Putting the pieces in place

By helping small businesses adapt to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis more successfully, SlyFox Web Design & Marketing provides long-term value moving forward

Photo: SlyFox Web Design & Marketing founders, Michelle and Mike Faulds

TWO MONTHS AGO, small businesses across the city were posed with a properly vexing question: could they run their business when their business could not open? With global supply chains stressed, with industrial energy marshalled towards producing essential goods, could the local economy step up to meet consumers’ needs? While all conventional wisdom said that many businesses were goners, what would it take to not only survive, but prosper?

For SlyFox Web Design & Marketing founders Michelle and Mike Faulds, the pandemic — while frightening— also presented an opportunity for small businesses to audit their digital strategy, to invest in their brand and to tap into a captive customer base that by all indications seems primed to buy local and sees spending their money close to home as a form of community investment.

“It needs to be easy for us to see what local businesses are offering, and hopefully people will make this a permanent switch to shopping local when they see the local offerings that are available,” Michelle Faulds says.

Although all the talk of ‘new normals’ can be a bit dizzying, it’s become apparent that many of these changes will be around for a while, whether by the hand of regulation or consumer preference — and that a strong digital strategy and presence is absolutely essential when face-to-face contact has been drastically cut down.

Partnering with Michelle Elliott of MEE Photography, SlyFox Web Design & Marketing launched #togetherwearestronger, a local social media campaign capturing and sharing the raw emotions of business owners throughout the London area

So far, so good for those companies that invested in ― or were already prepared for ― the immediate turn to digital. That has translated not only into enough business to keep many heads above water, but into new customers, new supporters and new clients.

“The support in London is incredible for local businesses — and now’s the time to step up and be a part of that community,” continues Faulds. “Businesses are willing to go out and drop off stuff on your doorstep, take an e-transfer — whatever they need to do to keep things going.”

Through the pandemic, SlyFox has stepped up for the local business community, sharing the stories of local business owners, bringing awareness to the importance of shopping local and pulling together resources for anyone hoping to make that shift. And as businesses now look to the future and to reopening strategies, SlyFox will be there to lend a helping hand to businesses looking to turn all this uncertainty into an opportunity to thrive.

“At SlyFox, we pride ourselves on being able to think outside the box and tailor our services to every unique client —Michelle Faulds

Yes, it might be scary to invest in anything right now, even the most affordable digital strategy, but as Faulds points out, it is now more essential than ever for small businesses to professionally showcase their products and services online — and the impact of doing so will be felt long after the coronavirus has been brought to heel. “So, when we are able to move forward with opening businesses, the brand recognition is already there,” she says.

An effective digital strategy, explains Faulds, starts with web design that goes beyond what free drag-and-drop services can accomplish. Some form of e-commerce page is a given for anyone who wants to stay in business now, but a meaningful investment goes further, stretching into the development of a visual identity, graphic design, social media, programming and search-engine optimization. As a full-service design firm founded in 2013, clients get all of that for one affordable, all-in price, which goes well beyond what a single ‘jack-of-all-trades’ designer can accomplish.

“At SlyFox, we pride ourselves on being able to think outside the box and tailor our services to every unique client,” says Faulds. “You can trust SlyFox to deliver on all sorts of marketing requirements, from promotional materials and social media management to comprehensive online sales funnels. And with Google Partner status, you know we can keep your business up to date and competitive online.”

As a small web design shop, SlyFox has positioned itself as a specialist in guiding small businesses from the launch phase to a place where their business is stable, secure and flourishing. “We have felt the growing pains, made mistakes and learned from it all while quickly growing our own home-based business into a brick-and-mortar business that employs 12 full-time staff,” says Faulds.

The SlyFox business started as, and continues to be, a solution aimed squarely at other small businesses — affordable, personal and understanding of all the growing pains and mistakes people make along the way. And in these challenging times, it is those businesses that have taken steps to adapt, innovate and forge new client relationships that will be in the strongest position going forward.

“We all want to support local, but we also are afraid to leave our homes to do so and often can’t due to physical closures,” says Faulds. “We are all at home and on the web more than ever, so let’s reach out to these people while they are a captive audience.”

To learn more about SlyFox Web Design & Marketing services and view examples of their work, click here.

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