“After much procrastination, redesigns and re-structures, I have finally put my site live with the added kick of being made redundant a few weeks ago.” That’s how I started my blog back in June 2011 -five years ago.
Much has changed since then. We’ve launched a creatives’ network - Creatives’ Hub; sponsored events like Unveiling Arts Festival –which has been a privilege for me as one of my aims has always been to help others achieve their goals; we’ve helped many businesses to grow and we’ve done all that whilst increasing our turnover year on year. But the major change for us, especially over the last 6–8 months is one of direction.
The old web
The web looked very different back in 2011. Netflix was only just launching their online video streaming service. The iPhone 4s was introduced helping Apple to become the world’s most valuable company. Amazon launched the Kindle Fire tablet and Facebook replaced its wall with the timeline.
There were many devices coming online and back then and we helped businesses understand this growing mobile landscape making sure websites were designed to work seamlessly across many of them.
Assessing the users experience was a growing trend and we spent a lot of time educating our clients in understanding that their websites were not targeted at them but their customers. It was not just about having a good looking website but one that was effective where the customers needs and goals were taken into greater consideration.
It all became clear
Our big change came in 2013 when we developed a programme targeted initially at our creatives’ network to help creative individuals and entrepreneurs have clarity on their business, specifically their vision, values, brand personality and target audience.
After testing this for over a year with a variety of creatives’ and creative businesses and receiving positive feedback and responses from all, we then decided to move this front and centre of the main business RMLalchan. The Clarity Programme was born.
The reason for the change was that having spotted a problem, I then wanted to and was ideally placed to help solve it. Many small businesses that have come to me over the past 17 years of designing websites have struggled with defining what it is they really want, let alone what they need.
It can be frustrating knowing you need to market yourself online but not knowing where to turn or what to do first. I’ve seen these frustrations through many of our clients and The Clarity Programme is our solution to this problem.
Today, we run the programme with many types of businesses: from healthcare to hospitality to automotive and of course we still run workshops for creative businesses and individuals.
The Clarity Programme workshops empower you to make strong decisions about your online marketing by viewing yourself with a newfound clarity. To develop a website that’s designed with your clients and potential clients in mind not just what you think your customers need.
We followed our own advice and ran The Clarity Programme on ourselves to discover our own values and direction. Two things we’re passionate about are empowerment and collaboration, and The Clarity Programme allows us to empower you whilst in an environment of collaboration.
Receive weekly support
The next step is offering the programme in a different way. We know some may find it difficult to book a day or even 1/2 day off for a workshop. Or perhaps you’re not ready to run this with your team just yet. You need to have a bit more clarity yourself as business owner first.
Our weekly Clarity Coaching Programme will make it easier to ensure you not only have clarity on your business direction, but you’re staying accountable to make sure you implement the actions required. That way, marketing always stays on the agenda and you don’t only think about it when you’re desperate for new business. By then it could be too late.
The coaching programme can be run over as many weeks as is appropriate. There is no long term contract. It means you always have us on hand to help you develop and action your marketing strategies and can run ideas past us to gain clarity before sharing with your team (if you have one). Then together we can asses the results to see what strategies are most effective.
Whilst we continue to provide clarity, we still lovingly design and develop websites using our wonderful team of developers based in the Ukraine. This team has been a great find for us, raising our capacity to develop sites quicker and to a higher quality, and even more adapted to modern devices.
As we enter into uncertain times in the UK, we certainly believe in the entrepreneurial spirit to react positively and look for (and make) opportunities to drive business forwards, serving our communities.
Over the next five years that’s what we’ll be doing; continuing to help small businesses and independent workers gain clarity, develop strategies and take action to make their businesses thrive.
Finally, none of what we do can be done without you. So thank you for your business, for reading our blogs and newsletters; for being our suppliers; for being part of our creatives network; podcast listeners and attending our events.
Here’s to an even more productive, creative and empowering next five years.