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In one of our very last blogs for 2020, we are wrapping up this blog series about the best things you can do for your business now to make the new 2021 the best year yet!
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writer's desk! The year is slowly picking itself up and putting itself away, and boy was it one for the books. We are happy to see it go, and we are happy and excited to see what this new year will be bringing us. As all of us at Creative Consulting have been gathering for our last in-person meetings of 2020, it's been interesting to sit back and see what this year has taught us. First and foremost it has taught us how resilient our town is. Nothing can stop Summerville! In fact, through all of the challenges we have been through as a community, it has been incredible to see just how much we have supported one another and continued to grow together and for one another. We have seen compassion, hope, and the dedication each of you have to your families, community, and your passions.
We have also experienced so much support and an outpouring of love from all of you supporting small businesses of all kinds right here in town. You decided to shop small, give big, and give back to your community. You took more time to be proud of the movers, makers, and shakers right here in town, Thanks to that you now own beautiful pieces of artwork and homemade products made by your incredibly talented neighbors, and you have tried some of the best new dishes and desserts made from your neighbors that you might not have known about unless the pandemic had happened, a tough silver lining, but one just the same. We have also seen resilience in our industry that we are so thankful for. We are honored to support and care for your businesses, and to help build and support them to help reach all of your goals and more. It has been an honor working with each of you, and we look forward to ringing in 2021 with you and stepping into new beginnings.
In part one of this blog, we spent time talking about all of the financial things you can do right now to help save on your 2020 taxes. While many of those decisions, purchases, and money moves might seem like a little bit of strain on your business accounts at the end of a very difficult year, we promise that they are still good decisions. While you might feel every penny this time of year, you will appreciate the time you dedicated to following the list in our previous blog and spending a little more money now. Come April 15th, your tax expenses will not be as challenging to cover, painful, or a surprise. In this blog, we are focusing more on the business aspects of closing out a year. What can you be focusing on and working on now that can help you create the best business plan for 2021? How can you make your goals become realities? How can you uplift and support your team? Let's talk about it!
Year-End Count Down
Before we all wrap up our work for the new year and settle into our holiday parties with our coworkers, there is still so much left to do. This is our busiest time of the year, so we understand that sometimes things can get lost in the shuffle. Don't let that happen this year! Use this end of the year checklist to wrap up 2020 and get your head in the game for 2021! We know the pandemic has been devastating to so many of you, and many companies are still trying to recover from its reverberations. Keep strong, keep going, you've got this!
From all of us at Creative Consulting, thank you for an incredible year! We deeply appreciate your support and friendship and couldn't do what we do without all of you and the incredible town of Summerville. We are so appreciative to our clients who have been with us for years, our new 2020 clients, and all of our future clients. We wish you all a very exciting and wonderful 2021!
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Get to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writer's desk! Our whole team hopes this blog finds you happy and well where ever you might be. I personally hope that you are relaxing somewhere comfortable, with a view from your favorite spot in your home, or sitting in one of your favorite places in our beautiful town of Summerville. Even though we've had a lot of rain recently, it's helping keep the grass greener longer - and have you been paying attention to the clouds when these storms roll in? There is always a set of silver linings with every season, and through this tumultuous year, I have personally been trying to find as many as possible. What have you been doing this week to find your silver linings? Sometimes it's hard to do that, I understand. When it's hard to do that in my personal life, I try to focus on the silver linings in my day to day work life. One of the biggest ones is that Creative Consulting has been such a constant through a year that you can't count on what might happen in a few minutes, let alone a few days. I have never been more thankful to work for a company that can be just as successful when we are working in the office as we are remote. Thanks to the wonders of Google Meetings, Email, and Hubspot (if you don't know what that is - it's an incredible tool for your company, so look it up!) we were able to adjust quickly to our first shut down. Once we were back in the office, it was like we had just seen one another the day before. That comes with working with such a great team. Being supportive, helpful, and available to one another has also made this year so successful. My silver lining this week is having the chance to go to work, work with such a great group of people, and continue the forward motion in the growth of Creative Consulting.
Welcome back as well to our second to last (gasp!) team feature. Thank you, dear readers, for following along with this journey. While I only have four more blogs left to write for Creative in what's left of 2020, I am excited to come up with my next blog series for 2021. Make sure to enjoy these last few blogs and check-in with what wonderful things will appear next year. I have already started to brainstorm, and I am getting so excited. This spotlight is very unique because I have the pleasure to introduce you to an amazing team member who virtually started the same day that I did. We were both originally hired to be content creators for all of the social media clients, the only difference between the two of us is that she had more social media clients while I had some social media clients and all of my blog clients. I look back and think about those first few weeks we spent together; helping train one another, our first few Monday morning team meetings, and our first Creative birthday. We might have been working together and for Creative for five or six weeks, and we were already helping set up Creative's 5-year birthday party. It was such a whirlwind; we were meeting people who had supported and cared for creative since the very beginning, meeting some of our clients face to face and the FOOD was amazing. That was my first true introduction to the incredible food and sweets that are made right here in Summerville, and even now almost a year and a half after that party, I still look back and crave the finger food and the personalized cookies we nibbled on that night. What is so special about this young woman, is that from the moment we started working with one another, we formed an instant friendship. We started as easy-going coworkers who loved having their desks right next to each other. Now, we have formed a deep bond and friendship that I wouldn't trade for the world.
