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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Zfat

First-Ever NZ Inc. Company Retreat

This month, our social media studio hosted its first-ever company retreat in more than 10+ years of business! Needless to say, this was LONG overdue. Our Creative Director Nicole Quaste, Community and Content Manager Madison Findling and Creative Designer Rachael D'Addezio joined me in Tampa for an all-day brainstorm session—followed up by a much-needed day at Disney. At first, our agenda for our team meeting was standard: What is the state of the business? How are we growing, and how do we continue to do so? There was white boarding, pie charts and revenue breakdowns... But as we talked, the conversation took a noticeable shift to topics that were just as (if not more) important. We started talking about the challenges we face as a small business, as an agency, as professionals in the mercurial social media industry, and as human beings during a particularly difficult time in history.

Here are some of the things we learned—and some opportunities our social media studio is thrilled to take on as we forge ahead.

1. We're writing a brand bible. But instead of guidelines, fonts and palettes, this brand book will feature mantras and reminders for when we find ourselves burnt out, frustrated or uninspired. As a small business, it's easy to become drained. Reminding ourselves of our original mission, values and personal and collective "why" help us stay focused. 2. We're setting expectations for new clients. This is our way to create and maintain boundaries for healthy, long-term relationships - from email communication outside business hours to realistic turnaround times for completed work to clearer conversations around project expectations and deadlines. 3. We're re-defining success. We know that success has a broad definition—and there are no limits to what even the smallest of teams can ideate and achieve with proper planning, foresight, a white board—and caffeine.

4. We're always hungry for new ways to work better. It turns out we're also hungry for actual food, especially if it's Mickey-shaped ice cream pops as a second breakfast, and turkey legs as a second lunch. 5. We're people-first. Our clients and team are more than our business. Investing in people will always yield a maximum return. 6. We're honest. We know that we need to give our clients not just what they want, but what they need. Pushing people out of their comfort zone helps them grow. 7. We're not afraid to say "no." No opportunity, client or paycheck is worth compromising our peace of mind and values. 8. We're creative-first... not data-first. If your KPIs don't include making people 😂 or 😭 in the comments, we're probably not the shop for you.

9. We're taking the long road. We know that some things in life are worth the wait... including the Peter Pan ride at Magic Kingdom. There's a soaring pun here—we can feel it.


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