Growing Pains: A Guide For How to Survive As a Small Business


If perusing through our website, one may find that we have a bit of a gap in our blog productivity. Truthfully, a lot has happened in the last year. Over the past several months we've had the privilege of working to create video content for our wonderful clients including Herff Jones, Siemens, and our newest theater partners, Theatrical Outfit. We've also done our fair share of traveling -- shooting video in Texas, New Mexico, and Boston. It's been great expanding our customer base and really getting to build roots in our new home here in Hotlanta, Georgia. Excuse me, Atlanta. While it's been awesome to have the work, the influx has contributed to some growing pains. But with pain, there's gain, and we at Trove have gained what we deem to be some pretty significant lessons about how to survive, and thrive, as a small business.  Here's what we've learned:

1. Communication is Key

Clear, concise, and thorough communication is essential when you're a growing business, as maintaining regular and efficient communication make things all the easier when dealing with clients when times are at their busiest. When things are slower, we have a tendency to reply using more threads and more words, just generally more leisurely communication. We've learned  that in busy season, addressing everything we can in more brief, expedient, yet explicit ways is extremely helpful. As wonderful as it is, the digital age has somewhat stunted our ability for succinct communication -- ever sent 5 texts with a few words in each just to reply to one thing? Yeah. It happens. Therefore, when responding to vendors, clients, or employees, it's best to address every question in an email within one brief and straightforward response. Using keywords that will help out in the future with inbox searches is super helpful too. 

2. Prioritize Life

The world of wellness would like to us to believe that balance is attainable, but the truth is, it's not. Well, not when you're still growing. Out of the five general dimensions -- work, social, family, health, and spirituality -- you can realistically only balance three. Work had to be in the top three due to how busy we were this season, but we encouraged Team Trove to select the other two areas they'd like to prioritize. Bringing awareness to what's important to each of our respective employees helps us have a clear path to our goals as a team. 

3. Keep True to the Brand

Booking project after project and wanting to get the most done in the shortest amount of time can lead to falling into the temptation of "selling out." In other words, it can be tempting to sacrifice quality and aesthetic for bookings and turnkey projects. Throughout this busy season, we've seen that most of what's kept us going is the passion for aesthetically pleasing and creative videos. Keeping true to our brand has helped us keep focus of the end goal: delivering high quality videos for creative clients. Consistently going back to mission and vision statements during busy seasons can help us stay true to our cause. Which brings us to our next lesson ...

4. Learn to Say No

We think small businesses get in trouble when they say "yes" to everything and anything in order to ensure some kind of income. However, we need to value the product we deliver. Therefore, in a busy season, when the demand is high, we have to be a little more selective of what we can and can't commit to. Saying "no" sometimes honors the product and our clients more than accepting everything that comes our way. 

5. Appreciate the "Busy", Prepare for the "Not Busy"

Nothing is guaranteed. Therefore, we have to assume that this season of lots of, as a wise woman once described it, "werk, werk, werk, werk, werk," is temporary. That means staying within budget and not assuming what the future will look like in terms of expenses or potential income. You've got to walk before you can run, so it makes no sense to worry all about the run when you're not even walking yet. Being in the present has allowed us to stay focused on our current projects while remembering that it's important to continue to connect and reach out to potential clients.

Those are some of the lessons we've learned as we continue to grow as a video production studio here in Atlanta. It would be naive for us to think that this busy season means "we've made it." We actually believe that staying humble and recognizing the high quality of the work we produce makes us unique and approachable. Our hope is that these lessons are helpful for your business. A season of growth is one to capitalize on and share with others through the art of video. Have more questions? Contact us and we'd be happy to chat about what video can do for you and your growth!