2019 Q1 Review - Alexander Design Co.
Don’t you just love reading other business owner’s month or year in review posts? I know I do. When my friend Morgan shared a review of Q1 I just knew I wanted to write one too for my own business.
It’s so easy to forget about the things we’ve done or even diminish the amazing things that we have done. It’s also really easy to get caught up in the struggles of day to day business.
There are moments that I celebrated at the time that now seems small now that we are on the other side of them. I want to cherish those moments. I also want to take time to acknowledge that I do in fact have a successful business!
At the end of 2018, I made some big changes in my business that have really changed how I run my business.
Aligned my services with my passion.
I now only offer website design and no longer offer branding. Honestly, I just didn’t enjoy designing logos and brands anymore. I love to take the details of a brand and making something fun from those details, but I just don’t enjoy creating the details.
It’s been so freeing to be able to focus on what I truly love.
Doubled my prices.
At the start of the year, I doubled the price of my website design service which meant I could take on fewer clients every month. Working with fewer clients means I can really dive into the projects with my whole heart and focus. This means better strategy, more creative design, and more one on one time with my clients. It makes me 100 times a better website designer.
The combination of these two things has made this year strides above where I was last year. I’m making more money with fewer clients than years past and really creating work I’m proud of and that my clients love.
With that, here’s a review of Q1 in 2019.
Fun and Unique Website Design Projects
This quarter I worked on three custom designed sites - two on Wordpress and one on Squarespace.
EnFete - Custom Wordpress E-commerce Shop
Enfete is a gorgeous party decor shop on Etsy that we migrated over to Wordpress to continue building her online presence and give a little more flexibility to Carey, the shop owner.
This is one of my favorite custom builds to date. It’s full of unique and fun party decor, party themes, tips, and recipes for parties. There are over 400 products and 50 blog posts that all needed work together to make it easier on shoppers and increase orders for Carey.
This shop is not quite ready for publishing, but here’s a small sneak peek. (I’ll do a deep dive of this site for my portfolio in a few weeks and update here when it’s done.)
Avenue Digital Media - Custom Wordpress Digital Shop
The new Avenue Digital Media shop was a migration from Shopify to Wordpress. In full transparency, this my own website for a side-hustle but I treated it just as I would a new client.
Avenue Digital Media is a very small niche business that caters to one specific direct sales company. I moved it from Shopify to Wordpress in order to add a simple membership area for a monthly subscription that was far too complicated on Shopify. Wordpress gave me the highest level of flexibility in the design.
This business is completely built on word of mouth and email marketing so I didn’t need to build a huge or fancy website but I wanted it to be easy to use and look good. Mission accomplished.
Elizabeth Rockwell - Custom Squarespace Website
This was a really fun project, but it wasn’t for a real client. It was part of a course and mastermind I took from Meg at Square Design Guild, for Squarespace designer who are ready to level up their skills. We built a full site for review and feedback during the course. Even though it was a fake client, my friend Shaina from Your Ampersand Studio connected me with a health coach client who let me use her branded photoshoot for my project! It’s a fake business, but a real (amazing) woman that I based this site off.
I signed up for this course to improve my design skills and stretch myself creatively. Again mission accomplished. I worked on my coding skills and learned so many new tricks that I’ve already started implementing in my client sites. (I’m also going to add this to my portfolio soon.)
Beyond these three custom designs, I also now have 6 ongoing support clients who I work with every month. My monthly support package allows me to help business owners grow their online presence through their website. Tasks include things like updating photos, publishing and optimizing blog posts, adding new photos, adding new sales pages, updating SEO and so many other things I’m probably forgetting.
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to work with clients because we can really see our work together to pay off. Last month I was sending reports that said things like, “Your site traffic TRIPLED!” Or, “you sold twice as many copies of your book this month than last month!”
So as you can tell it was a busy quarter for client work!
In February, this year I attended my first business retreat for graphic and website designers. It was seriously incredible to be surrounded by other designers who are working on scaling their business.
The retreat was hosted in San Diego, California by Cathy Olson from The Inspired Pro and Funnel Gorgeous. The views were in incredible! The retreat was hosted at a gorgeous beach house on a cliff overlooking Pacific Beach.
During those two days in San Diego, I focused on creating my new mini-series for automating your coaching business and figuring out what makes me unique from other website designers. I had so many moments of clarity, if you haven’t been on a business retreat I highly recommend doing one as soon as possible.
I also got to take my husband with me and turn it in a mini vacation! I loved having him there with me and it was a great getaway for the two of us. It’s so important to pour into our relationships and ourselves.
Business and Self Development Books
I mostly read for fun so my Goodreads list is full of fiction but I did read a few self-development books that I wanted to mention.
This book really did change my life. This book breaks down habits into sustainable steps. Which I didn’t implement everything I learned I have used to seriously change some habits.
For example, I only watch TV while I’m at the gym on the elliptical or while folding laundry. I was recently told I need to avoid high impact exercise, so I’ve been forced to trade my desire to run for the elliptical and it’s so dreadfully boring. This has really helped me start to enjoy it more and more and looking forward to heading to the gym. Currently watching Private Practice.
I also use this to keep myself on top of doing the laundry. I only allow myself to watch Grey’s Anatomy while folding laundry each week.
It works. I’m looking forward to reading the book again and printing out some of the journaling prompts to go even further in learning to change my habits.
Final Thoughts on the Quarter
This first quarter of 2019 has been pretty fantastic, even though I technically did not hit any of the goals I set at the start of the year. (I’m very very close!) It did, however, teach me that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for.
I’m really looking forward to what Q2 has in store for me and my company.