As we emerge blinking and readjusting to a brave new post-pandemic world, many of us have had our working lives changed beyond all recognition in just 18 months. To say it’s been challenging would be an understatement.
Opportunities for Growth
But with each challenge comes opportunity, whether that be a business opportunity now or an opportunity for growth in a way that will impact business in the future.
For us, while we had enough work during the pandemic (don’t forget we became homeschoolers too), things definitely slowed down and this gave us an opportunity to revisit our values and conduct a branding exercise on ourselves. We always advocate this for our clients before any brief and for us to revisit who we are, what we do and where we want to go was a really helpful process.
When we started in business a few years ago, our aim was to help individuals create a bespoke website that accurately reflected who they were, what their business or service was and – crucially – what was individual or unique about them.
From that point the business evolved more-or-less organically as we tackled things on a project-by-project basis.
Now we realise we apply those same criteria to businesses, specifically owner-run businesses, while also helping them clarify their USP and enhance their own brand and digital marketing strategy. We still tailor our plans and designs to each individual business thereby giving them a personal, individual service but keep an eye on the bigger digital picture. The clients are bigger and we have a more holistic service when it comes to digital.
But it was only by sitting down during lockdown and evaluating our services that we could articulate exactly in which areas and services we had grown and those that we felt we had outgrown. We could also identify our own roadmap for our future – the path that we would actively choose to take. We would have gone through this process anyway, but ironically by bringing most things to a halt, the pandemic also brought other things forward, such as the re-evaluation of our business values and future direction. So in a way, the slowing down of one thing accelerated another.
The Importance of Values
In times of struggle, big or small, your business values are important. If you know what they are, they can keep you on track and help you focus. You can get on with the job without being sidetracked by the day-to-day distractions of working from home or completely knocked off course by, for example, a global pandemic. Worse still, both!
And once you know what your core business values are and what your business brand is then marketing your product or service digitally becomes easy. Or at least easier.
Our Core Values
Here’s what we took away from our experience:
1 Relationships are King
Relationships are a number one priority. No matter what size your company, the relationships you have with colleagues, staff, suppliers and customers is everything. Without those you have no real foundation to build on for the future, whatever today brings.
2 Communication is Queen
Relationships only work through communication and projects are only as successful as the collaboration that underpins them. Keeping things simple, jargon-free and accessible keeps things transparent. If things aren’t working for whatever reason, be honest about it. If times are tough, keep talking.
3 Flexibility is key
Process is great; it offers structure and a guide when you are searching for a way in, but be careful not to get too rigid. Allow for flexibility when needed – during a global pandemic, for example Staying strong and building in flexibility into all areas of your business will give you the advantage during challenging times.
In fact, we think these lessons are so important, they’ve become part of our own core values, something we work with helping our clients identify when working on their own branding.
How About You? What did you learn from lockdown?
Your experience will have been different to ours, but the ultimate thing we think we have all learned throughout all of this the one final, and most important point: We are, in ways greater than we could have ever imagined, all in this together.