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How Will You Know If Your Project Is Successful?

by Arianne Foulks

May 25, 2016
Custom Shopify website for a printmaker

Let’s talk about your best step to plan for a successful project, whether it be a web design project, your brand identity or product packaging, exhibiting at a trade show, or any other high-stakes project for your creative business.

We made a change to what we ask our new clients a few years ago. It was one of those changes that seemed small, but turned out to be huge. Just one question:

How will you know if this project has been successful?

This question helps our clients realize what they’re hoping to get out of working with us and makes sure our partnership starts off with us all aiming for the same objective. Sometimes it causes people to see that now might not be the right time to start on the project. And that’s great.

Aiming for a successful project from the beginning

We ask all of our brand identity and custom website design clients for their goals and how they will know they’ve been successful. I want to see a real answer here, something we can look back on 6, 12, or 18 months down the road and answer with a yes or a no. Did we accomplish this?

Here are some real-life goals and responses to the focusing question:

I want people to feel a spa experience when using our product and be inspired by nature and lovely details with the look of our product. I also wanted people to feel like they were making a difference by supporting our charity when purchasing our full size product. Retailers we hope to partner up with is Anthropologie, Whole Foods, Green Spas and Specialty Boutiques.

I’ll know if I’ve achieved what I was hoping for if I’m recognized by industry professionals such as press, retailers and have a strong following of loyal customers.

I would like to get up to 5 product lines before the holiday season. I believe this could turn into a $3-5 million revenue company within 3 years. If branded properly I think 2000 active wholesale clients is not an unreasonable number.

We would like to add e-commerce to our website and have that bring in revenue. We will know if our website is better at clarifying the various aspects of our business if we have less questions about it and fewer confused customers.

I would like to break $100,000 in revenue within a year’s time of launching the new website. I would like to get into at least 50 stores through wholesale. I would also like to have over a 4% conversion rate on the website–5% if possible, although I realize that is a big deal. I want to have at least 10 press write ups, one of them being a “big” name.

On a personal level…I would like to be able to actually pay myself for the work I have been doing as well as finish the year well in the black.

Yes! I know exactly what this question is asking, and you’re right–I definitely am looking for a shift in perception. I would love to have the style-savvy of a brand that would be carried in Land of Nod while still being taken seriously by educational companies. I do NOT want to look cheap or like I could ever be sold in Wal-Mart, but I don’t want the brand to be stuffy either.

It has to appeal to both the kids that will use it (girls ages 6-16) and the moms/aunts/friends that would BUY it. When I pitched Land of Nod and Clementine at Etsy Open Call, they both seemed to really like the product but were both vocal about the fact that the packaging and branding just wasn’t good.

I want to create a brand where I feel confident to go back to them and pitch again, saying, “Look! I listened!” I want a cohesive brand that makes SENSE across the board–and that clearly stands for empowering young women but is also stylish, fun, and smart.

Create a solid outcome for your project

Too often, particularly for us creative types, we jump into projects and ideas and just want to see how things turn out. It seems too difficult to measure, analyze, predict.

What if you made one tiny change before starting any project, doing any promotion, making any leap? Just ask yourself:

How will I know if this project has been successful?

Revisit your answer throughout the project, to be sure you’re on target. Is the step you’re about to take in line with this outcome? Your answer will guide your decisions and influence your work for the better.

Ready to take informed steps toward your goals with us?

We help creative businesses meet their objectives for selling online. If you could use help with your logo and brand identity, your product packaging, or your website, let’s talk. We have a questionnaire for you to fill out, so we can get to know you, and then we can discuss options for working together to knock down what’s holding you back from reaching your potential. Get in touch today – our schedule is filling up quickly!

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1 thought on “How Will You Know If Your Project Is Successful?”

  1. I always truly believed that comprehensive planning sets up a project for success from the start. And when I say comprehensive, I really mean it 🙂


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