Goodbye 2021. Hello 2022.
This year has been an incredible experience for all of us here at Myth, we got to work with some amazing clients and create some exciting projects. Let's have a look at what happened this year at our digital agency in Belfast, and what we are looking to achieve in 2022.
Another year complete ✅
2021 was great, we worked on lots of exciting projects, welcomed two new members to the Myth team, turned 5 years old, built our own software platform and the business keeps moving forward as we continue to improve as a team and grow as individuals. Covid may continue to dominate every conversation, but we won't allow it to dominate our growth and vision. 💪
Welcome Conor & Daniel
Most importantly this year we expanded the team with Conor and Daniel. Both have settled in very well and have grasped the culture and vision of Myth. We are very excited to have them join the team and it has certainly made the office a lot louder!
Conor Webb joined us in April as a Web / Front-End Developer. His primary role was development of our Craft CMS & Craft Commerce projects. In just 8 months he has grown his front-end development skills dramatically, taking on multiple VueJS projects and other challenges. He's a natural developer, eager to learn.
Daniel Lord is our newest recruit having joined us in November as a Full-Stack Developer. He brings with him a wealth of both front-end and back-end experience primarily in PHP and React.
Turning 5 Years Old
In June 2021, Myth turned 5 years old. We didn't shout about it as much as we should have, but what a 5 years it's been. Just 5 years ago, the business was created from nothing but a MacBook, a hot-desk in a co-working space and a vision. We've since moved office (three times), relocated to Holywood then back to Belfast and grown the team from just one – to a team of six, a purpose built office space and an overly competitive pool table.
And what have we achieved in 5 years? A little more of everything really - bigger projects, more new clients, better at planning, improved business processes, development of our own software to support projects and clients (Myth Hub) and a culture that staff love to work in and clients love to work with.
Our entire service offering has also changed, we started out as a web design agency in 2016. Now our primary service offering is software development and mobile app development. We still design and develop custom websites, that will always be a core part of what we do - however expanding the team internally has allowed us to expand on our knowledge and skillsets to offer a more rounded technical service offering. We feel our team are strong enough to take on any project.
I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in 5 short years, but there is still so much more that we want to achieve over the next 5 years.
Work in 2021
Myth was founded in 2016 with one simple goal – to produce high quality work and provide maximum value for clients. I personally seen a need for local agencies that go above and beyond for the client and don't treat the process as a conveyor belt of project in – project out as soon as possible.
I'm very pleased with the quality of work we consistently produce at our digital agency in Belfast. Being a close team allows every member of the team to play a part in projects and nothing satisfies us more than seeing a project successfully move from concept to delivery with the client at the centre.
We genuinely believe we can compete with any other agency in our field, we feel our quality speaks for itself and our portfolio is getting stronger every day. Our work proves that, we've worked with both small local brands and global brands like Coca-Cola and Bushmills to name-drop a few.
We had a fantastic year of work, and we're looking forward to seeing what 2022 has in store. We appreciate all of our clients for their business in 2021, and can't wait to see what next year has in store.
It's difficult to transition from a team of one to a team of six. There were several difficulties associated with increasing the team. We may not be a 30 person team (yet), but the same challenges are impossible to avoid.
At the start of the financial year, we set aside a full week to examine all of our business processes for everything from internal management to client project delivery, as well as each stage of project pipelines and everything in between. We were brutally honest, both in terms of evaluating and criticising ourselves at the same time.
Out of that week came a complete revamp of Myth internally, some small changes as well as a number of big improvements and changes to our processes. It may not be perfect yet and we're still getting used to the new way of working, but we've greatly improved our project management, client communications, project testing, and everything in between.
Myth Hub (beta)
A big internal project in 2021 was the development of our internal software. This idea came out of the review in April and will be a work in progress going into 2022.
We designed it for our clients as a communications tool to help them keep everything organised in one area. Clients can access project information and resources, review documents, receive quotes, and submit support requests all within the software. We expanded the software to help us manage our internal processes and use it now to keep track of everything from project deliverables to technical briefings, tasks, and sales pipelines.
We're writing a full blog article about this, when it's done we'll link to it here.
What to expect in 2022
We've had the pleasure of working with clients all throughout the world since 2016. We've worked with clients both locally and internationally across numerous states in the United States, Europe, and even Africa. In recent years, our efforts have been focused on increasing brand awareness and assisting local companies manage the impact of Covid.
We feel that we've done a fantastic job with this and are now ready to take a look at international markets and clients. Our time and efforts will still be focused on growing our portfolio and helping businesses domestically. However will include building brand awareness and business outside of Northern Ireland in 2022, particularly focusing on the US.
We are very good at what we do, but not so great at telling people about it. Our marketing efforts in 2022 will be much more targeted and engaging. We're going to be writing lots of blog articles, interesting articles on medium and sector specific content. More newsletters, more social media posts. More of everything.
We'll continue to give our all for our clients. Our clients are everything to us. We're not a business without them. Exceeding client expectations (within reason) is our number one priority and will continue to be in 2022 and beyond. On the other hand we also won't be afraid to stop working with clients who aren't the right fit. We'll continue to say no, if it's best for the client and ourselves.
This year we launched our new website, which was a major milestone for us as it was the first time we launched a website with a focus on SEO, and less on my OCD. Our previous websites were designed by a designer, for other designers. This new website has been designed and developed with a focus on user experience for clients to engage and see the type of work we do. No ego's attached!
This focus on SEO will continue into 2022, with even more articles being written. We also have plans mid-2022 to start running regular webinars where we share our knowledge on certain topics.
In the past 5 years, we've adapted from a web design agency to a full service digital agency that can build just about anything. Clients come to us for Custom Software Development, Mobile App Development, Ecommerce Development, Web Design and UX Design. We're transparent about what we're good at and what we aren't. We will happily refer you to our network if you need something we don't provide, no strings attached.
Our focus in 2022 and beyond is to continue developing our internal design and development skillsets to allow us to continue to provide the best quality service we can, using the best standard of design and code. We'll continue to design and build custom Web Design for clients using Craft CMS and develop Ecommerce stores using Craft Commerce or Shopify, in addition to our Software Development and Mobile App Development projects.
Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I struggle to talk about myself. So I'll keep this short!
2021 was a big year for me personally, I became a dad for the second time with my partner giving birth to our beautiful baby girl in October and I got engaged to my amazing wife to be.
It's difficult as a business owner to sit by and not help your team when things require doing. It's particularly tough being a business owner but also a designer and developer, since it's all too easy to become involved in a project you vowed you wouldn't get involved in, only to blink and find several weeks have went by and company growth and strategy you promised you'd work on hasn't been touched.
In 2022, I will be aiming to cut my weekly design and development time by ~60% in order to focus on Myth's growth and strategy. On a personal note, I plan to spend less evenings/weekends at my computer and more time with my family.
I'd also like to be a single digit handicap golfer, but that's likely to be a 2030 goal! 🏌️♂️
Keepin' on plan
This article alone serves as accountability for myself and all of the team, primarily around marketing and social media. We will be much more active on social media, both specifically marketing Myth, to promote our clients work but also provide value to our clients and followers. Expect regular blog posts, monthly newsletters etc.
Next year is going to be even bigger than 2021. We can't wait to get started. We know what we need to improve and now need to take action.
Let's get to work! 🚀