It’s been four weeks, how is everyone really doing...?

22 April 2020
Mark Tuxford
Mark Tuxford

In these unpredictable at the moment, our daily routines are disrupted and the business world has become a minefield, priorities have changed - you have to ask, within business, how is everyone really doing?

Making Websites Better has also found the current climate to be very challenging. Our two Directors have given an insight into how we are finding the market and how to keep the team motivated…

Do you worry about Making Websites Better during this challenging time?
Paul: Yes commercially of course, we have lost lots of revenue in this lockdown period. But I believe more now than ever that there is a need for what we do, the market needs an honest and passionate, results focused website agency so we are still relevant and whilst the world has changed forever people will need us more now than ever after this sad period of time is over and we beat COVID-19.

Ricky: Yes and No. Yes, because we’re a small business and every small business should worry during these challenging times. No, because firstly it should highlight to all business owners why it’s so crucial to have a digital presence and secondly we have a very passionate, determined and resilient team.

As a company you reacted quickly to the Coronavirus news and looked after your team - was this an easy decision?
Paul: Yes of course! The team are our biggest asset and their welfare was our first thought when we decided to ‘go remote’ at least two weeks before the lockdown was enforced.

Ricky: Yes, a very easy decision! Our team are the foundations of the company, they support us so we should do whatever it takes to support them.

With the majority of companies working from home, do you see this changing the digital market? - What are your predictions for this year?
Paul: I see a huge change in the mindset more than anything. Business leaders, Directors and Mangers have traditionally been afraid of embracing remote working and relying on technology to communicate and monitor team performance but that mindset will now change forever globally. We have been planning to build our own project management system and client portal for a long time, which for us was about creating a modern agile workflow for our team and encouraging our clients to communicate with us in a modern way. Whilst this house project has been pushed back because of client work, it''s now creeping much further up our priorities list.

Ricky: I don’t expect companies to consider digital marketing at this time, they have other important factors to consider, but, this doesn’t mean that the digital market will change. If anything, I see it growing and being even more of a fundamental element for company owners to invest in. Shops are closed, but consumers can still purchase, make plans and research companies without leaving their house. I see company owners asking themselves what happens if anything like this happens again…

How are you finding working from home and managing the team?
Paul: Personally, apart from the people side of my role which is to communicate with our clients and find value in their businesses to help them, I love remote working. I have been more productive, more able to focus on adding value to our agency and looking after the team. Any client communications I have had also have been more meaningful and personal which suits our style perfectly, so overall I am far more positive than I expected. I am still working 90+ hours a week but getting far more done with that time invested whilst also finding time for my family, fitness and better eating habits without cramming in fast food or coffee’s in between client meetings.

Ricky: So far it’s running smoothly. The main fear I have about working from home and managing a team is having a ‘communication breakdown’, however, using tools such as Slack and Zoom really helps to stay in contact and allows us to quickly ask a question and/or talk face to face.

What aspects of working from home are you particularly enjoying?
Paul: Being able to plan by day the night before and actually in most cases I am getting everything I want done. Whatever we do as a business after this, I will now plan to include some ‘focus days’ to WFH to work on the business without question and I will be encouraging others to do the same.

Ricky: Honestly - not commuting!

What do you miss from the outside world?
Paul: People. The best part of my job is identifying ways to help our customers and supporting our team to help them. It''s harder to do this via Zoom calls. Plus I really miss the rushing around between back to back meetings across London, so my days are seemingly much slower and more focused currently, but I miss the speed of the days out in town seeing clients and partners.

Ricky: My wife and I play a lot of golf - we are really missing being on the golf course!

What is your lockdown resolution?
Paul: Continue the positives I have seen such as more time with my family, eating better, finding more time for daily exercise. Plus most definitely being able to write down daily and weekly goals and then completing them, it''s so rewarding to tick off your goals and WFH has honestly helped me achieve this so far.

Ricky: Having gained some time not commuting, I’m going to get healthier by walking in the mornings and evenings.

What is the first thing you’re going to do once the lockdown is lifted and you have seen your family?!
Paul: During this lockdown there’s been Mother''s Day and my mum''s birthday, so I am looking forward to taking her out for a bite to eat when it''s safe to do so, as we are extremely close, especially following the passing of my sister a few months ago. Plus I have missed a group holiday with around 26 of my friends and their children due to the lockdown so I am looking forward to rearranging this.

Ricky: After seeing each other''s families, it would be getting ourselves on a golf course!!

We are a close team and have been holding Team Meetings twice a week to keep projects on track and to keep team morale high, a favourite topic that keeps cropping up is about the things we miss and we have tried to put a positive spin on them and have found ways around making it feel realistic!

Our developer is missing Formula 1, but has purchased a steering wheel for his playstation and is able to live it in person! Another team member misses McDonalds Cream Egg McFlurrys… would it be so wrong to buy Cream Eggs in bulk and add to ice cream? It’s a good plan B!

We make it our mission to empower our client''s digital success. We do more than just build our clients a website. We help them to make a lasting impact in their market place. Our goal is your businesses true online potential.

Feel free to check out our top 10 tips for working remotely. Also, let us know what digital marketing tools you use and how they positively impact your productivity and client relationships.

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