Client ROI Real Talk, Losing Money and other Grit HQ Updates

Losing money small business
NOTE TO GRIT HQ CLIENTS: I hope you understand and appreciate the transparency and openness in business and service changes. As always, I'm doing my best to stay progessive while keeping services low-cost and effective. And, I'm failing forward. If you are a client and have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. - Kelly Gagnon, founder of Grit HQ

We've done a lot of failing forward since we launched in April 2017. And, based on the lessons learned the hard way, we're making big service and contract changes to best serve our clients.

Grit HQ is continuing to refine our processes and services - and real, big changes are coming - effective September 1!


We’ve failed forward with our business model. Some clients we've served better than others. And, we’ve had a couple projects where, after we were done, we actually lost money doing the work.

And, although we partner with nonprofits and mission-focused small businesses, at the end of the day Grit HQ is still a business. 

1. I've got bills to pay.

Here's one way I've failed... I ALWAYS want to make people happy. So, I always say yes. It often comes back to bite me.

Let me tell you about the time I made less than $5 an hour on brochure design. I tracked 1.5 hours emailing back and forth with the new client, 2.25 hours revising copy. I bought 3 stock images for the brochure out-of-pocket and paid a copy-editor for 2 hours of revisions. Then, I designed the brochure and did over 16 revisions. All for $150. I spent at least 16+ hours plus design software.

Facebook videos work! I've spent 12+ hours editing 6 videos and then spent $60 boosting the videos. I then added some complementary graphics throughout the month. I charged less than $250 for the month for Facebook page management. Do the math. It's not good.

And, I've done the math. There are projects I am LOSING money on.

2. I need to start practicing what I preach.

I've got some "people-pleasing" tendencies. And, it does help me help people. But, it's starting to come at the expense of my mental stability, my financial bottom line and my health. So, effective September 1, 2018, I'm going to do a better job of practicing what I preach...

Efficiency and effectiveness

3. We've seen that clients that partner with one marketing agency or content marketer have the best ROI.

We’ve tested what’s worked and what hasn’t worked for our clients when they partner with Grit HQ!

And, we’ve seen one thing that is ABSOLUTELY working! The clients that have the most success with us are the ones that truly PARTNER with us - where we get to know their services, processes, and team and develop a brand and tone across all platforms (print, digital, and other media) for the client.

Whether it be content marketing, social media management or on-going development services, we see the most intensive partnerships (where we work alongside the entire team) are the most effective.

So, we'll be focusing primarily on content marketing and fundraising packages and branding + website design moving forward.

I’ve learned. I’ve grown. And, I've failed forward. So, now we’re making changes!

EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, the following will go into effect for all current and future Grit HQ clients:

Social Media Management rates and Content Marketing rates will be moved to the official rates on the website for all clients effective September 1.

Grit HQ will only be working with nonprofit and small business clients who:

  1. have or are going to sign a 3-month or annual contract for content marketing, fundraising and development or social media management, OR

  2. need a website design or branding service, OR

  3. have or are going to pre-purchase marketing/design hours for special projects and design services (see below)


Have you received an updated contract (after our relaunch in April 2018) and you signed the contract for a monthly package or website design service? Then, you’re good to go!

Did you sign a contract for monthly services, but it’s no longer current? In the middle of August, we’ll send you an up-to-date contract for either a 3-month term or the remainder of your annual plan. Please review the contract, and sign it.

If you decide to not continue with our services based on commitment, rate or service, we completely understand! Do what's best for you! We'll do what we can to smooth over the transition!

Do you want to use Grit HQ’s services, but you don’t see a nonprofit or small business package that meets your needs on our website? Well, you’re in luck! We’ll still partner with nonprofits and small businesses for print design, video/blogging/content creation and digital design services on an as-needed basis at an hourly rate (purchased upfront in chunks of 10 hours).

Our hourly rates are as follows:

  • Nonprofit consulting, marketing + design: $47.50 per hour

  • Small business marketing + design: $60 per hour

Thank you for your patience as we make changes to best meet the needs of our clients with the most efficiency and effectiveness possible!



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