A little over a year ago I wrote a short essay on how I’d like Creatomatic to work.
Penned on the eve of our official launch, it was a stab at setting out how we’d like the company to work and what we wanted to do with our business.
Today, as Creatomatic reaches its first birthday, seems a good time to revisit it.
It’s been a mind-bogglingly first year behind the big blue cog.
We’ve struggled through the first few months, taking on every little job we could as we tried to kick-start the company and get a reputation together. We’ve scraped along the bottom financially, topping up the finances from savings and putting essential expenses on credit cards. There were a few moments where we genuinely feared that we’d have to close our doors if we couldn’t get payments together in time.
And yet – a scant 12 months later – I’m able to look at our little company with, frankly, a bloody massive amount of pride. We’ve got two full-time and one part-time member of staff working in our beautiful new office in Bridge House. We’ve completed projects to be really proud of, for the likes of Peters Fraser and Dunlop and Annan Athletic FC, and we’ve built up a roster of clients who rely on Creatomatic to provide their web services. We’ve paid off almost all our start-up costs, and we’re even (just) in profit after a single year. I’ve got to admit: we really didn’t see this coming!
So, what’s changed in our first year of business?
Well – we’ve grown (much) faster than we expected, for one. We intended to build up a decent financial cushion before increasing staffing levels – but with the sheer speed of growth over the summer, we had to basically man up and get hirin’. (Not that we regret it, I might add.)
We’ve stuck to our guns on Being Nice To Staff – and we’ve extended this to Being Nice To Clients too.
In the spring we came up with the concept of ‘Hour of Random Kindness’: giving an hour’s free time per week to any of our clients who could use our services, be it a branding update, some SEO research, a little copywriting or even just a wee email to advise on getting more sales from their site. (James insists on calling it ‘Hour of Random Niceness’, but only so he can make terrible jokes about somebody ‘getting the HORN’.)
And I’d like to think that we’ve raised our game internally, with some of the best work we’ve ever produced over the last twelve months and some really rather useful skills being added to our repertoire (custom post types, anyone?).
All that remains, therefore, is to send a great big thanks to all of our clients, past and present, and here’s to another year as good as this one.