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2022 Year-End Review

Updated: Jan 15




Can you even believe that 2022 is almost over? It's insane! I find myself saying more and more often, "The older you get, the faster time absolutely flies!" and that couldn't be more true this year, too. 2022 has been such a monumental year for Thrive Design Co. I didn't realize just how monumental until recently as I was conducting my end-of-year company review.


If you don't know what that is— basically, toward the end of each year, in order to prepare myself and my business for the next year, I stop and analyze everything about my business— strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, growth, conversion rates, financials, and so much more. I take all of the information I gather and the observations I make, and I look at everything from a bird's eye view.


I look at the year I had from the very beginning to the very end and take note of all the things. Here are some of the metrics I track and look at when I'm conducting my year-end company review:


  • Financials — Revenue, expenses, profit, what I'm paying myself out of that profit, how much I'm putting back into my business, how much I should invest into my marketing and advertising for the upcoming year, my most profitable months vs least profitable months so that I can plan accordingly for slow times next year, of my expenses- how much was spent in what areas, what my profit margin was (was I charging enough?), what types of projects were bringing in the most money For my business, and more.

  • Project Metrics — This includes important numbers such as the total amount of leads I received during the year, how I acquired those leads (lead acquisition), how many of those leads booked vs didn't book (conversion rate), of the leads that converted- where did they come from (client acquisition), what did those leads' budgets look like compared to what I was charging, what services I provided the most throughout the year, and more.

  • Client Metrics — After looking at my overall lead and project metrics, I look a little bit deeper and look at things such as: what industries were my clients in that I worked with this year? Was there way more of one specific industry than another that I happened to work with? What clients were absolute dream clients that I'd like to work more with? Were there any industries I worked with that weren't my favorite? that I might like to steer away from next year?

  • Quality of My Work and Client Satisfaction — I like to take a good look at the things my clients said to me (and to others!) about their projects throughout their projects as well as afterward. Did they leave reviews? What feedback did I receive from my clients this year? Was it all good? Were there some less desirable things I learned I could improve upon? Was I delivering above and beyond what I promised my clients? Was I providing too much value for what I was charging? (this could lead back to the topic of my pricing!), and so much more.

  • Goals and Business Operations — I like to look into the day-to-day of what my work weeks looked like throughout the year. Did I have enough time for lead generation? Did I have enough time to create content, write blogs, work on my own website, SEO, and marketing, and do admin work such as answering emails, bookkeeping, etc? Was I stretched too thin far too often? Did I have enough help, or should I have outsourced more? Where could I be spending my time more wisely? And so on!

  • Press, Collaborations, and Milestones — It's always fun to look back at the year and see the collaborations you were a part of throughout the year, see how they impacted your business, and plan for more the next year! Were there more opportunities for collaborations that I could have taken advantage of this year? If I was a part of any collaborations this year, how did they impact my business? My social presence? Who would I like to reach out to, to collaborate with next year? Were there any special milestones I met this year? I completed X number of projects this year, I doubled, tripled or quadrupled my income from last year, I was able to increase my profit margin by X% this year, and so on!


As you can tell, I like to get really deep into evaluating my business at the end of each year! My year-end reviews typically take a few weeks to a month to finalize and then plan for the next upcoming year. When you really dive deep into your business and look at all these metrics, numbers, and more, you can get a better idea of where your business's strengths and weaknesses lie, what opportunities you have for next year, where you can improve and level up, and so much more. The more you know your business, the better you'll be able to set yourself up for success in the future.


Now, I'd like to get into some of these metrics with you that I thought were "highlight-worthy" to talk about from 2022, wrapping up 2 1/2 years in business! Let's get into it!


Financial Overview


Note: Before I get into these financials, keep in mind that we were all dealing with the bit of a recession we had this year, which resulted in businesses and individuals cutting back on their spending, and being more cautious with their money. And while I know some businesses were far more impacted than others, I'm blessed to say that while business was slower some months throughout 2022, (which isn't much different for my industry than most years, except it was a tad bit slower than usual!), I was never put in a financial bind, and I was able to pay all my bills— both business and personal, never had to cut back on what I was paying myself, and I was still profitable. Not everyone can say that this year, but I consider myself to be incredibly blessed to be able to say that!


