Evolving Your Business Plan Year After Year

December 16, 2015 10:13 AM Published by Ashley Logan

Yakkety Yak CEO Ashley Logan shares why it's so vital to reflect on what's working for your business—and what's not—on a regular basis. 

When I speak to groups of entrepreneurs, one of the biggest messages I try to communicate is the importance of reflecting on your business model, and then reshaping it accordingly. My team and I are certainly not exempt from this process. As the year comes to a close, I think about what we accomplished in the last year. While we pushed the limits, expanded our offerings and launched new accounts, it wasn’t always pretty. But throughout all of this, the Yakkety Yak team continuously stopped to evaluate what was working, what wasn’t and what we could be doing better. And we are in a position now to make 2016 our best year yet.

Whether you are a salesperson, content creator, creative entrepreneur or big business owner, taking the time to reflect and learn from your mistakes year after year is vital. And it comes down to three key areas: remembering your why, knowing when to say no and setting professional boundaries. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Remember your why. Long before I launched Yakkety Yak, I was in a career that I had chosen specifically because it would give me the tools to embark on a journey as a writer. It was a hardcore sales job, in which I thrived, but I also lost sight of my goal and why I was in that position in the first place (which was 100% to make enough money to put myself through grad school). Once I got back on track, I was able to set attainable goals, including completing grad school, launching a content business and more. Reflecting on my goals allowed me to find new ways to reach them. Fast forward over three years later and now I focus on why I started this company, and it helps me keep the business goals aligned with my personal goals as an entrepreneur.
  2. Setting boundaries. This year was the year of the boundary. In an effort to grow the business we took on some projects that didn’t necessarily align with our core services. I don’t regret exploring those opportunities, but what I learned most was to focus on what makes Yakkety Yak great, then partner with other businesses to help with the projects that don’t necessarily align with our skill set. One example of this is with copywriting services: since we provide Content Marketing, we oftentimes get asked to do basic website copy, without the promise of a longer strategic relationship. Can we do website copy? Yes. But does it serve our business to write website copy, then not be involved in the long term content strategy? No way. Website copy as a standalone service is no longer going to be something we offer in 2016. And it feels awesome.
  3. Saying no. This is one of my favorites. Saying no to potential clients isn’t easy. In fact, it can feel stupid to turn down business, especially when you are trying to build a content marketing empire. But not every brand is going to align with our values as an organization. Not every company is going to want to play by the rules we created to keep our process running smoothly. And not every business owner is going to make a good partner, even if they do see the value of your services. This year I turned down just as many opportunities as I accepted. While it was really freaking scary to do so, especially in the cases when it meant shaving down our revenue, each time I took that risk I earned the respect of my team and a new door opened soon after with a new opportunity that perfectly aligned with the Yakkety Yak goals. Saying no so often means saying yes to something bigger.


As you prepare for 2016, I encourage you to take a look back at the last twelve months and think about the story your business told. Then, find a way to improve and grow into the next year. Don’t be afraid to shed those services that are draining your resources. Remember to take time to reflect on what else you could do for your customers. Remember your why, say no and set boundaries. Then watch your business soar.

Good luck in the New Year!

Ashley Logan

Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief

Yakkety Yak Content Marketing


Tags: Ashley Logan, business plan, Chicago, content marketing, Doing Business, yakkety yak

This post was written by Ashley Logan


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