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A New Way Of Working

June 11, 2020

Although everything that we do, design-wise, is online, until recently, we’ve not massively embraced communication online. When we still lived in Didsbury, and so often just around the corner from many our clients, they’d often pop around to our house, as we were lucky enough to work from home. Or, we’d meet them at their place of work. Or, often, we’d meet in a local bar or coffee shop, of which there are MANY on Burton Road. Emails and phone calls also played a huge part in our communications.

These two still do, as we now live abroad. Whilst this has many advantages, one of the disadvantages is we can’t just pop out and meet a client in Volta. Or The Metropolitan. Or any of the other lovely independents we now know we took for granted. But, we take the swings with the roundabouts and although our meetings have changed, thankfully our clients haven’t. We just meet them in different ways now…

We’re not even sure how long Zoom has been around, and not really having had to use it before, we’re now just getting to grips with it. And, in many ways, it’s transforming how we work. With one client in particular, regular Zoom meetings are scheduled in and we find that really rapid progress is made over the course of these meetings. With screen-sharing, updates are able to be done in real-time, and it’s great being able to respond immediately to a client’s ideas. It’s also proving so much easier to be able to demonstrate in real-time, why something won’t work. Previously, it could have taken days, with emails going back and forth, to reach the consensus that we can now, in literally minutes. We had a meeting this morning with this client via Zoom. She’s a relatively new client, having approached us on the recommendation of a current client. As we prefer to operate by recommendations and word of mouth, this client would probably never have found us, as she lives and works in Switzerland. Ironically, much closer to us than all of other clients, but we doubt she’d have come across us otherwise.

But, we now feel we know her really well, through regular online meetings. Today’s was a marathon – over three hours, but a very productive way to spend a Thursday morning. The website literally changed and developed as we were online, and now bar a few tweaks, we are so much closer to launch, than we were at 9am this morning.

So, How Will This Help You?

Well, we guess it depends. If you prefer to sit next to your designer whilst they make changes changes, or if you want the reassurance that they are at least in the same country as you, it won’t help you. If you want these things we’re definitely not the designers for you.

But, if like Lindsay, you’re happy to act on a recommendation and give us a go, what we do may well help you. Like we say, Zoom isn’t the only way we can communicate. Email is still great as we have a written thread of what has been agreed, wanted, implemented etc. Phone calls are grand too – we tend to use WhatsApp, simply because our reception can be a bit iffy over 4G, but so far, we haven’t encountered a problem doing things this way. FaceTime has also been used, so if that’s what you’re used to, we’re happy to do things this way. We’ve also had a couple of clients combine business with a break out here. In normal times, Istria is a wonderful place to unwind – and we guarantee that a bit of design work, done in the garden, in (usually) guaranteed sunshine, makes that first glass of wine, well worth it 😉

What You Definitely Need To Know About Us…

We’re sure that nearly all design businesses would say this, but we are not your average designers. Honestly. Here’s why :

  • There’s only two of us – he designs, I communicate with clients and work on other aspects of our business.
  • We don’t work 9-5. We generally work more than this, but we definitely work when our clients need us to. So this means we may take a Tuesday off (although you’ll still be able to contact us) but work on a Sunday.
  • We work from home. And home is in Istria, in northern Croatia. And when we’re not working, you’ll generally find us continuing the renovation of our stonehouse.
  • We prefer to work with small, independent businesses. Especially start ups, because we can develop a meaningful relationship with you, and support you and your business.
  • Clients tend to become our friends. Not in a going-away-on-holiday-with-you kind of set up, but in a more informal way, where we might chat on social media and get to know each other. We love this – but if you think this sounds a bit odd, you probably might not want to get in touch with us, to do your design work.

So, What Now?

We’re guessing if you’re a business owner, this is a very worrying time for you. The first thing you know you’ll need is a presence (either online or off-line via promo materials), to ensure that people know about you and use your services, going forward. The last thing we know you’ll want to do is commit to spending money. But, in all honesty, you can’t have the first without the last. BUT, we can make this much easier for you – because we’re not your average designers. We don’t have swanky offices, with huge rental overheads. We don’t have a fleet of cars to maintain. We don’t have employees to pay. It’s him and me, meaning we can be very flexible with our clients, in terms of cost – the thing that we never really want to talk about.

Come and talk to us. We can help you get restarted. And if you still don’t believe us, why not contact some of our clients and ask them what they think about us? Or, drop us a line either below, or via our website enquiry form and we can get the ball rolling…

 

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