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Learning from Business Leaders in the Trenches During COVID-19

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We talked to Joel House, founder of Joel House Search Media, about the benefit of organic SEO to business and this is what he said about it.

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? 

Joel House: We are keeping well. It provided us with more time to bond and get closer.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Joel House Search Media.

Joel House: I founded this company almost 6 years ago with the goal of providing a digital marketing & SEO company that did things differently.

How does Joel House Search Media innovate? 

Joel House: We are constantly running R&D projects within our SEO department, to find quicker, more reliable, and more predictable ways for our clients to generate results.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?

Joel House: At first, the pandemic hit our business as a second-order consequence, that is, our clients stopped getting customers or had to shut down, so they stopped spending on their marketing. This was the biggest effect on us. Our daily operations have been set up to work virtually for several years now, so we were able to continue operating without any issues.

Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?

Joel House: We had to make some difficult decisions around staffing levels when the pandemic initially hit to ensure that we weren’t overstaffed. This did result in letting some people go which is never easy, however, we have weather the storm well so far because of these tough choices.

The lesson we learned is to make tough choices quickly in order to maximize their benefits. Delaying the tough and difficult decisions doesn’t help anyone as the result is usually inevitable in the end. 

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

Joel House: We have been running virtually for several years so our processes are robust. The biggest shift is how we plan our future moves, in which we have implemented the OKR methodology to transparency & organization-wide goals.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Joel House: Our competitors are really anyone who helps businesses grow, whether in-house or agency side. Our plans to stay in the game are to continue innovating and blazing the trail within the industry that we have become known for.

Your final thoughts?

Joel House: The last 12-months have been one of the best learning experiences we have had as a company. It helps the ‘A-Players’ to shine, and shine a light on those who weren’t ready to step up when times got tough. It helped us to come together and become more unified towards our goal of helping businesses grow.

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