As I sit and write this, it’s Jan 1, I just got baby into bed, I’m eating the last of my Christmas squares from Grandma — “eat” is a loose term, it’s more like inhale — and I’m just putting the final notes together from all the planning Justin and I have been working on for HIM & HER’s 2017 first quarter. As all business owners must feel, it’s absolutely crazy to believe we have yet another year under our belt. Where did the time go? For us, this final evening planning, as unglamorous as it is, marks the next chapter of HIM & HER — with new goals to meet, new clients to get started with and new challenges to overcome.

2016 was an absolute blur. I am actually looking back on past invoicing to remember all the work that was completed, and as I do… Wow. We’re so lucky to work with amazing clients (~95% of which are local), and the growth of our team has been amazing. So, here’s my notables list…

Things that were brand spanking new to us in 2016:

– 25 new clients
– 7 new brand identities created — 3 of them including new packaging designs
– 14 new websites designed and developed — 2 of them are e-commerce
– 1 new ERP project commenced
– 1 new web app developed
– 2 new social media accounts being managed on our clients’ behalf
– 3 new full-time hires: 1 Designer, 1 Developer, and 1 Social Media Manager
– 4 new peeps in our lives that are totally apart of our team: 1 design freelancer, 1 freelance writer, and 1 developer we hired on behalf of our client (and is on client’s payroll), but works in our studio and integrates with our team on the project
– 1 new office space — Yep, we moved a whole 1 flight of stairs up to a space 2.5 times the size of our original space
– 1 new baby — Hey, we’re a small business, so baby (aka AJ) was a huge part of 2016. She has had such a big impact on the business and how I structure my time (cause there ain’t no maternity leave here folks!). I feel like I should get into that (the challenges and very positive effects, that have actually made us more profitable) in another post. Stay tuned!

And then there is all of the design and development work with our established clients. The numbers are ridiculous… so ridiculous that I need to spend another night to finish gathering the data, but here are some of the highlights.

Things that happened with our established clients:

– We closed over 3,900 unique deals. I’m not fudging the numbers to make this thing look large… I’m talking 3,900 invoices with multiple line items of services in each. This established client work ranges from:

– Brochure designs
– Popup banners
– Tradeshow booth designs
– Outdoor window graphics
– T-shirt designs
– App UI designs
– Packaging design
– Website hosting
– Website revisions (more like new additions)
– SalesForce integrations
– Scripting and internal tooling development
– Consulting

Some growth stats

And then there are the other little goodies that pop into my mind (maybe it’s the coffee kicking in?), the little things that make up the growth of our business:

– We’ve grown 140% in 2016
– We were silently invested in
– Our team increased from 7 employees to 10
– We formally defined our branding process into a more proprietary, two-part, exercise — starting with a custom brand positioning exercise and ending with our brand essence package
January 2016 we converted our “hand-done” bookkeeping & payroll system to Online Quickbooks where we could better track our invoices, profit/loss, and balance sheet
– Here at the end of the year, we moved all our leads into SalesForce
– We introduce the use of Slack and more importantly opened up channels with our clients
– And we drastically improved our hour tracking system across the company

How quickly time has passed. It’s too easy to clump 2016 into one big sigh of relief. If you break it down there are many accomplishments here at HIM & HER.

Taking this chocolate induced moment to reflect on all the growth in our little business is super satisfying. Our team has worked so hard and we are continuing to hone in on our design and development capabilities as we continue to expand the business.

We can’t wait to really jump into 2017. Stay tuned for a few more posts about all our learnings from 2016 which we’ll be applying this year.

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