So here we are at the end of 2020. Wasn’t that an unusual year?
Despite what felt like a bizarre distopian social experiment, from the Maroon Balloon perspective we’ve had a good year, staying busy with various projects. After the pandemic hit the UK back in March we went through the same initial shock and panic phase as everybody else, but successful business is all about how you adapt to change.
Some projects were postponed, some cancelled, but we soon became busy with new projects as companies small and large quickly realised they needed a reliable online presence more than ever.
After the manic first wave of helping clients put up Covid-19 messages on their websites and setting up email auto-responders for those Furloughed, a flood of requests for websites and e-commerce solutions began from those without a digital presence. And those who already sold online came to us for SEO and user experience advice to improve their existing online shops.
If nothing else this year, businesses seemed to realise the importance of a good, user-friendly presence on the internet.
The Covid-enforced downtime also provided time for reflection and general business housekeeping – a rare luxury to get offline systems in order, catch up with (digital) paperwork, tackle those nagging bootom-of-the-list jobs and so on.
The other major change in 2020 was in the way we communicate.
Face to face meetings became a rare occurrence as many of us were forced to work from home. While we missed the people-filled office environment we managed to maintain close working relationships with those we needed to, to ensure smooth progression and delivery of projects.
Zoom, Meet, Teams, Skype…
Online meetings of course were the new thing in 2020 – never had we used Zoom so much! Video chat with screen sharing meant we could demo website developments to clients and partners to avoid any negative impacts of not being able to have physical meetings. It turns out you can get most things done pretty easily in an online video conference (after the initial “we can’t hear you!”s and “turn your video on!”s are out of the way of course).
Tin foil hats and the black sheep of Europe
In summary then, our experience of 2020 was one of positivity. Obviously the virus situation is still serious – proponents of crackpot conspiracy theories are not helping (don’t get us started on Covidiots) – and in 2021 Brexit fallout will add its own challenges for all businesses, but we do feel positive going into the new year.
As mentioned earlier, to run a successful business you have to adapt to change – identify threats and opportunities and have plans in place. Change will always happen. Are you prepared?
As 2020 draws to an end we find ourselves finishing up our biggest project yet (watch this space), one that was in danger of cancellation just 9 months ago. Let’s be positive and safe in 2021. Yes, there are risks, but with preparation we can help ourselves and each other.