We are proud to have been a runner up in the Small Business category of the 2020 Hull Daily Mail Business Awards. The ceremony was postponed from November 2020 to March 2021 with the hope of being able to be a physical event. However, due to restrictions, the event was held digitally on the evening of 11 March 2021.
Why we were a finalist
In mid 2019 the 4 directors of Smashed Crab software development company decided that the time was right for the company to grow. We had goals to increase turnover by 35% (for which we are on target) from the previous year which resulted in us employing another software developer to help with the future workload. The pandemic didn't change our targets or stop us expanding further. Smashed Crab took on an 8th member of the team, a Marketing Executive, on 1 April 2020, (working from home due to government restrictions). The position would research and target new markets in order to aid growth, as well as increase the company's brand awareness.
Adjusting to Covid-19
The Smashed Crab staff adjusted well to homeworking, having already been used to working in an online environment and able to simply access all files and systems remotely. The first few weeks were quiet, so the time was used to support current clients by reducing contracted maintenance hours without penalty and help them with any issues quickly. It was also a good time to build brand awareness through social media and to look for new clients in different industries.
Due to our determination, during the 1st Covid-19 restrictions (Lockdown 1), the company took on two new contracts and gained yet more following the economy opening up again. The new clients were in software areas they had not worked on before, Quote Management Software and Music production. This led to our development boundaries being pushed forward and embraced.
In addition to these two new clients, the company also gained a new contract from an existing client - a local education provider, which we feel is testament to our good client relationships and enviable software products. Our first tender was won in September 2020 - also our first international contract (Ireland), which we are very proud of.
Following the brave decision to not only keep on all employees during the Pandemic, but to also march forward with the employment of a new team member during lockdown, we feel the company has thrust ahead by using the Coronavirus quiet time to invest, expanding into new areas of software development and setting ourselves apart from a lot of the competition who stood still.
By watching the economy and many businesses struggle, we realised that a lot were looking to embrace digital transformation in order to streamline operations and protect themselves against similar things happening again (establishing systems that easily handle remote working etc). Not being a pushy company, we achieved new leads by communicating the benefits of bespoke software through digital marketing such as PPC (Pay Per Click advertising), SEO (and a new website to match our new branding) and increasing our social media presence.
Many businesses wouldn’t even consider re-branding whilst the world was suffering a pandemic, but that is just what we did! This was following research that our old name, Smashed Crab Studio didn’t communicate what we did to target markets/clients. We now feel more prepared to take on the challenge of further expanding our market share in 2021.