If you would prefer to listen to this rather than read, here is the podcast link.
2022 was a really great year for garymelican.com
We grew by 30% in terms of revenue from 2021 and did so with much less stress than we had in previous years.
Below, I have reflected on what were our good and not so good points throughout the year and what we intend to do in 2023.
The good from 2022
1. Our flywheel spun a little faster
The flywheel is all about turning strangers into customers and then having those customers also promote your company afterwards (because they’re so happy with your product/service).
You can read more about the business flywheel here.
This year we have received more referrals than ever before and really notice that our good work and client satisfaction has led to more enquiries consistently coming through.
2. Became more specific and confident about what we offer
It’s not always easy in the early years of business to understand exactly what it is that you offer. There are shiny objects everywhere and it’s to get distracted.
This year, we:
– understood our strengths better
– said no to projects which we were not a good fit for
– communicated our strengths and weaknesses better to clients and potential clients. Allowing them to also make more informed decisions about whether they wish to work with us or not and exactly what this will involve. We also updated our website which now more accurately lists our offerings
3. Began planning for the long term
I feel more confident than ever before that garymelican.com will be around for the long term. It’s exciting to think of what we could achieve over a 30 year period.
2021 and 2022 have been the first two years where it has become appropriate to start thinking long term about the company. Prior to this, we were more so in survivor mode.
Some of the actions we are now taking which reflect long term thinking include:
– taking more time off and not overloading ourselves with stress. To give this 30 year journey as much of a chance to materialise as possible, we will need to prioritise our health, wellbeing and happiness along the way
– being far more selective about which new clients and projects we take on
– being very careful when hiring. Only onboarding people that we (and our clients) want to have around for a long time
The not so good from 2022
1. Neglected sales and marketing
We were very busy at certain points during 2022.
This meant I was working in fulfilment rather than continuing to focus on sales and marketing.
For short term revenue, it’s great to be so busy that I have to get involved in fulfilment.
However, consistent sales and marketing will be crucial to hit our goal of growing by 20% year on year for the next 10 years.
This is a pitfall I will try to avoid in 2023.
2. Lost focus
Due to a change in personal life, I lost business focus for a while.
This is totally normal, and I’m not sure exactly how one could avoid this happening.
I guess it’s just a reminder of how closely linked your personal life and business can be.
Some plans for 2023
1. Continue improving our services to existing clients
We learned this year that our existing clients really are the bedrock of our company.
Retaining our existing clients is very important to us (and a good sign of client satisfaction).
To improve our services to existing clients in 2023, we intend to:
– onboard more clients on our Performance Reporting service. This basically lets them know how their site is performing each month in terms of conversions, SEO and eLearning. It also positions us to make recommendations on how to improve these metrics. So it creates a more proactive dynamic between us and our clients rather than us always just implementing requests.
– continue providing awesome support. As our existing client numbers continue to increase, it will be crucial to add a 3rd person to the team to maintain and improve our maintenance and support service.
2. Continue growing assets of the company
Some assets we will be attempting to grow throughout 2023 include:
– Online reviews (see here)
– Creating more promoters of the company (via producing really good work)
– adding to and improving our podcast and blog
– improving our quality and efficiency via improved internal tools and systems
– cash reserves for increased stability
3. Continue removing reliance on me
With the addition of Kier to the team in 2021, we became a much stronger entity that was not totally reliant upon me.
A goal for 2023 is to continue removing this reliance and hire a 3rd person who will be focused on client support and project management.
This will further improve the service we provide existing clients and free me up to spend more of my time on sales, marketing and strategy.
Over the next 10 years, our aim is to grow by 20% each year.
10 years is a long time however. And it has become very clear that while growing, we want to create a company which is really enjoyable to be a part of.
So I guess this will require balancing ambition to grow with the patience to only grow in the right way.
In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy spending as much time in your pyjamas over the Christmas as I will.
Thank you for reading as always,