Felix Norton tells us how Woww offers expert WordPress services to help businesses build an online presence.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Felix Norton: It’s been a polarizing affair. Half of my friends and family have weathered the storm quite comfortably. The ones that worked in tech industries or have been able to adapt their business to work remotely.
The other half, whose jobs or businesses relied on freedom of travel and human interaction, have genuinely struggled, with some losing their companies altogether.
As for myself and my partner, while lockdown and isolation have put a dampener on the year, we have come out on top and are optimistic about the future.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Woww.
Felix Norton: I began building websites as a student side hustle, it offered a great work-life balance, and as it became increasingly lucrative, I honed in on the opportunity and built up a team of talented individuals that become a fully-fledged digital agency. I was then able to leverage the company’s resources to explore other opportunities in the digital space. Since then, I’ve dabbled in cryptocurrencies, e-commerce, and online courses, which all generated profitable outcomes.
How does Woww innovate?
Felix Norton: While, in theory, providing digital services such as web design or SEO, we’ve innovated on creating a fully transparent and streamlined approach to these services, which allows us to provide service delivery from the smallest of individual clients up to the largest SMEs.
By streamlining our processes and methods of service delivery through powerful standard operating procedures, we’re able to provide a high caliber of work while still undercutting competitors on price.
These same systems were also the reason we were able to very quickly adapt from a fully onsite team to a remote team in a single day with almost zero business interruption.
We also offer a unique compensation system with all staff where employees benefit from a 50% revenue share.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Felix Norton: Initially, we felt a minor panic as our clients began streaming in with reduced budgets and paused projects. For about a week, the outlook was grim. However, just as quickly as we had lost out on work, we had a massive influx of new work as prospective clients realized the value and importance of maintaining or creating a strong digital presence. A number of other clients also needed assistance in showcasing their pivoted businesses or Covid opportunities, and we were able to help them.
So financially, we saw a 76% increase in revenue and a 40% growth in profitability.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Felix Norton: Fortunately, we didn’t have to make any hard decisions. We had an open discussion with our team at the start of the pandemic and cautioned that potential pay cuts might be on the cards. But ultimately, the resurgence of new business after the initial decline made up for any losses, and we actually increased the team size and salaries.
The second thing we’re proud of was how we handled team morale and mental health.
We understood that our team was undergoing mental stress due to family pressures, pandemic fears, cabin fever, and overall anxiety, so we made a concerted effort to have regular check-ins and provide the team with the support they required to adapt and thrive in the new work from home environment.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Felix Norton: The only shift in our customer relationship was the switch up to video conferencing tools like Google Meet and Zoom, all our other client interactions remained the same with the use of Google Workspace tools like Gmail, Google Docs, etc. Our other systems, such as Slack and Asana, were all internal and didn’t affect our client relationship.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Felix Norton: No, we felt that our success in the year didn’t warrant any investigation of such facilities and instead passed on information and opportunities to clients who needed it.
Your final thoughts?
Felix Norton: The pandemic has been an awful year for many; however, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t positives. We’re grateful to be one of these.
It forced many businesses to innovate and update their operations to take advantage of 21st-century tech and shook many traditional business beliefs, e.g., remote work.
It allowed us as a business to prove that remote work is feasible and has given us more confidence in growing our presence internationally.
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