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I’m at the Airport right now, traveling back from Barcelona to Aarhus. I came here last week to meet my co-founder Ryan. He lives in the US while I live in Europe. So while we’ve known each other for almost 2 years and have been working together for several months, we never met in person before.
Ryan decided to escape the cold winter in New York and travel to Bali, so it seemed like a great opportunity to meet somewhere along the way. We picked Barcelona because of its nice weather in January and since there a many cheap direct flights from Aarhus.
Three weeks ago, we booked a nice Airbnb and flights for both of us. That’s pretty much all we did in terms of planning the week. Our goal was simply to get to know each other a bit better and see how much work we can get done this way.
Turns out, a lot. Remote work is cool and all but Ryan and did make more progress in the 5 days working right next to each other than we did in the two previous month combined.
There’s something magical about being able to bounce ideas off each other rapidly without any barriers.
I doubt that the effect would be as big if we were working next to each other all the time. But doing it for a week was definitely a huge unlock. Our plan is now to do it every quarter.
What we actually did in terms of work wasn’t rocket science. At the start of the week we wrote on a little note the areas we need to focus on to drive our business forward: client acquisition (attention + conversion) and client retention ( results + communication + anything else we can do to make clients happy). Then we dedicated a day to each one of them.
On “retention day”, for example, we would do research on what other agencies do to keep clients happy and then discuss what would make sense for us. But most importantly, we started implemented everything that made sense right away.
In some areas, we started seeing results almost immediately. We test all new cold email strategies “internally”, that is in our own cold email campaigns. Only when we see solid results, we deploy them for clients. And one such experiment that we started this week took off right away. For the first time, we had to throttle a campaign since we were getting more replies than we could handle.
But the most important outcome of this week is clarity. We’re 100% aligned and both know exactly what to focus on during the next few weeks.
So what’s the takeaway? If you have business partners, meet them in person. It’s worth the effort and costs.
Oh, and Barcelona is an amazing city. Highly recommend adding it to your bucket list if you’ve never been here. We didn’t do that much sightseeing as we were focused on getting shit done but I’ve already planned to fly here again in a few weeks with my girlfriend.