2020 - A Year in Review

This is my first time writing a “year in review” post, so here goes!

Before 2020, I pretty much split my time between Evoluted, family & my car hobby. This year it’s changed, and now CarMats.co.uk is in the mix. I’m going to approach the review in this order.

Evoluted

2020 was supposed to be a massive year for Evoluted & it was a bit of a damp squib to be honest. We were supposed to buying our new “forever” office and had some big expansion plans in the works.

We felt the impact of COVID-19 like many, due to a combination of clients pausing retainers at the start of the pandemic and a generally reluctance to go ahead with large development projects during & after lockdown.

We managed to deal with this in part by giving clients payment holidays so we could start work we knew they needed and keep our team busy. We were fortunate enough to have a strong cash position to enable this.

Thankfully October - December saw a big change, with clients committing to projects in 2021 or kicking off new retainers.

We kept the end goal in sight though and still continued to grow the team at Evoluted during the pandemic. And for me the team at Evoluted have been absolute superstars throughout. They are the reason we weathered the pandemic so well.

Our Lucky Moment

We were also incredibly lucky. On 19th March I was due to go into the solicitors to complete a £750k purchase of an old factory to be redeveloped into an office for Evoluted plus residential/commercial space as an investment.

I delayed the signing at the last minute, wanting to see how COVID-19 developed. That proved to be a great decision as we’ve switched to be flexible where our team work from; either in the office, at home or a combination of the two. 

We now no longer require a bigger home and can stay in our current office for years to come.

Family

The biggest change for me in 2020 was spending more time with my family, working from home has been a joy for me. I’ve always struggled with work/life balance but I think that this year I managed to get it a lot more balanced. My littlest actually cried when I started going back to work in the office 3 days a week!

We’ve managed many more walks, board games, play fights and Xbox sessions than ever before, it’s been truly amazing.

Home schooling was definitely tough, but Caroline (my wife) was amazing and handled it all so well. It would have been a disaster without her.

The kids have suffered this year though, our kids have a packed schedule and the lack of sports & other after school activities has affected their mood. 

At the same time I am conscious of how lucky we are, COVID-19 hasn’t affected our lives that much. We haven’t been ill, we still managed to go on holiday in summer and still have a business, which I am very thankful for.

There was a bit of a low moment at the end of summer when I “crashed” my car and it had to spend a month in a body shop being repaired. It took us 8 hours to get home on the back of a recovery truck, a journey what should have been an hour’s drive. That properly killed my mood for a good few weeks.

Carmats.co.uk

I won’t prattle on about CarMats.co.uk, as I feel I do that too much anyway. But needless to say, the success of CarMats.co.uk has taken me by surprise.

At the point of writing this, I’ve sold £800,000+ of car mats this year and at this point last year, I hadn’t even thought about starting this journey.

CarMats.co.uk does have the potential to change my family’s life for the better, so that’s my aim 🤞

What I’ve learnt most would be to automate & outsource as much as you can as soon as you can. Very quickly you get caught up in the “doing” with very little time to outsource.

Plans for 2021

Next year is going be big, I think everyone hopes that, but for me, I’m looking at: 

  • Continuing to spend more time at home with the family. This is an absolute must. We’ve booked a few UK holidays next year too which I’m really excited for.

  • Setting Evoluted off on a roadmap for £5 million in revenue in the next 5 years (hopefully a bit sooner).

  • Growing CarMats.co.uk! There’s a number of areas I want to branch out into, I’m going to do a video about my plans for 2021, but I’m aiming to hit £3 million in revenue in 2021.

  • Securing our family's future. We're making some fairly boring changes to how the ownership of CarMats.co.uk, Evoluted & other ventures work that should make a big difference to our family in the next few decades.