Yearly round up - 2023

Skyward has just turned 2! That means it’s time to reflect on everything we’ve achieved in the past year and where we’d like to be this time next year.

Dan Spratling sitting in a bar window with a drink, smiling

Dan Spratling

Hero Image for Yearly Round Up 2023 Article


Jun 8, 2023

Last Edited

Oct 19, 2023

Read Time

6 mins


Behind the scenes

This time last year I created a similar post and I found it incredibly helpful, both for looking back on now but also to help guide me throughout the year.

Hopefully this also helps others out too!

So, what’s changed this year?

This year has been a big year for Skyward and even though we haven’t changed our business that much since this time last year, we’ve done a lot of little things that have made big improvements.

We’ve refined our offering

By getting a better understanding of the types of projects we want to work on, it’s helped us create a better connection with our clients and focus on a more specific niche of products.

We’ve decided to focus our efforts on providing companies with custom software requirements with solutions that are modern, user focused and extremely high quality.

We’ve always worked on custom solutions, so this was a natural progression.

This has helped us improve all other areas of our business to more clearly help us focus on these needs.

We’re working on larger, longer projects

In our first year we’d pretty regularly be asked about small projects that only lasted a month or two. We realised pretty quickly that these short term projects don’t work well with our custom model, as custom solutions can create amazing results but they do often take a while (at least a month) to get started on.

By refining what kinds of projects we work on and making this clear to our customers, it means that we can provide better support for those who we choose to work with.

Every client we’ve worked with this year, we’ve worked with for at least 9 months

This long-term client support means we can provide an even better service by gaining a deep understanding of the (often) very complex systems our clients are looking to improve.

We’ve worked with Blackwood and Visual Comfort for the entire year, helping them to rebuild internal systems that were holding them back, allowing their teams and their customers to have a significantly better experience when using their applications.

See the Blackwood case study or the Visual Comfort case study.

We’ve simplified our pricing (and made it transparent!)

Pricing is hard to get right for any business. One thing that I’ve never liked about agency pricing (either as the seller or buyer) is that agency pricing is almost always completely hidden. In order to find out the price of most agencies, you have to contact them, set up a call, go through requirements and maybe outline a highly detailed brief, all to find out at the end that they’re out of your budget.

That’s a massive waste of time for both teams, the agency and the potential client.

So instead of hiding our pricing we decided to make it transparent. If you want to work with us, you know how much we cost. We still do custom projects too, but with our other plans totally transparent, you’re going to have a rough idea of where our custom pricing might fall based on the features shown in the other plans.

That means no more surprises!

Check out our totally transparent pricing page

What did we keep the same?

Not everything has changed around here though. Our core foundation has stayed pretty much the same - we still care about delivering an amazing service, being transparent and sharing our results so anyone else can learn from our successes (and failures).

People first

We’ve built a business around delivering a service and because of the highly custom nature of the work we deliver, what we really do is provide knowledge.

Knowledge is something that can only be delivered by people, so we’ve always believed that it’s essential to make sure that the people we work with are happy, healthy and motivated to deliver their best work.

We’re still looking for new ways to put our team first and make sure that they have the best work environment possible, so that they can deliver their best solutions for our clients.

Creating great solutions

At the end of the day, this is what it’s all about. We create designs or write code because we love doing it.

We believe the best way for any business to succeed is to deliver outstanding solutions, and that’s what we strive to do.

Financial growth

Whether you love or hate breaking down numbers it’s one of the most important factors when considering how well a business is actually doing.

So how did we do?

Financial QuarterRevenueCostsProfit
Q3 2022$58,100.00$53,400.00$4,700.00
Q4 2022$64,500.00$60,900.00$3,600.00
Q1 2023$97,700.00$81,900.00$15,800.00
Q2 2023$181,100.00$105,400.00$75,700.00

When you look back at last year’s round up, we’ve made some pretty big improvements. The start of the year wasn’t much different to last year but as we progressed into 2023 we really started to hit our stride.

We didn’t do anything differently to win additional work in 2023, we were working with the same clients as the end of 2022. The biggest difference was that we’d had time to prove our value so over time our clients upped the amount of work they trusted us with, maxing out our current capacity in Q2 of 2023 (which is why it’s so different to the rest of the quarters).

