The 2020 Unumbox Story
So, 2020 was the best year thus far for Unumbox. How can this be, I hear you ask?
Read on to learn how Unumbox took on COVID-19, Brexit and childbirth – and won.
Entering into 2020 saw Unumbox as a team of two (myself, and Becky our content creator).
The decision for our close-knit team to work remotely came about in February this year, as it appeared during our weekly business reviews that trading as a website and digital marketing company, could in fact be done remotely.
With this decision made, office equipment was distributed to Becky and remote working was well on the way. Albeit a big change, with the help of Microsoft Teams (as many of us are now intimately familiar with!), this transition ran smoothly.
Little did we know that COVID-19 was just around the corner. Despite having to cancel some in-person website workshops and digital marketing webinars, it seemed fortunate that we’d committed to remote working prior to this. It was soon realised that remote client meetings were a huge time saver; given we were able to reach those further afield clients, just as quickly as those who were more localised.
Fortuitously we were already in a great position to work remotely, but inevitably the pandemic caused a great deal of stress and worry for all small businesses, big or small. So we took action, and conjured a lifesaving plan (entitled Hey Corona) which enabled us to hit the ground running with a firm plan and direction for the business.
Part of this plan was the launch of our WOW Webinars - a platform that could aid businesses with their Digital Marketing needs. The aim was to offer conversation within the community, and provide something that would freely offer insight and advice weekly to those who needed it. What better time to offer our expertise to others? During economic down turns, business doesn’t stop, it just gets harder - so we thought it was vital small businesses remained visible, and ready to pick up the slack from failing competitors.
From here, there was no turning back! We’re pleased to report that many business owners have been able to receive valuable advice and support, that has allowed them to continue on with further developments and progression in their business.
As a result of webinars and online courses from our WOW platform, we saw a rise in the small website package customers who were seeking either a new online presence, or an improved one. From one-page author websites, to multi-page e-commerce retail websites, we were super busy developing and creating content.
So what got us through in this busy time? It was essential throughout that we remained positive as a team, both for businesses and our personal situations. Eliminating any negative social media and news was key, which allowed us to concentrate on our sole focus, driving our business forward.
Running through to September, it seemed the rapid growth in the business was unstoppable. It was simple, we needed more help. And then we needed more help after that too. Our team of two at the start of the year, now stands at 12, with more in the pipeline! We are so thankful to have a wonderful, entirely remote, highly flexible workforce able to work remotely from home and continue servicing customers during times of isolation and lockdown.
All interviews were conducted online, to great success. Enlisting people from across the UK (and beyond) has given us the opportunity to source the very best talent and development team, to deliver the very best projects for our clients.
We are extremely proud to announce that we did not furlough any team members for the entire year, when most of our competitors did, and sought to find ways we could utilise our team members remotely - this enabled us to fill any gaps our competitors left behind!
If all of this wasn’t enough, this year also saw the welcome of our smallest addition, Kate. Or also known as, my first daughter. I would like to give special Kudos to my wife, Melissa, who handled the challenge of giving birth during COVID-19 like an absolute trooper.
Thanks to our new development team, the websites we deliver are more optimised than ever before, which means many more website leads are coming in each and every month. We are powered by developers and are investing in their future with us by providing ongoing training and development opportunities. On that note, our global trade has increased (take that, BREXIT!) - with now over 50% of our trade coming from USA and Australia.
What's in store for 2021?
A brand-new service for us is our Digital Marketing package solutions, and we have our first businesses joining us in January.
Unumbox is fully remote with a UK wide team! We're embracing the future of business, as things will not ever completely “go back to normal”. We have implemented virtual coffee breaks, team meetings, and fun events as a team to ensure staff morale is at an all-time high!
We can definitely foresee more collaboration with local businesses, such as Wise Printing and Brand My Thingy, who have been a terrific working partnership in seeing our Unumbox snood and employee engagement campaigns come to fruition.
Networking has always been a big success for us, and this will continue in 2021 with virtual BNI networking events, with a view to expanding outside of the UK too, and exploring other BNI groups in the world.
Exploration of even more geek will continue in 2021 with the advancement of more user-first websites and applications for digital-first businesses. Applications is a new venture for us, but one we are extremely enthusiastic about, as it delves into a new avenue of revenue for our forward-thinking clients.We are so excited about what 2021 will bring Unumbox, and extremely confident that 2021 will be an even better year than 2020.