I don’t know about you but I love reading fellow business owners end of year reviews and I wanted to share mine for 2019 with you here.
It’s important before setting goals for the new year to reflect on the previous year. After all, how will you learn from what you have experienced if you don’t take the time to review everything.
2019 was a strange year for me and I learnt a lot. I’m reviewing the biggest things that stood out for me this year.
1. My Rebrand
Since I launched my business in 2016, I have been guilty of not taking my own advice when it comes to branding my business. Particularly the visual part of creating a brand.
As with many things when you do them yourself, it’s really hard designing your own brand, particularly as a designer. I have the tools and inspiration at my fingertips on a daily basis which until last year, enabled me to tweak my brand identity and website far too frequently. I wasn’t consistent with my brand identity which led to confusion amongst my audience and not only that, with every rebrand, I was creating new marketing graphics, redesigning my opt-ins etc… Not to mention the crazy amount of time spent reworking my website again and again and again. Time that should have been spent growing my business.
I was on the verge of speaking to designers that I admire about working with them on my own brand and website when something suddenly clicked. After years of tweaking my branding, I created something that finally felt like me. An identity that matches my personality and attracts the types of clients I want to work with.
I now feel so content with my brand identity that I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to go this whole year and hopefully longer, without changing it. Something that hasn’t happened since starting Fleurir Online. I can now put this time into growing my business and working towards my mission of supporting as many female entrepreneurs as possible in building and growing flourishing online brands.
In addition to rebranding, I also changed my business name from Fleurir Creative to Fleurir Online. Fleurir is french for flourish and now I offer much more than just the visuals, Fleurir Online felt like a much better fit.
2. Launching my website template shop
As part of my mission, I wanted to add offerings to my business that enable me to support newer business owners who weren’t ready to invest in custom branding and marketing strategy. My Showit website template shop is one of them. The other is my group programme which I’ll touch upon later.
This is hands down my biggest achievement of 2019 and my most favourite. For a long time, I have wanted to add website and marketing templates to my business but client work took priority and it meant I never had the time.
So in 2019 I decided to cut down on 1:1 client work so that I could focus on creating my Showit website template shop and my group programme. It was a hard decision as it meant dropping a large proportion of my income but it was the right time and I’m so glad I did it.
I launched the shop in July 2019 with three full Showit website templates and my sales and landing page template. I then added a further 3 templates to the shop in November and I have another template launching this week.
This is by no means a ‘passive’ income stream but it wasn’t created to be. Yes, it means that I make sales in my sleep but I still have to work on marketing the templates as well as speaking to potential customers and customers helping them out with any queries they may have.
The feedback I receive from customers as well as seeing how they have customised the templates when they launch fills me with a joy I really can’t describe.
I have plans to add more products to the shop this year including more sales page templates as well as marketing templates such as Pinterest graphics and opt-in templates.
The shop has also opened up opportunities I hadn’t expected such as working with other designers to help them launch similar income streams which leads me onto my next one.
3. Supporting fellow designers
Shortly after my Showit website template shop launched in July, I was approached by two designers who were looking for support in marketing their business as well as guidance on launching their own digital products. I began working with these designers towards the end of last year on a 3-month 1:1 basis with fortnightly Zoom calls and I absolutely love it. It’s an offering that I have available to all businesses and I love that I can support fellow designers in growing their business too.
I definitely want to support more designers this year and I am brainstorming ways in which I can do so.
I also had two designers take part in my group coaching programme which again was completely unexpected but very much welcomed.
Speaking of my group coaching programme…
4. Launching the BETA round of Brand, Market, Flourish
In February last year, I started working with a launch coach as I knew I wanted to package up my signature offering, The Flourish Experience, into a group format to support newer business owners in building and growing flourishing brands.
In April I launched the BETA round of Brand, Market, Flourish by sending a couple of emails to my email list and then quickly added on a last-minute webinar. In hindsight, it wasn’t very well planned but I was so eager to get it out there that I definitely rushed it. Looking back now, I should have waited a few more months.
Anyway, I had four clients join the programme and I got to work on creating the content. Unfortunately, I underestimated how much work this would be and we soon hit the summer holidays where we had to take a break in the programme as most of us (including me) were working reduced hours.
It wasn’t a complete fail from my end however as doing this BETA round solidified a lot of things for me. I needed to make it longer and break up some of the modules a bit more.
I then decided to do an early-bird launch to my waitlist of 50+ people the week before Christmas and it was a complete fail. Not a single person on my waitlist signed up. I’m going to reach out to those on the waitlist to find out why they didn’t sign up but for now, I’ve now decided to press pause on the programme until March/April this year. This will give me some space to work on other things that I have been missing such as working with my 1:1 Flourish clients and I’ll be able to launch it properly without rushing.
Last but by no means least…
5. The Flourish Experience
I’m going to be completely honest here and say that I worked with 1 Flourish Experience client last year. With everything that was going on with the template shop and my group programme plus my first year of navigating school holidays, I didn’t push Flourish at all.
I mentioned it in some emails, talked about it on Instagram stories a couple of times and that’s it. Hardly surprising that I didn’t book any clients for it huh! Oh, and my portfolio had a coming soon page up from when my rebrand launched in July until December. It’s safe to say that Flourish had moved down my priority list.
Towards the end of last year, I began to realise that I missed working with clients on a 1:1 basis and flexing my branding muscles so The Flourish Experience is going to be my main focus along with the template shop for the first part of 2020.
I have the capacity to take on one Flourish client a month which works out to be about 10 a year with holidays. Taking on one client a month means that I can give each client the time they deserve whilst still being able to work on other areas of my business. It also means that each client will be at a different stage of the process so I’m not crushing my creativity by working on two brand identities or websites at the same time.
Where I am focusing my efforts in 2020
Even though 2019 was a strange year for Fleurir Online, I have learnt a lot and it’s also been one of the best years for my business in terms of expansion.
With all that being said, here’s where I want to focus my efforts in 2020…
- Bring back 1:1 client work with The Flourish Experience
- Open my Brand, Market, Flourish group programme in March/April and September/October
- Expand the offerings in my template shop with more website templates and new marketing templates
- Work with more designers to help them with marketing and adding digital offerings to their business
In addition to the above, I’m also considering opening a monthly membership mainly focused around visibility and marketing for those who need low-cost support and to act as an extension of Brand, Market, Flourish so clients and continue to get support.
So there you have it, my biggest learnings from 2019. I must admit that I was scared to post this as it makes me feel quite vulnerable but it’s important to share the bad with the good. I hope you enjoyed reading it just as I enjoy reading others. If you can relate to anything here, I’d love to hear from you. Say hello over on Instagram, I love chatting over there.