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Welcome to the first-ever Branch Bulletin! Thank you for joining us!

Shauna here — when I started Branch two years ago, it was my dream to have a mailing list and connect with you on a more personal level but as you know, running a small business is full of plenty of curve balls and I never quite got around to it. Well, it’s finally time — no more excuses!

When I thought about what I enjoy most from the newsletters I subscribe to, it came down to the personal stories. The unpolished truth. And that’s exactly what I’m here to share with you today. Why? Because when we’re willing to open up and share, we’re able to connect on a more personal level and learn from one another. So, here we go…


Since Branch launched, it’s been normal for us to be booked out 1 to 3 months in advance. Running a studio has a fair amount of overhead and booking out new projects gave us much needed stability.

Well, over the summer, most of the studio energy went towards working on our new site and wrapping up multiple large projects. In between all that, I was traveling every few weeks. In an effort to give us some space to tie up loose ends around the studio, I chose to not book us out any further until I returned from traveling in mid-October.

I showed up at the office, fresh from vacation two weeks ago and took a deep breath. Our email inbox was empty for the first time in two years. TWO YEARS! Isn’t “inbox zero” the most exhilarating feeling? It felt amazing, like a breath of fresh air. Then, one day turned into two. That turned into three. Crickets. Nothing. That relief morphed into panic. No emails from current clients or new inquiries, for that matter. Where had everyone gone?!

The fourth day in, razor-sharp focus took hold. First, I checked in with our current clients to see if they were needing anything new. Next, I wrote out a list of potential client leads and lined up calls. Finally, I took extra time to have personal chats with everyone we’d been in contact with — we talked about new product launches, upcoming tours and ways they could potentially grow their business in the new year.

Within a week, what happened was astounding.

The first two weeks of October had been our quietest month in business ever. The final two weeks of October have made the month our most successful in the history of the business.

What exactly caused the dramatic shift?

Good, old-fashioned customer service.
Being helpful.
Listening carefully.
Being genuinely invested in our clients’ successes.

The next time your business hits a slow period, make the most of it and turn a potentially negative time into a positive one. Ignore flashy marketing tactics and get rich quick schemes. Instead, take really good care of your clients. That human touch will take you further than anything else.

“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” – Unknown



If you’re in the mood for some light reading and visual inspiration, here are a few of our favorite posts from the last month:

5 Must-Haves On Your Small Business Website
Are you in the process of relaunching your site or perhaps creating one for a client? These five items will make it easy for clients to hire you. Enough said!
Read the post here.
Project Spotlight: The Devil Wears Flip Flops
One of our favorite projects this year has been crafting The Devil Wears Flip Flops, a venture that provides an editor on-call without the six-inch heels and bad attitude.
Read the post here.
5 Reasons To Get Out Of The Office and Network
Face-to-face interactions will transform your business. I just attended Designer Vaca in Palm Springs and shared the five reasons why you should get out and network regularly.
Read the post here.

Have a Happy Halloween and look for the next Branch Bulletin (with a freebie surprise!) hitting your inbox next month! In the meantime, let's stay in touch over on Instagram and Twitter. Finally, if you have anything you'd like to chat about, just hit the reply button.

Until next time,

—Shauna and the Branch team

Copyright © 2015 We Are Branch, All rights reserved. Mailing address: P.O. Box 86857 Portland, OR 97286
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