Neil from our accountants passed by with our accounts to sign. “Turnover has increased, profitability has increased, wage bill increased” — That’s growth right? So it must have been a good year.
The fact is that we’ve never stopped growing, not since we started in 2002; we’ve had the odd cashflow crisis but we’ve never stopped growing. And even though the accounts chat was about the previous year, 2014 was no exception.
It’s funny when you look at what we’ve achieved in business terms because growth (as important as it is) has never been a motivator. Our aim has always been to better ourselves as a team, to employ the best people who have complementary skills, to create a great product and awesome service. These are the things that we really push for.
This year we’ve been very critical of ourselves as we’ve continued to strive for great service. We’ve used the terms ‘manage people's expectations’ and ‘keep communicating’ many times. The fact is that our clients don’t know the pains that we go through behind closed doors to deliver what they need and it’s rare that any dissatisfaction is shown. In fact, we get lots of good feedback but we’ve learned that we can be better on every project.
Having said that 2014 has been a great year for us. We’ve attracted just the type of projects that we’ve wanted with clients that value our approach. Branding projects that have focused on seeking out the right personality and creating the perfect environment. Website projects where content and functionality is seen as part of the design process. Larger budgets, more time, measuring success, consultation and discussions; everything that leads to a successful result.
The team’s skills have strengthened. Content, writing, illustration, design, animation, back-end development, analytics and overall management; all took us to another level in 2014 and will get even better in 2015.
The plan is to do more of the same. Take on more staff, work harder, get even better. Develop more business opportunities from as far afield as the web will allow. See who else likes what we do and do it for them. All the while working very hard to keep a fun, chilled and enjoyable working environment for the team.
So as I sit here typing this while Wallace and Gromit catches my attention, I can look back on 2014 with a great deal of satisfaction and look forward to next year with excitement. The diary for January is already looking hectic!
My tips for 2015:
- Speak to Elliot Buss at UHY Hacker Young about Research and Development because with all that growth comes a hefty Corporation Tax bill and R&D can help you reduce it
- Keep networking and creating more opportunities (start with Fiftyone3)
- Solidify your relationships and listen to advice from more experienced people that you may know
- Always look to improve on what you do. Have open and honest chats with your team and work together to get find those improvements
- Speak to your customers and get them to spill the beans on any issues they may have had while working with you, even if they feel it went well