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As we stand on the doorstep of a new decade, we look ahead to what the future holds and what we want to achieve in the new year.

I find there’s just as much value in looking back and reflecting on the road so far and celebrating your successes (I did that when I celebrated five years of running my business earlier this year).

December can be a very difficult time for small businesses and I’ve learnt just how important it is to take the time to acknowledge your accomplishments and those of the people around you.

That’s why I’ve asked a few of my clients and collaborators to reflect on their 2019 and tell me what they’re most proud of, what they’re celebrating, and what their goals are for the new year.

Katya Willems – EasyInstaMcr

Katya runs a range of interesting Instagram training workshops and events.

Katya provides Instagram training through her business EasyInstaMcr and earlier this year she asked me to help to improve the SEO on her website. We had a series of one-to-one website consultancy sessions over the summer, and I’m happy to report that her website is now on the first page of Google for Instagram training Manchester.

Here’s what Katya said.

I am definitely most proud of The Wilderness Tonic retreat. It was quite a wild idea (excuse the pun) that Karen Webber and I cooked up, because it was exactly the type of retreat we’d like to attend ourselves as creative business owners. We wanted to take time out in nature with like-minded creatives to share ideas and enjoy some camaraderie. So we made it happen! We found the most beautiful venue in Edale to host it and some fab people attended the first one*. It was magical. Our next one is on Friday 31st January.

I’m celebrating that this year I’ve increasingly followed my heart in how I’ve built my business – and it’s really paid off. I’ve been focussed on being creative and original and helping good people. I’m loving the events and workshops I’m running. They are very ‘me’ – whether that’s running networking walks or Instagram events or Wilderness retreats – I feel they are a little bit different and very heartfelt and welcoming. And the best thing is I’ve found a fabulous like-minded person to collaborate with on events (Karen Webber of Goodness Marketing) which has been an absolute joy.

My top goal for the new year is to record another series of my Going Rogue podcast. I can’t wait to interview more of my creative business heroes about their unconventional career choices!

* I can vouch for this, as I was one of these fab people! I wrote about the day in my blog Finding Headspace at the Wilderness Tonic.

Becky Thorn – Comma Chameleon Copywriting

I teamed up with designer and illustrator Nicola Anderson to build a website for Becky’s new copywriting business Comma Chameleon.

Here’s Becky’s take on 2019.

I’m most proud of the fact that, after two years of getting by on work from existing clients and word-of-mouth, I finally took the leap to put myself out there and actively start promoting my skills. Also, networking. The idea of making small talk is really quite torturous to me, but I went on my first Freshwalks* event the other week and I had a great time with some genuinely nice and interesting people. I’ll definitely be doing more of those in the new year!

I’m mostly celebrating small wins on a daily basis, whether that’s an extra ‘Like’ for my Facebook page or good feedback on a blog post. Everything’s very new, so every tiny triumph feels like a huge win for me right now!

My goal for next year is simply to carry on what I’m doing. I’m learning loads as I go along, so I’ll be looking to implement that new knowledge, expand and nurture my client base and build some great relationships with lovely new people.

* Which coincidentally was organised by Katya and also I was there, small world!!

Wes Gordon – AC Computer Warehouse

Wes believes his new website has taken his business to the next level which I’m pretty flippin’ proud of!

In the summer I completed a full redesign and rebuild of the AC Computer Warehouse website.

Here’s how Wes reflects on 2019.

I’m most proud of building a business that has a good reputation with the public and within the IT industry.

I’m celebrating taking the business to the next level. Since the new website was launched, we have really kicked up a notch in sales and repairs.

In 2020 I want to keep business as vibrant as it currently is. I’m also looking at potentially taking on new staff. A sit-down or relax would also be fantastic 🙂

The AC Computer Warehouse website redesign has felt like one of my biggest successes this year, you can read more about it in the case study.

Things I’m celebrating

Photo by Karin Albinsson.

I’ve taken the opportunity to look back at my 2019 and realised I have a fair bit to celebrate.

One highlight is that I feel this year I’ve transitioned from being a freelancer to truly being a small business. I’ve launched workshops and website consultancy services, I’ve started working with Karen at Goodness Marketing on a solid, ongoing marketing plan, and I’ve spoken at events such as Stockport for Good and was a guest on the Lucy Butler’s Creative Conversations podcast.

It has been a joy to have found a great community of small ethical businesses around Stockport, and to feel proud of the work I’ve done and the people with whom I continue to work.

I’ve even started paying into a pension this year.

Next year I’m hoping to do more of the same, and I’m also looking forward to getting married!

I’d love to hear what you’re proud of, what you’re celebrating and what you have got planned for 2020. Tell me on Twitter or Instagram, and if you’re planning on creating a new site and would like my help, now is a great time to chat as I’m taking bookings for 2020!

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