Looking at my revenue in a line chart format, my revenue was not consistent every month this year, and that's to be expected as a freelancer and solopreneur, but despite the roller coaster-looking line chart of ups and downs, here are some things I noted in the Financial Review section of my year-end review:


  • I was able to triple my revenue from 2021 to 2022 which is a huge milestone for me, and when I realized that, I was just mind-blown and so proud of myself!

  • Along with that, I was also able to triple what I was paying myself out of my profit from 2021 (for reference, I pay myself a salary every week, consistently), but I still need to increase my pay for 2023 so that's something I'll be working hard on being able to do!

  • My most profitable month was July, followed by April as my second-most profitable month

  • My least profitable month was October, followed by November

  • I had a 67% overall profit margin for the year as a whole which is great— my business was financially healthy this year

  • I think it's also important to note that my website was "down" for a few months toward the end of the year while I was rebuilding it on Wix, and I just had a temporary landing page up, so I think that played a factor in the slow-down of business toward the end of the year


My financial goals for 2023:


  • I want to double, if not triple my revenue again in 2023, as well as my profit

  • Pay myself more so that I can live comfortably, and buy a much-needed new car!

  • Invest more money into my own advertising and marketing than I did in 2022

  • Cut back on my expenses where I can— take a deep dive into what I'm paying for and see what I truly use all the time in my business and what I don't use often, that I could cut out!


In summary, I'm happy with this year's financials, to say the least, despite the circumstances we all faced this year with the recession. I have some big financial goals for next year too, that I'm gonna be working hard to achieve in 2023. Also, a tip for you— if you haven't taken a look at your financials for the year with a bird's eye view yet, you need to! You might be happily shocked at what you find out about your numbers, and that can help encourage you as you are planning for 2023. As someone with an accounting degree, a bookkeeping background, and a self-proclaimed budget master, numbers are crucial to your business's viability and growth. If you aren't checking in on your finances regularly, you should be! I can't recommend QuickBooks online enough. It's easy to manage yourself, and if you have an accountant, you can give them access to look over all your finances for you as needed. This isn't an affiliate link, I just think everyone should be keeping a great record of their business financials, haha! You can get 50% off your first 3 months of QBO when you sign up using this link.



Lead Sources & Project Sources


Note: After looking at my lead sources, I broke that down further and looked at my project sources as well and looked at the numbers for the clients that booked with me, and saw where those leads came from and the ratios were all still the same— Instagram is where most of my projects came from, and the rest were evenly spread out from different sources.


Looking at my pie chart, I could see that Instagram was my greatest lead source for 2022 with over 33% of my leads coming from IG. Aside from Instagram, the rest of my leads were fairly even, numbers-wise, when it comes to how many leads came from where. Then, looking at my projects, almost 70% of the projects I worked on this year were website design, around 15% were branding projects, around 8% were SEO projects, and around 8% were miscellaneous projects such as web maintenance and design retainer projects. I knew I did mostly website projects this year but I didn't realize it was almost 70%! In sync with that, obviously, most of my revenue came from website projects as well.


Here are some notable things I added to this section of my year-end review:


  • I had a 50% conversion rate of leads that converted to projects which is great

  • Again, our site was down for a couple of months toward the end of the year while I was rebuilding it on Wix, so I feel like that definitely contributed to business being a bit slower during a couple of months, as well as contributing to the lack of leads that were able to come from our website/Google

  • Despite my lack of posting and lack of posting quality content at that, this year, most of my leads still came from Instagram which is remarkable

  • I loved working on all the websites I worked on this year! Websites are clearly my bread and butter, and I worked on fewer branding projects in 2022 than I did in 2021, but I want to book more branding projects for 2023!

  • This year, the industries I worked with were: health/wellness/fitness, food/beverage/catering, hospitality and recreation, professional service providers, photographers, and construction! This year, I've grown more fond of the health/wellness industry, working with photographers, and definitely the food/beverage/catering industry! I want to work with more of those types of businesses in 2023.

