The Biggest Lessons We Learned in 2021
It’s midway through December. 2021 is almost over, and like every year, we here at Lúgh Studio are reflecting back on the past 12 months.
Today we thought we’d share some of the biggest lessons we’ve learned in 2021, along with where we learned them.
Apply them to your own business for a more successful 2022.
5 Biggest Lessons in 2021
1) Planning in advance is everything.
We got a lot done this year. From further collaboration with longtime clients like 3DPrint, to new projects with newcomers like TruFund, 2021 was busy.
This didn’t happen on accident. Indeed, while we are proud of the work that Lúgh Studio got done, planning is everything. And not just planning our day-to-day, but structuring our weeks and months far in advance. This has allowed us to not only do more work, but get better results than we otherwise would.
While most agencies would agree about the effectiveness of long term planning, implementation is far more difficult. It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day tasks. That 30,000 foot view of your company’s activities (and what is coming up throughout the year) is far more difficult to achieve.
Looking to step up your company’s own planning processes? Check out this post.
2) Prioritizing relationships with current clients is often more important than finding new ones.
Clients and customers are the lifeblood of any business. That’s why it’s easy to get caught up thinking you always need to be pursuing new business. And in fact, our new clients and accounts in 2021 are one of the biggest things we’re proud of.
Still, new business isn’t everything. Take a look at your current clients first. These are often the customers and organizations responsible for most of your revenue. Think of the 80/20 rule. This dictates that approximately 80 percent of your results will come from 20 percent of your efforts.
The same is true of your profits with clients. It’s certainly something we’ve seen at Lúgh Studio. That’s why we try to bring authenticity into every client relationship. Not only is it generally good for business, but our most important clients are often the ones that have been with us for years. They know who we are. This means they expect a certain standard from us and want to see values like consistency, transparency and honesty.
We are happy to operate with these values – they are true drivers in the designer-client relationship.
3) Solving people’s problems is the core of a successful business.
While this may sound obvious, many businesses complicate their role. At the end of the day, a thriving company simply does one thing: solve problems for the people that pay them. Ideally, they solve these problems well.
At Lúgh Studio, we build websites for nonprofits. This is the problem we solve. Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t other services we offer. But websites are what we specialize in, and this has been our focus for years.
When you’re planning the growth of your own business, simplicity can help. What is the problem that you solve? If you can’t answer this, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
In doing so, it’s also important to remember the importance of adaptability. This flexible approach to work is key to solving people’s problems. Once you fully understand the client’s needs, you are able to pull from different resources to find the solution. You will often make informed decisions along the way…but the path from “problem” to “solution” is not always a straight line. This is when it pays to be adaptable.
Indeed, as an agile design studio, this is how we at Lúgh Studio work best. Projects sometimes develop in unexpected ways – it’s important that you’re ready to switch directions fast. This is one of the biggest lessons in 2021.
4) Diversifying your client acquisition can pay dividends.
Getting really good at one at one client acquisition strategy is usually a good thing. Focus is essential. However, mixing things up every now and then is also important. New client acquisition strategies can spread your message further than relying on just one channel. They also have the ability to open you up to new markets you’ve never before considered.
One example from Lúgh Studio is our content marketing. Creation of blog content is something we always did, but we never managed the consistency that we were looking for.
2021 has been different. We have posted over 60 blog posts this year, all blog content that we aim to help nonprofits with. This demonstrates our expertise and has steadily built up a hub of content that can lead future clients to us. We’ve also approached our email marketing more strategically.
So give it a try. What’s the one strategy or channel you’ve ignored up until now for client acquisition? Try it out – you might surprise yourself with the results!
5) Give your workers freedom and autonomy while working remotely.
Since the pandemic, we at Lúgh Studio (like many companies) have mostly worked remotely. While this was difficult at first, we eventually figured it out. How to be productive, how to communicate and how to plan projects with other team members – these are all skills our team has become well-adapted in.
One of the reasons for our smooth transition has been the value we place on freedom and autonomy. Our team is as diverse as they are talented. Simply put, everybody works differently. Prioritizing freedom and autonomy allows our team members to work through their individual process in a way most suited to them. Trust me on this one – nobody wants a supervisor looking over their shoulder!
That’s why we consider this one of the biggest lessons in 2021 that we’ve learned. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it comes easy. Check out our post for more advice on running remote teams most effectively.
Are you an enterprise, nonprofit or small business looking for help on your website? Give us a shout! We provide a free consultation. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (718) 855-1919!