It is my honor to introduce you to Rebekah McCubbins, the other half of the content creation team. Together with Kelsay, they make sure that hundreds of content posts go out every month. She is incredibly passionate about what she does, about her community, and her family and friends. I feel like every time Rebekah and I work together, she is teaching me about something incredibly important happening in the world, in pop culture, or telling me about an incredible recipe she made for her and her husband the other night. (I am still hoping to try her chickpea curry someday soon!). I love learning about new music, new artists, new companies, new restaurants from her. She is always five steps ahead of me in knowing the coolest and latest trends, and I am so thankful that she keeps me hip and cool. She is also just an incredible source of joy, putting the two of us together can be dangerous - especially during our Monday meetings. You get us going and we can interrupt and pause a meeting in a fit of giggles. I have loved working next to her from our very first days of work. A day hasn't gone by where she didn't ask or offer her support or help before she left for the day, checked in with how I was doing, or asked about what projects I am working on. Get yourself a co-worker who loves and cares as Rebekah does, and you'll understand how lucky you are once you do! Let's meet Rebekah, shall we?
How long have you been working at CC:
A little over a year!
How did you hear about the positions:
I stumbled across the position on Facebook and filled out the application. I didn't think I would get an interview, and I definitely didn't expect to get the position!
What do you do for CC:
I write social media content and manage the social media accounts for some of our clients.
What is your favorite part about working for CC:
Collaborating with the most talented people! Everyone here blows me away daily with their creativity.
What have you learned since you worked at CC:
It sounds cliché, but I feel like I learn something new every day. I think the biggest thing is that Stephen and Meg have been super transparent about the business side of CC, and that has allowed me to learn so much about business!
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC:
Any time that I get to collaborate with the amazing creatives I work with! Everyone here at CC is so sweet and so talented, and I love working with them.
Favorite memory at CC so far:
A little while after I started at CC, we hosted a 5th-anniversary party for the company. It was such a fun time! I got to know my still-new coworkers better and met some of the incredible business owners from around the Lowcountry.
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC):
There are so many! I love the chai latte and baked goods at Coastal Coffee, the candles at ETC, and the macarons at Swank!
What is your educational background:
I majored in English and History and minored in Religion. I finished my Bachelor's degree at UofSC in 2019, and I plan to continue my education in English and get my doctorate in the future.
What are your hobbies:
Reading, Cooking, Embroidery, and Video Games!
What is your favorite book, color, song, movie:
Book: I've read so many that it's impossible to narrow it down to one, but a book I recently finished and loved is The Weight of This World by David Joy. It is a beautiful, haunting story that sheds a light on the reality of poverty in the South. I highly recommend his books!
Movie: V for Vendetta, The Princess Bride, and The Devil Wears Prada are all amazing, and I've recently become obsessed with Midsommar and The Day Shall Come!
Song: Right now I really love Water Me by Lizzo, but there are truly way too many I love!
I was homeschooled all the way until I got to college.
I am currently working on a set of small embroideries of sushi.
I have strong opinions about practically everything, especially the Oxford comma.
Thai food, soul food, and sushi!
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville:
I love Pad Thai 1. They're right around the corner from our office, they're so sweet, and the food is delicious. I also recently discovered Alicia's Soul Food, which makes the BEST mac and cheese I've ever tasted!
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville:
Shop, eat, and spend time with family and friends!
Reading this interview, you can just feel Rebekah's kindness, good heart, and passion. Reading back through this, it was even more of a walk down memory lane. Ironically, she and I had very similar experiences with our applications and first interviews. We both applied on Facebook and didn't think we'd get an interview. With my background in performing, I am so used to sending in my resume and information and not hearing back, so that's kind of what I expected. Thankfully, Stephen and Meg had a much different plan for both of us. We were also both so convinced that we tanked our interviews, but Meg and Stephen had a different idea about that as well, thank goodness! I am so excited to see what other incredible things Rebekah is going to do with her time working with Creative and in every venture of her life. Spoiler alert, I have seen sneak previews of her sushi embroideries, and they will make you crave a California roll they're just so incredible! Many thanks to Rebekah for taking the time for letting me interview her, and for sharing these wonderful insights about her and her time with Creative. I have loved sharing this with all of you. Coming up in December, readers, you will get to read the last team feature (until new team members join us!), which will be the blog writer's interviewer herself! Until next time Summerville, find the silver lining in your life, and stay caffeinated!
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In part two of this blog, we are going to be discussing the best ways to go about successfully and painlessly rebranding your company.
