Updated: Oct 19
A Review of 2021 for Keppel Leopard Creative
Today is my last full day at work before I close for Christmas. So, as I begin to put the out of office on, I thought I would reflect on on the year:
What Went Well
I changed my spots and I love it!
The rebrand of the business went really well. As much as I loved being Brand By Katie, I knew that in its current form the brand would have limitations for growth. The new name now really represents what I want to achieve with the business (and is also a good talking point!)
My Clients have been awesome!
This year I have been fortunate to work with some amazing clients who are so passionate and driven about what they want to achieve with their businesses. It has been lovely to work with them; helping them make their ideas a reality and to see how they have grown in confidence.
A Year of Learning...
With lockdown/not lockdown I decided to invest in myself and learn who I wanted to be. I come from a corporate background so unlearning that and remembering who I was has been difficult. I have done some amazing courses and taken on some great opportunities which has helped me really get into the mindset of being "the Boss"!
When I started the business I thought that I would enjoy being behind a keyboard rather than meeting people face-to-face. But having been forced to choose that option my opinion has changed. I have loved going out to networking meetings and just meeting people.
In July, me and the rest of the the business mastermind came together to have a day of focusing on our businesses and challenges. It was ace to be in a room of such funny, intelligent and caring women all determined to make their businesses a success. Then later on in the year I went to the TNT Manchester meetup. It was so nice just to sit and chat rather that being in "sales mode" all the time.
What I Learnt
My business could potentially survive a meteorite...
Whilst it has been a challenging year like many other businesses I know, Keppel Leopard Creative is still here - despite lockdowns, home-school and before that, Level 2 Parenting. For me this is an incredible achievement and gives me so much confidence that the business will only keep growing.
My business is ACTUALLY still pretty Young
Sometimes I forget that I have only been running my business for just over 2 years (2 years and 8 months to be precise). So when I get frustrated that things aren't moving the speed of light I need to remember building and business takes time.
I am literally my own worst client
Carrying on from the above I have realised I am my own worst client. Yes, I am amazing at helping my clients' achieve the brand they want but do I listen to my own advice? Mmm...not always!
I Need Down Time
As I work from home it is so easy for me to just head on upstairs to do "a quick bit of work" in the evening or on the weekend. I love my business, but also taking time away from it is incredibly important for my mental health and creativity. Next year I plan to have evenings off and to work 4 days a week rather than five.
Planning is Important!
My most successful business ideas have all come down to me planning. Even though I come from an admin background when it comes to planning my own things I am pretty useless! Fortunately, I have taken the time to plan next year out, and will be finalising it over the Christmas period with a mince pie in hand!
I also want to give a massive thanks to Laura from Pineapple VA. She has been amazing taking some of the admin tasks off my plate and stopping me going down rabbit holes!
"It's Complicated"...My relationship with social media
I have always used social media to run my business and during lockdown even more so. But, now that we are actually allowed to see other people (for now) I have realised that I find it easier to talk to people about what I do, rather than over social media.
2022: The Plan
Keppel Leopard showing off its spots...
Now that Keppel Leopard is bedded in it's time to show what these spots are really made of. In the New Year I will be moving away from social media and whilst I will still have a presence there, you will probably find me more offline than on. My reason for this is I want to create amazing relationships with you, and I find that much easier face-to-face.
There will be some changes too: all to help female business owners get the most out of their brand identity. These will be released throughout the year.
And whilst I will be working hard I will also be ensuring that I get plenty of time to be with my family. Flexibility, free time and being able to look after myself were some of the reasons why I started the business in the first place, and the benefits of doing so are so important to the business.
A final word...
This year has been so incredibly tough on business owners like me. It has been difficult to plan and to manage market expectations when situations are evolving by the minute. That being said, I would still choose being in business than being in a 9-5.
And to you: thank you for being incredible supporters of my business. Without you, this business simply wouldn't be where it is today, and for that I am incredible grateful to you.
I wish you all the luck and happiness in 2022.