2010 comes to an end - how's your year been?

2010 has been a hectic, frenetic and challenging year for us at Ditto. The snow hit us badly in January (as it did our clients), and we had a couple of huge obstacles to overcome through the course of the year, which seemed insurmountable at the time. Despite all of that, I want to take a moment to reflect on the strong progress we've made this year, as in many ways this year has been a big turning point for us!

Anyone who has been working with us since we opened for business almost 7 years ago will know just how much we've grown and evolved, but this year was a corker in terms of real, strong growth. We've met some fantastic new clients, forged close working relationships and have been lucky enough to get involved in some fascinating projects. The whole team have invested a lot of time in developing our skills - I can rarely be found without a stack of marketing books on my desk, Dan has progressed hugely with his design and illustration skills and Derek has been through training so we can now offer websites. Aside from personal developments, more and more involved work with our clients and concentrating on our sales and marketing, we've all faced the challenges of running a business in a not-quite-recovered-yet economy. Anyone who runs a business will know how tough it can be, and when you have unexpected problems thrown your way it makes it all the more difficult!

2010 has been the year that we've had the chance to redefine what we do. We've had to get our heads together and figure out what it is that Ditto does - we've evolved in such a way that our mission was no longer clearly definied. We know that getting this right is crucial; after all, if you don't know what you do, how will anyone else? By the way, if you're feeling the same about your business I highly recommend putting pen to paper and listing what you do and what you want to do - it's tough but totally worthwhile! With the help of my blog (ironic to think I started out dabbling with the idea of blogging, and now I'm managing a blog for someone else and achieveing readership of my own blog waaaay beyond anything I ever hoped for), we're now attracting exactly the sorts of clients that we love to work with, which is a fantastic start to the new year. We're not the types of people to get complacent though - as I type, we're working on relaunching our new branding, website, blog (we'll soon be migrating to Wordpress - more on that later!) and twitter page to reflect what we do. I love the fact that we're being asked to help at the concept stage of our clients marketing now - I love getting stuck into planning a promotion as it's always great fun!

We've spent the last few days planning our strategy and marketing plan for 2011 (I'm slightly ashamed to say that this is the first time we've ever been organised enough to plan ahead), and I'm really looking forward to building on our strong progress this year. For me personally, I'm so proud of everything we've done this year. There were times when things got very scary - the backdated business rates demand which landed in June with lots of zeros on the end knocked me sideways - but we're still here, armed with a fantastic tribe of loyal clients and we're more profitable than ever before.

I hope your year has been successful too. When you run a business it can be so hard to find a moment to look back on all the brilliant achievements - so take a moment and give yourself a pat on the back for all that you've done. So here we are - 2010 draws to a close. Cheers everyone, have a very merry Christmas and a fantastic new year.