It’s hard to believe that Allison Development Group has been in business for eight years. It’s not that you don’t think your business will make it when you first start, you just don’t think about the actual number of years and what each one will feel like. Trust me, they’re each different and I can usually relate back to each one with a certain account, personal life occurrence (think baby #2 here), or periods of growth. Each one is a milestone and I’m happy to have eight under my belt now.
It was as if someone fired a gun and said “go!” When you start off by yourself and you’re trying to take on as much work as possible to build your business, you’re going to be busy. It was fabulous, but a hard pace to keep up.
I have always been fiercely independent. I have worked for other people throughout my life. However, if you asked the people closest to me, I’m sure they would agree: I’m one of those people who enjoy being in charge and making things happen.
I also really enjoyed helping my clients bring their projects to life. At first, ADG was primarily focused on real estate development. In 2007, who wasn’t? I helped my clients evaluate their properties, create marketing concepts, and develop materials to sell those projects. It was an exciting time to be in that business – if you were in it, you were potentially helping shape the future of towns and communities by the developments that were to go in them.
Well, the most obvious change is that I went from a party of one to a party of six. I’m still getting used to that one.
The other big change was in the nature of work that ADG takes on. As I mentioned, I started the business in a BIG real estate boom. That was my market. Within two years, that boom was a bust and I had to reconfigure who I was working with and the services provided.
I determined that the PR, marketing, and branding work I had been doing for years was applicable in a broader sense. Turns out, I was right. It was the best pivot I could have done and it’s paid off. ADG is known for strategic branding, PR campaigns, and marketing approaches that communicate with the right audiences at the right times.
My proudest moments are taking the business from a low point in year 3 to unexpected highs less than five years later – all during the BIG recession. To survive that economic downturn, as a new business, makes me very proud.
Oh, there are plenty! That’s how we learn. In addition to being fiercely independent, I’m also a recovering perfectionist. I’ve always said that I’m harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. That leads to lots of cringe-worthy moments in life, but as I get older, it also leads to some really amazing lessons that make life (and business) so much more interesting.
I touched on this one a little bit when talking about what made me proudest – surviving as a new business in one of the most severe economic downturn’s our country (particularly my generation) ever experienced. At the time, you have no idea how deep such an impact runs or for how long it will last. I’m thankful I was able to lean in and keep pushing until we not only survived, but we began to thrive. I’m thankful that I had a lot of key people helping us get through that period as well: my husband, my family, subcontractors, colleagues, and valued clients.
Derek Stipe was one of those subcontractors and a colleague during those early years. I’m very happy to call him a key member of our team and a valued partner moving forward.
More moments and experiences to be proud of! There are no guarantees in life or in business. It’s all hard work and dedication and staying ahead of the competition in order to deliver top-notch services to your clients.
I see us fine-tuning services provided, perhaps expanding in some arenas where it makes sense, but for the most part doing what we do well even better. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.