Fourteen years ago today I gave birth to a bouncing baby business. Like any proud parent with a child heading into their teen years, I was a bit nostalgic as this day was approaching. I found myself looking back at old photos of the team and the little white house.
So today’s post is a bit of a retrospective on the life and times of The Peg.
2002: Goodbye Conseco, Hello Roundpeg
With corporate clearly in my rear view mirror and a newly minted business plan in hand, I was ready to take on the role of management consultant. I had two clients lined up and I was convinced lots more would follow.
They did, but not the ones I expected. Instead of appealing to managers in need of strategic planning, I kept getting calls from small business owners who wanted help with their marketing. That wasn’t in the original plan, but a girl’s gotta eat so I took the work, wrote a book and started positioning Roundpeg as a marketing firm for new companies.
Your business is never exactly what you think it will be so be flexible.
2006: I guess this is going to be a real business
After several years of going it alone, I asked my neighbor Rebecca to help me out. I would run back and forth across our lawns with things I needed her to work on, but eventually there was too much work for just me and a part time assistant.
2006 was the year I hired my first full time employee (Shelli) and moved the business out of my living room and into the little white house. Suddenly I had obligations like payroll and rent. Roundpeg was a real business.
Don’t be afraid to invest in the people and assets you need to grow your business.
Then stay in touch. After more than a decade, the Alumini of The Peg are scattered across the city and around the country. Some work for our clients, some work for companies very much like Roundpeg and others have completely changed careers. We celebrate weddings and births of babies and businesses and enjoy knowing we were a part of their journey.
2007 – 2012: Life in the community
We built our reputation one contact at a time with networking and community involvement. Not just me, but all the members of the Roundpeg team were out in the community, attending events, giving presentations and serving on advisory boards.
We made great connections which formed the foundation of our business. Even today many of our clients, referral partners and resources trace their roots back to those early days of driving around the city attending early morning and late afternoon meetings.
While we don’t get to as many networking events as we did in the early days you’ll still find all of us out and about at least once or twice a month, making new connections and staying in touch with old friends.
You can’t grow your business sitting by yourself in your office. Get out, meet new people and learn something new.
2008 – Present: The Animals
When I started the business, my cat Midnight would camp out on my planner. (Yes, in 2002 I still used a planner you could write in). When we moved to the little white house it seemed empty without animals so I liked the idea of Bonnie coming to work with Rebecca.
And, if you are going to have a dog named Bonnie, of course you need a cat named Clyde, and so it went. Over the years we’ve had a number of animals spend time with us. I can’t imagine a day in the office without at least a brief animal intermission.
Animals make great office companions.
2015: The Remodel
The ceiling over one of the toilets was cracked and peeling. The other bathroom was so cold you could hang meat. If we added one more person, someone would be sitting on the floor.
We were outgrowing the little white house, but we loved it. The location was convenient, there was the outdoor conference room (ok so it’s just a deck, but we have really cool furniture) and the comfortable feeling you got when you walked in through the kitchen door.
I started looking for a new home, but every office I saw seemed cold and sterile and didn’t want our cats. So the alternative was to remodel our existing space. Six weeks of close quarters, noisy construction and some really strong smells when they finished the floors, but it is all worth it. We love the new and improved little white house.
Lesson # 5
There’s no place like home.
Especially when you share it with friends. We did just that a week ago with a small open house to show off our new digs. If you missed the festivities you can check out the photos below, or stop by the next time you are in the area.
2016: What’s next?
Roundpeg is mature, but we aren’t done growing up yet. We have big plans for this year, a new website and update to our branding, and maybe one or two new faces at The Peg by year end. Along the way there will still be time for birthday cupcakes, adventures in dining, field trips and a silly cat game or two. The first 14 years were lots of fun, I expect the next 14 will be as well.