Perspective and Persistence: 2023 in Review and Plans for 2024

December 18, 2023

Well, we blinked…and 2023 came to a close.

For real, both our left brain and right brain were stretched in a multitude of directions this year. From international travel to launching new services, we were busy!

The big through-line in 2023 was being consistent with our refined positioning and messaging. By owning our focus on values-based marketing and leading with diversity, we’ve further solidified our expertise—and it’s connected us with more and more aligned people. In 2024, we’re going to carry that forward. 

Let’s recap a few other highlights and look ahead, shall we? We hope it will inspire you to reflect on your 2023 progress too, and maybe spark some ideas for 2024 goals. 

In this blog, we’re highlighting:

🧠 Four milestones from 2023

🧠 Four things we’re looking forward to in 2024 

A Few Scenes from the 2023 Highlight Reel

For many business owners, 2023 felt like navigating stormy seas at times, us included. We particularly felt this at the beginning of the year when economic shifts started to set in. Combined with our lengthy list of lofty goals, it all felt overwhelming. 

But, thanks to support from our business coach and people in our community, those seas calmed. We took a step back and reminded ourselves we didn’t have to do everything at once. By getting perspective and staying the course, we felt confident at the helm once again.

Here are a few things that made 2023 one for the books.

Celebration-Worthy Client Projects 

For off, we’re so grateful for another year working with awesome clients and launching head-turning websites. From small but mighty projects to substantial digital homes, here are a few that made us proud. 

No matter what your year looked like, take a minute to celebrate the work you did. Whether it’s projects completed, marketing initiatives launched, or content created, you made things happen. 

Who cares if you didn’t scratch every item off your to-do list? Does anyone ever do that?

2 New Women-Owned Business Certifications 

We started the year leading with diversity and now we’re ending the year with two new certifications:

An industry friend encouraged us to pursue our WBENC and WOSB certifications and we’re so glad we did. You never know what ripple effects a single new connection can have on your own career growth and direction. 

These official certifications open us up for many more aligned connections, including those with businesses that want to ensure they’re hiring a diverse supplier. 

It’s a big responsibility and an honor to have both of these certifications now, and we’re so thankful to be a part of a vast network of support. We’re also excited to have these certifications beside the Minority Business Enterprise certification we earned last year.

Speaking of WBENC…Their Conference Was Awesome

Back in March, we went to Nashville for WBENC’s Momentum National Conference, an event dedicated to connecting women entrepreneurs and corporate execs. We got to hear from dozens of inspiring women business owners, which gave us plenty of inspiration to fuel the rest of our 2023. 

This experience also drove home our belief in leading with diversity. At that conference, we saw there are tons of big organizations out there that want to diversify their suppliers.

From Fortune 1000 brands like Target and Ford to federal contractors, this diversification creates game-changing opportunities for small brands on a mission. Like us and like you! 

We Earned an Exciting Comcast Grant—and a Commercial?!

2023 was the year of grant education. Thanks to our business coaches, we’ve learned this year that there are so many opportunities for small businesses, women-owned businesses, and minority-owned businesses to apply for grants. 

These programs provide resources that help you grow your business, hire talented people, and purchase equipment, all while connecting you with other businesses that align with your values. 

It’s like opening up Pandora’s box when you discover the world of grants. Our coach also advised us to look for other businesses that are receiving grants to put towards things like marketing. We can then show them how our services and diversity certifications fit the criteria for their grant spending. 

You can do the same. So why not set yourself up for success in 2024 with some grant research? 

On that note, we received a particularly exciting grant from Comcast RISE this year. 

Part of this grant included a commercial opportunity. Yep, we’ve made it big-time, folks.

Check out our Comcast Commercial:

Want to Dive Deeper into Grants?

Check out this guest post Hazel wrote for about the importance of grants for minority and women-owned businesses. 

Coming Up in 2024

Between client projects and business development, we’ve got a lot to look forward to next year. Here are a few of the exciting things on our horizon. 

Continuing with Values-Based Marketing

In 2023, we heard from many clients and people in our audience that our messaging around values-based marketing really resonated. One thing’s clear: You stand for something, you want to talk about—and your audience wants to hear it.

So you better believe we’re going to keep supporting you with this. 

Our plan is to provide even more guidance on how to lead with your values online, through different stories, strategies, and formats. This will ring true in both our ongoing marketing content and our core services: website design and digital marketing strategy sessions.

Which brings us to…

More Digital Marketing Strategy Sessions

Our Digital Marketing Strategy Sessions give you a laser-focused plan to help you meet and exceed your quarterly goals. No need to be everywhere, all the time, all at once—you’ll know exactly what’s best for your business to focus on. 

We absolutely love running these strategy sessions, but we haven’t done as many during recent months, so we’re focussing on them in 2024. During these sessions, we’re also going to put an extra emphasis on identifying your brand values and strategizing where to talk about those values.   

If you’ve been following along with our messaging and brand DNA tips in 2023, a Strategy Session is a great opportunity to bring everything full circle. 

Monument Women’s Creative Alliance is Getting a New Website 

Our community for creative women entrepreneurs, MWCA, is one of our greatest passion projects. So it’s about time we gave it the digital home it deserves! 

We’re currently developing a new website with a focus on:

  • Highlighting past initiatives
  • Showcasing future events and projects
  • Connecting visitors to our partners
  • Including opportunities for sponsorships
  • Demonstrating the value of becoming a member

If you’re a woman business owner near Baltimore, keep an eye out. We would love to have you at one of our events in 2024. 

2024 International Women’s Day Event

Our 2023 International Women’s Day event was such an inspiring experience. The panel discussion was full of reflection and education on how we, as professional women, can leverage our spheres of influence to forge a world with more equal opportunities. 

That’s why we’re extra excited to plan 2024’s event. 

We already have several amazing headliners lined up, so we’ll want to secure tickets when they go on sale. Join our email list to stay in the loop when they’re available.

Hope to see you there in March. 

Catch You in the New Year!

Whether you’re a past client, a peer, a partner, a friend, or a family member, thank you. Drio wouldn’t be where we are without you in our circle. 

Here’s to another year of learning, connecting, and leading with our values. 

If you need a new website or marketing strategy in 2024, you know where to find us. 

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About the Author: Rachel McFadden

She’s helped build roads in Baltimore, Maryland. Now this civil engineer turned WordPress wizard and graphic designer creates websites and marketing collateral that build bridges between you and your ideal customers. In a nutshell, she makes sure that when a potential client finds you online, there’s a clear, connected, on-brand digital path that leads them straight to your inbox, smartphone, or checkout page.

Ready to strike your perfect balance between head turning and revenue generating?

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