We talked to App’ n’ Web founder Carole Mauron about how the web can help during this challenging period, and here is what she said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Carole Mauron: Thanks for asking. My family and I are doing fine. This crisis has brought home the importance of human relationships and how difficult being kept apart from our loved ones can be.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded App’ n’ Web.
Carole Mauron: In 2008, I quit my job as a coder to start App’ n’ Web because I wanted to use my skills and passion for everything web-related to help small businesses.
However, I started out in banking, where my passion for computers led me to change direction: first, I went into IT support, then I went back to school to study application development, and most recently, I got my adult educator’s diploma. These different skills go well together, and my team and I offer a variety of services. We have worked on numerous “Swiss made” projects for very different clients, and we love it.
How does App’ n’ Web innovate?
Carole Mauron: Our work doesn’t stop when a website goes online; quite the opposite. We pay particular attention to the security of the sites we maintain.
As each client is different, we offer customizable options such as ad-hoc support, coaching and web copywriting. We train those who want to do the day-to-day running of their websites themselves. We’re a sort of “webmaster on-demand” for our clients.
How has the pandemic affected your business, and how have you coped?
Carole Mauron: IT and the internet, in particular aren’t the sectors hardest hit by this pandemic. We have helped some of our clients to go digital and created an information page that brings together different retailer support sites.
Usually, we create and give classes for training providers and private companies. With the pandemic, we have adapted so we can give these remotely. We have seen an increase in participant engagement during this difficult period.
Have you had to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Carole Mauron: As some of our clients didn’t have the necessary knowledge to inform their clientele, we have been proactive in contacting them and offering to update the opening hours of their businesses.
We have also helped them communicate better with their clients and create an environment that allows them to continue some of their activities remotely.
One of the lessons learned from this crisis is how important it is for an entrepreneur to communicate with their clientele and update the information on their website and local directories.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Carole Mauron: Websites, online stores, newsletters, and local directories such as Google My Business have been important tools for our clients.
At App’ n’ Web, we have had more video meetings and have had to juggle at times to deal with urgent requests from our clients related to communication or the virtualization of some of their services.
Your final thoughts?
Carole Mauron: This pandemic has brought whole swathes of the economy to a standstill, and many people find themselves in difficult situations. We hope that they benefit from financial support and will bounce back once the crisis is over.
Initially, remote working widened the gap between the tech-savvy and those who find things harder. Fortunately, many of the latter have seized the opportunity to catch up and have acquired new skills.
The upheaval caused by government decisions and the confusion surrounding the pandemic have caused a lot of uncertainty, but I think this has also led to a general increase in the acceptance of the change.
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