During an unprecedented worldwide pandemic, it’s pretty rare to find entrepreneurs who can say things like, “Oh yeah, my business hasn’t had to evolve at all. It’s business as usual around here.”
I still have yet to find one! Instead, my social media feeds and inbox are filled with business friends, clients, and other designers who feel like they’ve had to change their business overnight. This has been especially true for creatives in the event and wedding industries whom I love to serve.
When the pandemic first started, I thought maybe it wouldn’t hit me quite as hard since I was used to working from home, but alas, it came with challenges I wasn’t expecting. Maybe you can relate, too.
Now that we are a few months into COVID with no real end date, we’ve all found ways to adapt our businesses and lives to fit this “new normal.”
If you’ve been curious to hear how COVID has affected a Showit website designer like me, I’m about to share my personal journey through the pandemic so far. You may find yourself saying “me too!” when you read through some of my experiences. Just know you aren’t alone!
Project timelines have lengthened
Needing to shift project timelines is natural when you realize just how many things are changing for your clients. Some of my clients are having to homeschool their kids, learn how to work from home, or take on more responsibilities that affect how often they can work on our project.
In short, they’ve had a LOT going on! I’ve found it’s best to add some extra wiggle room into our project timelines. Since my clients usually need more time to complete their website content or give me feedback than they think, it only makes sense to slightly change our timelines.
We’re ebbing and flowing as we need to right now, which has been going pretty well. As an Enneagram 1, I usually like to stick to schedules and follow a plan, but it’s been great to see how this flexibility has helped many clients flourish during a difficult time.
The only thing I’ve asked of clients is to stay open and transparent about what things look like for them. It’s helped me create stronger relationships with clients who are thankful for the added support. I recommend doing the same thing for your clients, no matter your personality type. They’ll appreciate it!
I’m listening to my body WAY more
Now, this has been a pleasant surprise for me! I didn’t know going into the pandemic that my body would reveal how I’m feeling or processing through each experience.
As a former professional dancer, I’ve picked up plenty of advice on how to stay healthy over the years, but sometimes you forget how important it is when you’re working every day from the couch.
I also am used to following a set schedule, meaning most of my days are scheduled from the time I wake up to the time I unwind from the workday.
Like I mentioned, I like having a routine that works for me, but during the pandemic, I’ve relearned how to listen to my body cues which tell me when I need to break my normal rhythm. Some days I start work later than usual, and other days I work later into the evening. It’s been a big personal change, but one I’ve been enjoying. Well, at least for the most part. 🙂
COVID hasn’t slowed down my business
In fact, I’m writing this in August and I’m happy to say I’m already booked for the rest of 2020 and into 2021!
It’s still sinking in that during one of the weirdest years I’ve ever experienced, my business has seen such an increase in projects. It defies all logic but I’m grateful.
I’m so in awe of everyone I’ve been working with in this season.
Some are pivoting to add new services to their business that are structured for the pandemic, like offering intimate wedding packages or floral bouquet pick-up services. Other entrepreneurs are adding passive income offerings to their business model, much like I’m doing right now! Some are even choosing to elevate their online presence with a completely new brand so when COVID dissipates, they’re ready to hit the ground running.
We all face challenges and trials, but it’s about how we get back up. I’m happy to see many of my clients dust off their feet and find new, innovative ways to evolve during the pandemic. Against all odds, they’re still making an impact and I’m excited to be a part of it!
I’ve been emotionally drained at times
Sometimes I end the workday feeling totally drained. It’s usually because of the changing news reports that fly in every day and how they all lack a clear direction on how to move forward. I thrive in structured environments that let me know what to expect so I can prepare accordingly, so this pandemic has been challenging.
It’s teaching me a lot, but the lessons don’t always come easily. However, I’ve learned what it looks like to give myself grace and find peace in the things that aren’t changing. It helps me focus on what I’m grateful for and less on what’s going to happen next (because, well, who knows?!).
One positive thing that’s come out of this season is how much it’s forced me to take a step back from the hustle and make time for myself. That way, I can bring myself fully into my client projects and my life as a whole. This is why I’ve decided to take on fewer projects in the next few months to balance my workload and make room for creativity and self-care.
I’m expanding my skillset
Since the pandemic, I’ve had several people ask me to design their website on Shopify. If you haven’t heard of it before, Shopify is primarily used by eCommerce shop owners and product-based entrepreneurs.
As most of you know, I’ve designed client websites with Showit for years so this came as a surprise to me as well! Since Shopify is outside of my normal Showit world, I decided this might be a good time to play around with the tool and see how I like it.
I’m continuing to dabble with it on the side, mostly to see if it’s a long-term fit to add to my offerings for eCommerce-specific brands. It’s been nice to experiment with a new tool and increase my skills with a completely new platform. As a service provider, it’s easy to feel stuck in a rut every now and then, so experiments like this can bring new life to your business!
I’m more grateful for my clients than ever
I’ve said before that I work with some of the best creatives, but it’s never been more true than right now. I genuinely feel excited every morning I look at my client calendar and see the projects that are coming down the pipeline.
I’ve been graced with such inspiring, supportive, and amazing clients over the years, and it’s been no different during the pandemic. I still get to team up with incredible people for short-term website projects but I get to cheer them on well after our project ends.
It’s so fun to play a small role in the growth of other businesses, especially since the vast majority of them are women-owned which I love.
If there’s anything I can say about the pandemic, it’s that I’ve never been so sure that we’re all doing the best we can. And right now, that deserves to be celebrated!
No matter where you are in business, take a moment to celebrate all the ways you have navigated through this unexpected time. You’re an inspiration to me and so many others!