2020 has been a doozy so far, right? I know I don’t need to list out everything that’s upended our lives this year – because you’re well aware of it all. Instead, I want to highlight some of the exciting changes that I’ve made in my business during this crazy year – and why I made them.
During a time when so many things seem out of our control, these changes have helped me to feel optimistic and excited about the direction of my business. If you’re feeling a little “blah” with your business – maybe some of these ideas will inspire you to make changes to your business and get out of that funk!
What I did: I updated my brand colors and fonts just a bit. I replaced the turquoise color with a plum color – and then I slightly changed the shades of the pinks and grays that I was using. I also replaced the script font with a more informal handwritten font. And I stopped using the heart icons in my graphics.
Why I did it: Overall I was pretty happy with my previous branding; but I felt like just a few tweaks would really make a big difference. I still wanted my branding to be feminine; but I wanted it to be a little more laid-back and a little less cutesy. Think of your favorite, super soft and cozy blanket that you like to cuddle up with when you’re enjoying a latte or a glass of wine. That’s the vibe I was going for.
BRANDING – BEFORE:
BRANDING – AFTER:
Why I did it: Overall I was pretty happy with my previous branding; but I felt like just a few tweaks would really make a big difference. I still wanted my branding to be feminine; but I wanted it to be a little more laid-back and a little less cutesy. Think of your favorite, super-soft and cozy blanket that you like to cuddle up with when you’re enjoying a latte or a glass of wine. That’s the vibe I was going for.
What I did:
- In addition to updating my website with the new colors and the new font from my branding refresh, I also created a new website design and new web page layouts.
- I restructured and reorganized my website content, including adding and deleting web pages.
- I rewrote a TON of my website content.
- I changed my website’s domain name from digitalKonline.com to KellyWard.com.
Why I did it: Of course when you update your branding, you need to also update your website to have a consistent look-and-feel. But I also knew I had content on my website that didn’t line up with the current offerings and processes I have setup in my business. So I reorganized and rewrote a lot of the content.
I also wanted to have a more personal side to my business. The branding refresh was part of that – but so was changing my domain name. Instead of working with Digital K, LLC (which is still the official name for my business), I wanted people to feel like they had a personal connection to me. So I changed my domain name from my business name to my personal name. Plus, I’m not gonna lie… I was tired of people thinking my business name was “Digi Talk” instead of “Digital K”. And kellyward.com is a much easier domain name to tell people than digitalkonline.com.
New & Updated Service Packages
What I did: I revised my web design offerings into two packages. One package is for people who need a website fast (in just one week!). And the other package is for people who want a custom-designed website.
I also created a new service offering: One Day VIP. This is for people that have a list of things that need to be taken care of with their website: web design tweaks, website updates, website troubleshooting, creating graphics, etc.
Why I did it: I revamped my web design packages:
- to better match the things my clients have been asking me for (and things I know my clients need but they might not know it!) and
- to streamline my web design process (which makes the whole experience that much better for my clients and for me!)
I created my new One Day VIP service after I had several clients request a list of work that they needed done. I discovered that I was soooo much more efficient with my work, when I did the work all in one day. And my clients liked how much work I got done in such a short amount of time!
For all of my website services, I’m always trying to perfect them in order to better serve my clients – and in order to better match my business priorities and goals.
Flexible Payment Plans
What I did: I added new, flexible payment options for my web design packages and for my “Do It Right Website” course bundle. Instead of choosing between just 1 or 2 payments, now my clients and students can choose an extended monthly payment plan.
Why I did it: The Covid-19 pandemic has hit a lot of businesses hard. When I had clients worrying about whether they could come up with enough money for their new website or for my online course, I wanted to help. So I started offering extended monthly payment plans. We’re all in this together – and I want to help out fellow business owners.
What I did: Speaking of Covid-19, it affected my business too. Just like many other entrepreneurs and businesses, I tightened up my finances. I started out by taking a close look at all my business expenses. I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of all my recurring monthly and annual expenses. For each expense I asked myself if that was something that’s helping my business be profitable. If I felt I could do without it, I cancelled it. This ended up freeing up some extra money each month that I could then save and use as a safety net as this pandemic continues.
Why I did it: I always go through this evaluation of my expenses at the end of every year. But because we’re living in an extraordinary time, I felt I needed to go through this process again with an even stricter focus on cutting expenses. This process helped me save some money that I could save for emergency use. It also gave me a feeling of control and eased some of the worry about how my business will survive the coronavirus crisis.
I bet you weren’t expecting that, were you?! Let me explain:
What I did: After a few months of reduced expenses, this summer I felt like things were in a pretty good shape with my business financially. My emergency fund was growing and my business wasn’t hit as hard as I had feared when the pandemic first started.
It was at this point that I again re-evaluated my business expenses. Some of the services that are critical to running my business efficiently started offering lifetime plans. So I decided to jump in on those offers.
I also invested in a business coaching program that I had wanted to join for several years; but never felt like it was the “right time” to spend the money on.
Why I did it: The lifetime plans I purchased were for services I was confident I would be using for a very long time. I calculated that I would “break even” and start saving money after just a year or two.
The coaching plan I invested in was something that I felt my business was ready for – and that I personally was ready for. It’s something I am going to use to grow my business to set myself up for a great 2021!
So while I’m still being cautious about my business expenses during this pandemic, I also need to keep thinking ahead and making decisions that will help out my business in the future.
What I did: I started something new! It’s called Speak Up. As my schedule permits, I am providing free website services to businesses, organizations and causes that are dear to my heart.
I kicked things off this summer in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. I accepted submissions from Black-owned businesses and organizations, as well as organizations or causes that benefit the Black community. And starting this month I have opened it up to be available to other businesses, organizations and causes that need some help.
Why I did it: This is something that had been on my “To Do” list for about a year. The idea came to me after I read this Bible passage:
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
— Proverbs 31: 8-9
That passage reminded me that I need to speak up for the rights of people who are unfairly treated. And I can take it a step further by donating my services to help others as well.
Phew! That was a lot of changes in one year! Have you made any changes to your business this year too? I’d love to hear about them in the Comments below.