Hello Summerville, and welcome back to the Creative Consulting blog! We are excited that you've returned to continue learning more about the importance and sometimes necessary steps of rebranding your company. In the first part of this blog, we discussed some of the many reasons why your company might need to rebrand. While the idea of rebranding does come with a negative connotation, we hope that our last blog has helped normalize the idea that more often than not rebranding is very refreshing and can be incredibly successful and exciting! We know it can be scary to even consider this idea, but we are here to help.
We can speak from experience and say that as we've helped many of our client's rebrand, that it is a very successful and positive step for your business when it's needed. It is an opportunity to learn even more about who you are as a business owner, express what makes your company unique in a whole new way, and reconnect with why you started your business in the first place. Rebranding is not starting from square one, it's reinventing the square itself. If you don't think your company has a brand or a very strong one, think again! Your brand holds much more power than you think, and it does deserve the time and appreciation to reflect your business. Let's get started on rebranding with some of the most successful and pain-free ways possible!
In our last blog, we talked about how one of the very first steps in rebranding is usually the need for a new logo. Remember, rebranding is much more than just changing your logo and crossing your fingers and hoping everything is going to be alright. This is going to be a multiple-step process, and you need to invest the same amount of time and energy into each of these steps for rebranding to be successful. Somewhere along the way, your branding that worked in the past has stopped working, and this needs to change!
[WHO YOU'RE SPEAKING TO]
As we mentioned in part one of this blog, one of the many reasons why a company should go through with a rebrand is because their audience is or has changed. Remember how we've mentioned those incredibly important, easy to find, and free analytics that all social media platforms give you? Please pay attention to them! Make note of who is responding to your social media posts, who is buying your products, and who spends the most time seeking you out online. If it's not the audience you expected or intended, that's okay! Don't be afraid to embrace a whole new group and demographic of customers. They are here to buy your product. With the free research that so many platforms give you, allow that to power other forms of research. Research what is attractive and what attracts your new group of customers. What appeals to them in marketing and what is the best way to reach them? Have you been operating mostly off your website, but this new audience loves Instagram and Facebook? Then it might be time to start a new overhaul of what your brand looks like and how you're reaching this new audience.
It's important to know and understand who this new audience is so you know exactly how to speak to them and sell for them. This can also be a situation where competitors have popped up with new products that are directly getting in the way of your company, and they are creating new competition that you never expected. Embracing and focusing on this new audience can help you build up a strong relationship with them and put you ahead of these new competitors. What is the most difficult part of this step? Time. You have to pay attention to these changes, learn about your new audience, and adapt to what this audience needs. In the long run, this will be time well spent.
[IS THE NAME IN THE GAME]
We might be throwing around the idea that changing your company's name has to be apart of the rebranding process and that it is very simple to do. Please by no means walk away from this blog series thinking that is the case. To rebrand, you do not have to change your name if you don't want to. If the name is still working and has become a staple to who and what your company does, don't throw it away. Changing your companies name can be one of the most dangerous choices in rebranding. This decision needs to be thought through with extreme care. If a new name is something that you and your company are working towards, then you should also consider a plan for introducing the world to this new name. Plan out how to successfully explain that the company that used to be known as "A" is now "X". Heading to the drawing board and brainstorming is one of the best ways you can go about coming up with a new name. According to Hubspot, some of the greatest ways to do so are:
When you're considering changing your name, a lot of the time that also comes with changing your slogan. Please consider why you are changing your slogan before actually doing so. If the slogan no longer matches your services and what your company represents then, by all means, changing it is appropriate. If you are sick of the slogan because you've seen it and said it for so long, consider hitting the brakes before changing it out of annoyance. If the slogan is still working, still catchy, and your customers still love it, there is no reason to get rid of it. Instead, put some new life into it and rediscover why the slogan is so important. If you decide to change your company's name, make sure it fits the current or new slog you've created too.
[WATCHING YOUR Ps & Qs]
Rebranding might go much deeper than what your customers see. This can be the most difficult part of the rebranding process, as this can touch on some very real and personal aspects at the core of why you started your company. Over time, as most companies do, you will evolve and change. Your products and what you're working towards can completely change from what they were when you started. This is a change in your vision. Your vision is the map as to why your company does what it does and the reason behind every decision you make. If this changes, your branding needs to reflect this. If your vision changes, many other aspects will change including your mission, your values, and the overall voice of your brand.
How are you feeling after reading this, readers? We know that rebranding can come off as a mid-life crisis or a personality swap. While that's how it might look on the surface, that is what you want and need to avoid. When rebranding, think of it as captaining a strong ship. The rebranding process is deciding to turn the wheel and create a new map to avoid oncoming storms and to finally find that treasure you've been searching for. It's a process that cannot be done alone or on a whim. We urge you to take both parts of this blog very seriously when thinking about rebranding. If it is still something you want to do, but it's just too daunting to do alone, we are here to help you take these important steps! Please feel free to reach out! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!