At the start of 2020, our hearts and minds were full of big plans for our new web design and development business, Dundee Design & Development. Now that it is August 2020, we have seen a lot of those plans come to fruition, but there have been some unexpected challenges along the way. We probably all know the unexpected challenges that we have been facing, namely the whole world turning upside down due to the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19. To boot, if starting a business during a pandemic wasn’t enough, we are also experiencing an unparalleled recession. What a time to start a business, huh?
So, what is it like starting a business amid such a chaotic time? The first word that comes to mind would be unbelievable, and we mean that in a primarily positive way.
We are unbelievably grateful to have work to do during a time when more people than ever cannot say the same. Work we are passionate about and can do from the confines of our home at that! Beyond this, we have been grateful for the opportunity to play a vital role in adapting the businesses of our clients to meet their changing needs.
Like it or not, the way businesses interact with their customers has changed and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future. In many ways, these changes are tragic. While many business owners are adapting, some business models are just not adaptable. Since the start of the pandemic, we have grieved our inability to patronize The Orange Peel, Open Source Jiu-Jitsu, The Asheville YMCA, and many more local businesses. We long for the day that we can return to these beloved spaces.
We believe it is vital to acknowledge the grief surrounding all that we have lost. That said, as eternal optimists, we cannot help but see some silver linings. While not all businesses can adapt, many are, and we are excited to be a part of changing the way businesses connect with their clients and customers. Over the past two decades, most organizations have established some sort of online presence, but a significant portion of businesses have thought of their web presence as no more than a box that needs checking.
In the era of coronavirus, business websites have shifted from a secondary concern to the primary way that they meet the public. Many customers are steering clear of brick and mortar establishments due to official restrictions or general public health concerns. This shift means that to keep existing customers and continue to gain new ones, businesses need a website that meets the needs of their customers.
So how can a business website change to better meet the needs of customers? For many, this could mean a website that is informative, up to date, easy to use, and easy to find. For other businesses, it could mean adding or improving e-commerce functionality. There are also countless examples of ways that websites are evolving to meet customer needs that go beyond these two points.
While in many ways, the shift to doing business online appears to be inconvenient, or impractical, we see it as a tremendous opportunity. With the focus shifting from in-person to online, businesses of all sizes are scrambling to adapt. Meaning, companies that once had an edge due to their brick and mortar establishment no longer have that edge. This opens up space for smaller businesses to compete with them on a new, more level playing field. Well-positioned small businesses could end up seizing some of their larger competitor’s market share.
As people who love rooting for the underdog, the opportunity to help small local businesses expand their web presence and challenge their competitors is one for which we are both excited and grateful. This excitement and gratitude are not only rooted in our desire to have a successful business. It is rooted in our confidence in our skills and the feeling of watching a small business not only survive but thrive thanks to our help.
So, just like you, we are shocked by the state of the world today. When we chose to launch our business, we had no idea that we would be showing up on the front lines to defend small businesses amid the largest crisis they have ever faced. That said, we are taking things in stride, and are humbled by the opportunity to serve our community during this time.
If you are a small to mid-sized business and are curious about how we can help you adapt and grow during these trying times, drop us a line. We would love to offer a free 30-minute consultation to you with actionable advice on things you can do (yourself) to improve your web presence.
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