Reflecting on three years into business
Let’s look back on the last three years at BDG. We’ve done so much, and I’m proud of where we are today. It was only a few years ago that I joined forces with Ben, my business partner, to build a consultancy out of nothing. Since then, we’ve grown to a team of 20 with over 50 clients. Every member of the BDG team brings something to the table, and we owe a lot to the lessons we’ve learned along the way.
Hiring the balance
Ben and I realized early on how valuable the team is to our venture. How we approach hiring is as much about finding talent as it is about finding business partners. “Hiring the balance” means hiring what we are not, so that the business can grow.
Our business is delivered by the work of people, so those BDGers need to have the right DNA. We want someone who’s not only an expert in their field but forges ahead with us and isn’t afraid to challenge us to work better. At the same time, working at a startup requires a special personality:
- Be expected to know things you’ve never been taught.
- Be expected to do things you’ve never done.
As we scaled our business, we wanted to make sure that we were staying as competitive as we were agile, in all of our mandates. This vision made us realize that we needed to build strong Design and Strategy teams to bring our deliverables to the next level.
The Strategy team gives us the edge in agility. They are in charge of our deliverables and bring a 360 marketing view, connecting the client needs with our recommendations. They challenge our marketing decisions at every turn, keeping us on top of our game so that we are always delivering results that best fit the needs of our clients. They streamline our operations because they work with every mandate, adding that layer of strategy.
The Design team gave us the competitive edge by matching the production quality of larger branding agencies. Now that we’re at the same level as these companies, we can take advantage of our niche in the market: We’re faster than our competitors.
They brought a much needed component to our deliverables, as we onboarded true brand specialists that can take our clients’ visions and translate them visually. Our designers have a strong focus on performance but also on transmitting the right emotions to the audience through branding.
Speed is everything
This lesson is one that keeps on giving. We’ve already taken away so much from it and still today, it’s as relevant as ever. Over the past three years, speed has always been our niche in the market. We are able to keep up the pace because BDGers are dedicated to the work in front of them, no matter how big or small.
Now that we compete with larger branding and performance agencies, we have the edge because we deliver results faster. Performance is everything. When you can turn results around as fast as we do without sacrificing quality, you’ve got something great on your hands. And we’re running with it.
Starting from scratch
This journey has truly been a privilege for me. There’s something special about building something like this from scratch. As we move ahead, I can’t help but reflect on the elements I love about the BDG team. We work hard and we have fun, we’re proud of what we do and we stay humble.
I can say with confidence that we made one great recipe for business. And we all know that recipes turn out better when you make them yourself and think outside the box.
What’s coming down the line in our third year? We’re accelerating our operations and automating our processes to be more agile, productive, and proactive in our workplace. Not to mention we’re still growing and expanding our service offering exponentially, thanks to upcoming projects with major Canadian and international players.