Today, May 20, 2020, Kalix Marketing celebrates eight years of serving the national independent school community. It’s been a remarkable journey. I’m incredibly proud of the reputation that our team has built as servant leaders helping mission-driven independent and public schools better define their value propositions and engage prospective students and families. Our job is simple: to serve our school’s needs with honest, ethical and strategic marketing counsel.
Building a business is more of a marathon than a sprint. Stewarding a vision from concept to reality is not an easy thing. As Kalix founder and president, I’ve faced many highs and lows over the past eight years and learned important lessons:
- It’s not about us. It’s about our clients. Too much time and energy spent on self-congratulatory exercises speaks to ego, not mission.
- You never stop investing in your business. To build a long-term, financially sustainable company, I have had to embrace the reality of an ongoing investment in marketing.
- Plan for the unexpected. Running a business during COVID-19 has not been easy. What was the norm is no longer and the future could be widely unpredictable. (If that doesn’t keep you up at night, then you must sleep very well.) Like many fellow business owners, I started 2020 with several key strategic goals, but the pandemic left no choice but to hard pivot to a new approach to business operations and business development.
- Take the time early in your business to build a smart banking relationship. Early on, we sat down with a large East Coast bank who claimed they were “small business friendly.” They weren’t. Ultimately, we found an exceptional banking partner in Howard Bank, a regional bank in Maryland. The level of service has been excellent, and the bank actively supports its small business customers. I highly recommend them.
- Find a way to give back to your community. I’m a firm believer that every company, regardless of size, has a moral obligation to be a good corporate citizen. We practice that by donating a percentage of our profit to B.E.S.T. (Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust). It’s only fitting that we support the local Baltimore independent school community in its work to become more inclusive.
Our single most important strategic asset we have is our people. Kalix would not be where it is today without the outstanding work of our amazing team: Donna Balinkie, Ruth Eve, Gerri Baum, Sarah Achenbach, Wayne Jacobs, Anne Schulte, Susan Ciaverelli, Alison Greer, Kirk Lutz, Jason Quick and Beth Amann. Collectively, this wicked-smart group is the Kalix value proposition. Thank you for all that you do.
As the Kalix journey continues, I’m incredibly proud of all that we have done to serve our client’s needs. Remember, it’s not about us, it’s always about them.