This year vs last year's goals

Financial QuarterTarget RevenueActual RevenueRevenue ChangeRevenue Change (%)Target ProfitActual ProfitProfit ChangeProfit Change (%)
Q3 2022$75,000$58,100-$16,900-22%$10,000$4,700-$5,300-53%
Q4 2022$75,000$64,500-$10,500-14%$15,000$3,600-$11,400-76%
Q1 2023$75,000$97,700+$22,700+30%$20,000$15,800-$4,200-21%
Q2 2023$100,000$181,100+$81,100+81%$25,000$75,700+$50,700+202%

This time last year I calculated where I’d like Skyward to be in a year. I’d aimed pretty high with the plan that if things went well, great, and if we’d undershot then we’d still do better than planned.

Overall, we weren’t too far off of our goals, starting slightly below our expectations (-22%) and then closing the gap and increasing our cash flow over the year, finishing with an excellent final quarter.

Next year goals

Going straight into finances, our goals for next year is to continue to grow the business and increase our capacity further over the course of the year, while also finding new client projects.

All while continuing to deliver excellent work.

We don’t want to max out our capacity though, as this prevents us from being able to work internally improving our technologies or marketing so we’ll be targeting around 60-70% capacity.

Financial QuarterTarget RevenuePrevious RevenueRevenue ChangeRevenue Change (%)Target ProfitPrevious ProfitProfit ChangeProfit Change (%)
Q3 2023$120,000$58,100+$61,900+106%$20,000$4,700+$15,300+325%
Q4 2023$150,000$64,500+$85,500+132%$45,000$3,600+$41,400+1150%
Q1 2024$200,000$97,700+$102,300+104%$70,000$15,800+$54,200+343%
Q2 2024$250,000$181,100+$68,900+38%$100,000$75,700+$24,300+32%

Our target this year would be around 3 clients a month on our mid-tier plan for the end of 2023 and then adding 1 new client on the same tier each quarter after that.

This is still aiming pretty high, but the challenge is what makes it fun!

In order to be able to meet the above financial goals, we’ll also need to change how we work

Expand the team

To help Skyward continue to grow, a widened team is essential. In order to continue taking on more clients and/or more work we’ll need more people in order to help achieve that. That makes sense, when we’re building custom solutions.

Not all of these team members need to be full time. In fact, I expect most of them to be freelance, allowing us to expand more easily during busy periods and shrink in quiet ones.

However a strong core team is essential and we’re missing a few team members I would consider essential for our long term success, like a dedicated designer or a marketer who live and breathe Skyward every day.

Increased marketing

On the note of adding a marketer to the team, Skyward has gotten by with very minimal marketing until now.

Almost all our work has come through referrals, which I love because it shows how much our current clients value our work - they love our work enough that they’d tell others to work with us too.

But as we want to continue growing, reaching potential clients outside of our current network will make growth significantly easier, and open us up to more opportunities for different kinds of work.

Having someone specialised in this will become essential long term.

We’ve recently released a referral bonus, where you’ll earn 5% of the value of any projects you refer to us. Know someone who could use our services? Send them our way

Streamlined processes

Now that we’ve had a couple years to figure out what works for us, and for our clients, it makes sense to streamline our approach.

By standardising and documenting how we do things it’ll be easier to bring on new team members, or onboard new clients and generally make working together with others simpler.

Share even more

One of our core values is to share what we’ve learned, but when you’re working on client projects (especially when you’re flat out) it can be difficult to do that!

So one reason we want to make sure we’re not at 100% capacity going forward is to allow us to share more.

This could be blogging, where we share our experiences with client projects, decisions we’ve made or simply difficult challenges we’ve overcome.

Or it could be open source projects where we share solutions that we believe will be valuable to others, allowing their use outside our business.

However this looks, we want to keep putting things out there for others to benefit from.


Skyward is only 2 years old. It’s sometimes difficult to remember that.

We’ve seen exceptional growth in those 2 years and a lot of love from our clients. Sometimes there’s stress, but most of the time there’s a lot of fun things to be working on and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about!

The Skyward team has done such a great job this year, and I couldn’t have gotten to where we are now without them. I’ve got high goals for next year too, so fingers crossed that we can make it!

If you have a project that you’d like to work on us with, and maybe you want to help us reach our goals for next year then reach out and tell us about your project! We’d love to work with you.

When you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. SkywardUI (coming soon) - Speed up your development with a fully customisable UI library. Start with a strong foundation and adapt it to your needs without reinventing the wheel.

2. CTO Support - Learn where your software is holding you back and how to improve it. Get expert support from Dan to help you save money, work more efficiently and release faster

3. Hire Skyward - Bring your project ideas to life. Hire the Skyward team to drive forward the user experience of your websites & applications, and futureproof your software

4. Refer and earn - Know someone who we could help? Introduce them to us and earn 10% of the project value* once we start working together
(*up to $10,000)