27.
If you asked me about the reason for this growth, I wouldn’t have to think twice before blurting out “My colleagues!”. Behind every successful company there are even more successful individuals who act as the driving force of the company. Not long ago I carried out a lot of the work myself but then individual colleagues gradually took over, which has always turned out to be successful, especially because they possess certain competences that are more evolved than mine and can therefore devote themselves to their narrow area of expertise. Even the number of emails I received every day dropped from around 100 per day to 10. This gives me more time for new projects and the development of the company and its employees.
Behind every successful company there are even more successful individuals who act as the driving force of the company.
In the past year, we had to expand our team to ensure an easier and more efficient performance. This brought with it certain risks, but it also improved our competitive advantages:
Everyone has a narrower area of expertise than before, which offers a more in-depth knowledge.
We’ve gained a lot of internal knowledge, which is constantly shared with the entire team in the form of short internal trainings.
Every position (except head of the office and CEO) is doubled, meaning that diseases and vacations don’t cause any problems and work can continue without any disturbances.
In general, we are all extremely pleased with the work and the results of the year 2016. You can take a look at the most important events and achievements in our subsite Growth.
What are our goals for 2017?
We are not stopping. We’ve given it some serious thought as to how to proceed so that the employees at Optiweb will be even happier in 2017, which is always our final goal. We’ve reached the following conclusions:
1. We’re going across the border!
Employees are content when they’ve got an ensured financial stability, when they work with satisfied customers, when they have good relationships with their co-workers, when they cope with challenges, and when work also offers them personal growth.
The foreign market offers opportunities for new challenges and, because of its size, it also provides more room for creativity and new approaches.
Until now, the number of foreign clients grew quite naturally each year, but one of our main goals is to get even more of them in 2017. Why? The foreign market offers opportunities for new challenges and, because of its size, it also provides more room for creativity and new approaches.
2. Sharing the profit
Because the number of colleagues kept growing, we realized that we need an even more efficient organization of the company. Colleagues were divided into teams according to a specific field and we made a plan how each individual team will function and achieve even better results. Most of this year’s goals were accomplished, but in the year 2017 we also wish to realize the common goal of sharing the profit.
Sharing the profit will encourage team work and strengthen the cooperation among the teams.
Every team (sales, WordPress, Magento, and marketing) will try to achieve the highest possible profit in periods of three months, while the clients and the team will evaluate the quality of the execution of the service, which is of vital importance. After three months we will calculate the profit of each individual team, except the sales team, which gets the businesses in the first place. Each team will get a certain share of the profit, which will be distributed among all members of the team. A smaller percentage of the profit will be kept in a joint fund that will then be distributed – a smaller part will go to the other two teams and the largest part to those who are not a part of these teams (salespeople, head of the office, CEO, etc.), since these colleagues are also responsible for the overall success. An exact share is yet to be determined, because it will be adjusted during the year in order to achieve the best manner of sharing.
We hope that sharing the profit will motivate all of the employees so that they keep trying and continue the good work, because it will also be in their best interest, and at the same time colleagues will help one another with which we wish to further encourage team work and cooperation among the teams.
3. Team leaders are taking the lead
One person is not strong enough to be the driving force of the entire company. This was one of the main reasons why we selected team leaders inside each individual team.
Every team leader also has to be an entrepreneur.
The main and the most difficult part of the process when it comes to taking the lead is for the leaders to really grasp the meaning of their role and to understand what an enormous responsibility this is. They are responsible for whether or not the company will regress, be brought to a standstill or progress. Every team leader also has to be an entrepreneur. I believe that with a lot of good will, training, and a conceptual leap they will be successful.
4. Organized programmes for interns
In the year 2016 we had over 10 students who served their internship with us, which is high above the average for a company as big as ours. The students were mostly very pleased when their internship ended.
In the time of the internship we were sometimes faced with problems of assigning smaller tasks to our interns. That is why we would like to prepare actual programmes for the year 2017, which would direct the entire internship of the new interns. We will create three different plans for the fields of programming, design, and marketing.
With carefully designed programmes of internship we wish to offer an added value to serving one’s internship at Optiweb and at the same time to create a potential staff for our company.
All interns will first have to complete 2-3 weeks of general training, where they will mostly learn about soft skills, because we believe that the young are lacking experience in this area. This includes using email (what should be the e-address, how to write emails, carbon copies (cc) and blind carbon copies (bcc), signature, inbox zero), workplace etiquette, etc. After finishing the basic practical training, the students will be given actual assignments from the field of their studies..
With carefully designed programmes of internship we wish to offer an added value to serving one’s internship at Optiweb. But the decision, whether they will notice this value and take advantage of it, is completely theirs. At the same time we wish to create a potential staff for our company, which will undoubtedly be needed in the future.
5. Internal training
Last year, colleagues Anže H. and Anže S. proposed knowledge sharing between the teams in a more frequent and organized manner. Every team possesses a lot of specific knowledge, which can be shared with the rest of the staff in a more simplified way. Our areas of expertise overlap more frequently than one would think and we thought that these types of trainings could raise the quality of our work to an even higher level.
Despite the fact that we’ve only been carrying out these trainings for two months now, we’ve already managed to go over some of the useful topics, e.g. the basics of Magento 1 and 2, SCCS, SSH commands, the basics of Google Analytics, the use of Avcode, WooCommerce Hooks, the basics of WordPress and other, more basic topics, such as working with the clients, successful ways of managing projects, etc. We still have enough topics for the next few months and we are certain that we will keep discovering new ones as we go along.
Internal training will raise the quality of our work to an even higher level.
In the future, trainings will also be filmed, because we wish to share our knowledge with all (even future) employees in the event they are not able to join the training or if they wish to refresh their knowledge at some later point.
6. Slightly different human resources
Human resources is one of the work positions that has presented itself to be of vital importance when our company started to grow. The person who will fill this position will take over assignments that are now done by other people and also some new assignments that are sometimes overlooked because of abundance of work. The idea was first presented to me by Tamara from Infinum (thanks again :)) and with some further research I realized that we really do need this position at Optiweb.
The main functions will include the development of each individual on a professional and personal level, basic tasks of human resources (contracts, tenders, etc.), organization and execution of team buildings, taking care of trainings, organization of events, etc. Given the fact that we plan to expand the staff for at least three new members, there will be plenty of work.
7. A new spin-off
This is one of the rare goals that has been reappearing for a few years now, so we believe that we will finally be able to accomplish it this year. We wish to create a new product or a service that could lead to a new company or maybe a new brand within this company.
8. Work and play in a remote place – is that even possible
What would you say if your company took you on vacation for two weeks? Paid transportation and accommodation, working with your colleagues in the morning, enjoying the afternoons, and experiencing new things that you will treasure for the rest of your life? An example of good practice can be seen in the article Company retreats on a tropical island: How we make it work, which inspired me to plan something similar for Optiweb – but perhaps starting with a slightly cheaper option.
Do you think we can pull it off? :)
9. The business incubator of the Generation Y
In the next two years we are planning an exceptional project, but we will tell you more about it in the following months.
10. What about our incomes?
We’re going to exceed one million, that’s for sure!
Founder and CEO of Optiweb, where we help clients achieve a better online performance and greater sales. As an entrepreneur, I try to great emphasis to the general atmosphere of the company and the relationships between employees.