Uncertainty and clear direction
We are two days into Mayoral Order 03 which has officially put Anchorage into “Hunker down” status. The order requires all non-essential businesses to close their doors for business. Fortunately, many web design companies, including this one, operate from home. The only real effect on how we do business is we have replaced face-to-face consultations with phone or video consults. In the grand scheme of things, this is not that bad.
The real challenge that we, along with many other small and large businesses face is the slowdown, in some cases the complete shutdown of the business. It is unclear exactly how long this will last for our community. We have chosen to use the extra time to take a retreat. This is a rare opportunity to step back and evaluate how we go about the business of doing what we do. Under normal circumstances, you can get so busy “working” that you can miss taking a break and elevating yourself to get a bird’s eye view of what you are doing. This current situation is providing that exact moment to do so, and we are. Uncertainty is turned to excitement when we consider the ways we can improve and do what we do – better.
Our job is to help others – let’s do it better
As a web design company, we spend all of our time making what other businesses and organizations do – easier. We design websites that have good and tangible effects on how they operate, both for them and their users. So, in the midst of this crisis (for some), with the extra time on our hands, we have time to think about how we can help our clients. Many of our clients are small businesses that have been affected by the closure of their operations. They are considered non-essential, but they are very essential to the very fabric of their existence.
As partners with our clients, we can feel helpless not knowing what to do. But helplessness only persists if you decide to stay there. We have opted to become inventive in coming up with suggested ideas for our clients that use their websites to provide alternate opportunities and solutions.
Turning a challenge into creativity
We have a couple of clients who have had to completely shut their doors. Both provide hands-on type services for their clients. We thought about what kind of suggestions we could make that would provide an opportunity to still generate income while providing an incentive to their clients. As partners with them, we want to see them do well. It was our absolute pleasure to make their websites as informative as possible for their visitors while providing them with a way to offer future, discounted services. Eventually, life will return to normalcy, and this was a great way to project hope for the future that benefits our clients and our client’s clients.
Another client is still operating but needed to drastically reduce the chance for person-to-person contact. They are an Anchorage-based horse boarding facility and needed to come up with a way to continue to allow horse owners to come and provide care to their horses. The problem was that we they needed to eliminate any chance that multiple owners would be at the barn and have contact with each other. So we helped institute a booking feature on their website that allowed their clients to book their barn time. The system is completely automated and didn’t require the business owners to spend any time managing the process. Complete automation was exactly what they needed for such a time as this.
It feels good to help
It is more blessed to give than to receive. It gives us pleasure to be a part of a solution that actually helps people. With a little extra time on our hands, we couldn’t think of anything better to do. We are hoping and praying that the current challenge abates for everyone. But this will forever be a time not forgotten due to how it has impacted us as a nation and the world. How we helped each other will certainly never be forgotten.