A snapshot of our performance and paint points in 2020
A snapshot of our performance and paint points in 2020
As business owners can we wholeheartedly smile and say that 2020 has been a brilliant year for all of us. Lets face it, many industries including tourism and many global giants faced so much difficulties which included layoffs, redundancies, decline in profits and much more.
Similarly, we also had our fair share of difficulties but that doesn't mean that the entire year was a bad experience for us.
We are fortunate to have a team and a set of clients that understood us and stood like a piliar besides us. Thanks to them we were able to bounce back much stronger and now we are more determined than ever to head into 2021.
Here is a snapshot of what 2020 has been for us.
January, February & March
With the entry of Covid 19 we faced some difficulties. Understandably, our clients also faced difficulties therefore the timelines of our projects changed and as a result projects were put on hold, payments got delayed, and it created all sorts of problems.
While all this drama was going on both these months, we decided to do some experiments. We moved out of our comfort zone, which is Silverstripe, and started using new tools, such as: Shopify & Craft CMS on our projects. We started taking on projects of these types and built some amazing new client relations.
During March the Covid situation was getting worse by the minute so on a weekend all of us collectively decided to go ahead with WFH (Work From Home) to ensure safety for all of us. The decision was sudden but implementing it was a tough ask. We managed to deliver all desktop computers to their homes and made sure everyone has a proper workstation to work without disruptions from home. The transition was smooth and didn't create any disruptions to our workflow.
We started doing daily stand ups and a minimum of 2 stand up calls where everyone was talking about what they plan to achieve during the day and what they actually achieved. More trouble started to pile up as we lost a few retainer contracts. However, we managed to come out of this situation as well by building relationships with new and existing clients.
Yes, this time period was a nightmare for us but despite all these obstacles our primary focus was to pick ourselves up and make sure that all our projects were running smoothly and that we met deadlines on time. To be fair, we did a pretty good job to make sure that all our projects were running smoothly without any disturbance whatsoever.
Sinhala / tamil new year is a day which is close to the hearts of all Sri Lankans. Normally, we would celebrate it on a grand scale when all of us were at office but with the current situation we were not able to celebrate it in our usual way and we felt bad about it as we are a closely knit team.
Despite our distance we managed to celebrate New year in our own way and we managed to create some beautiful moments and memories along the way.
May, June & July
We started working with SKOPE Refrigeration during May. This is a massive moment for us and it is something that we are really proud of. We took over the whole website services, hosting, and providing support and maintenance.
We also did a lot of research over the latest front-end technologies like Gatsby, NextJS and headless CMSes like Dato CMS, and managed to have those under our skillset. We did a few projects using NextJS which we hosted on Vercel.
Another defining moment for us was when our Managing Director, Nivanka was able to participate in ‘Virtual Stripecon Europe 2020’ virtual forum. He delivered two speeches about our own destination management project discover.lk and about our open source Silverstripe module which helps to better manage SEO content.
Overall business insights
Throughout our 10 years we have been mostly working with agencies as an outsourced web development company. This year, we decided to work directly with clients and we are currently working towards that.
We successfully completed 5 E-commerce projects.
Unlike previous years this year we gave more attention to marketing and branding. As a result, we hired a digital marketer and started to focus more on developing / writing content for our website.
We launched 22 websites.
We built a fully featured ticketing system for Waterbourne Festival.
Overall pain points
‘To win some, you need to lose some’. True, we lost a few contracts in March and at the same time we were able to gain new customers as well. It might sound very simple but in reality it was not easy as it sounds.
It literally took a lot out of us to gain new customers. Creating lists, hours of preparations, working out new proposals, finding leads, meetings but finally paid us out well.
When the great recession took place in 2007/2008 many of us became victims of it but at the same time it created many opportunities as people were more determined to overcome it rather than thinking about what happened to them.
Similarly, Covid is a blessing in disguise as it made people come up with many innovative ideas and this created many opportunities and in 2021 opportunities will start to multiply.
Remember that you are so much stronger than you know when you have nothing to lose.
Just like most businesses we also play a safe game by sticking to what we know and what we are good at. But, what makes us unique when compared to others is that we juggle with risk in our hands while playing it safe.
That is the type of approach which we have been following for the past 10 years and that method has brought success as it opened up new opportunities for us.
One advice we can give to our young entrepreneurs is to play safe while your business is young but the moment you start gaining momentum don't be afraid to take some calculated risks while playing a safe game because if you don't then you will be stuck in the same place.