Reach Within Grasp

by Shane Sparks, Co-founder

We have a management philosophy that my very bright business partner Gregg came up with, called “Reach within Grasp”. It means we ask ourselves, if we take on a project, can we finish it? It seems like a obvious question but I’m constantly surprised, both at my self and with clients, how many projects get started that can’t be reasonably finished.

Here’s an example, someone says “Hey, we should fix our website” and other team members agree that the website is ugly, old, boring, etc. so work begins to “fix the website” but without a plan or a specific goal in mind that answers the question, “what exactly are we fixing it to do?”.

And so a webby gets involved, and designs are considered and a new layout is fashioned, and it’s new and, therefore, exciting. And then other things come up – maybe a deadline for the catalog that can’t be pushed, or some pressing ad materials, or a new program is being launched. And next thing you know that simple website update has been sitting in limbo for 3 months. And when the team finally gets back to it, the “new and exciting-ness” of it has largely worn off and it seems old and boring.

So, a NEW design and layout are under taken, and whole thing starts again.

The reach was out of grasp.

One of the things we stress with clients is that they take on marketing projects that they can finish with a minimum investment of time and money. We get them focused on the little things that make a big difference.

For example, on a website, we advocate that a client add a simple “request info” form as a first project. The site could be ugly, old, out of date but it doesn’t matter, because all we want is more people to fill out the form, because then we get more leads, and our admissions people have more sales opportunities.

Adding sign up forms to a website takes a few hours; redesigning a website takes months.

So, before you begin your next project or initiative, I challenge you to give some consideration to what you can FINISH before you START and save yourself a bunch of wasted time and money.