  • I worked with some literal dream clients this year and for that, I'm so grateful! My clients mean the world to me, and when we're in sync, it's all the better!


Lead & Client Goals for 2023:


  • Work with more food/beverage/catering, health/wellness/fitness businesses, and photographers in 2023, along with some others!

  • Get more word-of-mouth referrals next year, by leveling up my client experience (more to come on my plan for this in another blog post soon!)

  • Double if not triple the number of leads I had this year

  • My favorite project that I worked on this year was the website for Coco's Bake Shop which is launching in a week or so, and when that happens I'll link it here! What I loved about it is that I normally don't work with clients that love a lot of colors, but her brand colors were pastel blue, pink, purple, and yellow and they married together so perfectly with the fonts we chose for her website. It was refreshing, and such a fun project to work on!

  • The most impactful project I got to work on this year was the new brand identity and label design for Cottonwood Creek Herbals. Her next step is a brand-spanking new website that incorporates her new logos and brand colors, and new product photography, and I cannot wait for that.


In summary, it's been a great year full of amazing clients and projects, and I'm so excited about what 2023 has in store. I've got a lot of work to do if I wanna double and triple the number of leads I get next year, but I'm excited about it. If you're ready to get started on your new brand identity for your business, or your new and improved website, you can fill out a contact form and schedule a call here. I'd love to work with you on transforming your brand into a sought-after, wildly-known business that people can't get enough of!


General Observations


I did a bit of a brain dump and wrote down all kinds of observations and thoughts that came to mind regarding my business, while I was conducting my year-end review and I've listed those below!


  • All at once, we had a few inquiries for social media services that we haven't offered in 2 years. So I hopped on a call with them anyway and sent them to Social Burro for all their social needs

  • I didn't do a lot of SEO, compared to other years in my business. I ran 1 or 2 SEO reports and had one SEO services client.

  • I stuck to my pricing this year and didn't lowball myself or heavily discount my services like I have in previous years and I'm proud of myself for sticking to my worth

  • I realized that I'm not asking really constructive questions while on the discovery call, so I want to re-create a really thought-out and put-together questionnaire for when I'm on discover calls with leads so that I can make sure A) that we're a good fit and B) that we're both clear on what they're wanting to get out of working together and what success looks like to them!

  • I didn't do a whole lot of continuing ed this year because I didn't have the time, since I was so busy with client projects, but was able to attend a few Wix webinars. Next year I'd like to carve out a few hours per week to dedicate to bettering my skillset and knowledge.

  • Most of my clients came from Instagram, despite me not being very good at or consistent with posting my work, which was a goal I had for this year to do better at. Looks like I'll just add that to this year's list of goals, too!

  • I need to really dive deep into my own brand strategy & hone in on my brand messaging and positioning, and really get into the heads of my ideal clients and what they're facing.

  • I didn't blog hardly at all whatsoever this year, so I want to start blogging at minimum, once per month, maybe bi-monthly if possible.

  • My email list didn't grow much this year, but I also didn't come out with any new free resources or downloads to entice people to want to subscribe, sot hat's something I'll be carving out time for in 2023!


To Summarize


To wrap up this end-of-year review, I'd say it has been the best year yet for Thrive Design Co. I was blown away when I conducted this year-end review and saw that I tripled my revenue this year. Just, wow. Hard work does pay off! I got to work with some absolute dream clients this year and I'm gonna be seeking out some clients in some of those same industries in 2023, and I'm so excited about it. I need to get better about posting my branding services and educating my audience about the world of branding and how it can impact their brand for the better since I mostly worked on websites in 2022. I want to triple my leads, get better about posting my work on Instagram, come up with a good social media strategy, improve my own website's SEO and my own brand strategy, work on building my email list, and creating some more valuable free resources for business owners, and more!


I hope reading this year-end review has been fun for you and helped you in some way! I know I like to read other people's year-end reviews and see what they've accomplished and get some ideas on how I can improve my own business. if you'd like me to email you a detailed checklist of everything I break down in my year-end review so you can conduct your own, just reach out! I'll be more than happy to send it to you!


Cheers to a successful and fulfilling year, and to the next one!


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