It’s our birthday! From taking the plunge in a global recession to building an incredible team and weathering anything that the world throws at us, we’ve got a lot to celebrate. But, what are some of the main things we’ve learnt in 14 years? I’ve had a think and want to share with you one for every year of WebBox.
1. Taking a chance can pay off
When I decided to start a digital agency midway through studying for a degree in Computer Network Management and Security, people had a lot of thoughts. Mainly, why would you do that? Some people also wondered if it was the wisest idea in 2008 as we were in the middle of a financial crash. Whether it was from passion or stubbornness (I’ll never tell), I decided to give it a shot and thank goodness I did!
2. Big names can become clients; you just need to show you can solve their problems
Landing your first big client is something any small business owner will remember. The mix of excitement and nervousness. But how do you do it? Show that you have a solution to their problem, for us it was a bespoke intranet system for the NHS back in 2009, which is still used today.
3. Two is always more fun than one
As businesses grow they need more people and, let’s face it, it’s always much more fun with someone else rather than going it alone. It’s one of the best things about hiring our first staff member in 2010, it also meant there were twice as many ideas to move forward.
4. Change is a healthy part of business
In 2011 we decided to make some changes. We re-evaluated our offering, expanded what we could do and changed our name to WebBox, so we could evolve to the business we are today.
5. A change of scene can get the creative juices flowing
Having our own space was important and with a growing team and business, we decided to move to our base in Penarth, where we stayed until 2019.
6. Let your work speak for itself
In 2013, we gained our first FTSE client, this happened by letting our work speak for itself. By having a strong portfolio, we could shoot our shot with confidence.
7. Every day’s a school day
In 2014 we became Google Partner Accredited, you can only stay at the top of your game if you’re willing to carry on learning, so that’s exactly what we did. It may be an old saying but it’s very true.
8. If you can’t find what you need, why not create it yourself?
We’ve created a lot of bespoke systems for our clients, so when we realised we needed a truly unique CMS system we took all of our experience and built one for ourselves with great success.
9. Partnerships are priceless
We’d worked hard to prove ourselves as a leading development agency with expertise when it came to the PHP framework, Symfony. We built a relationship with its creator, SensioLabs and, as a result, we became the first agency in the UK to be accredited by them in 2016.
10. Keep things fresh
After 9 years, we needed to freshen things up, which meant having some fun with a rebrand. It’s easy to go with the flow but mixing things up can put you in front of a brand new audience.
11. Celebrate the big and the small!
In 2018 we turned 10 and it was important to celebrate! In any business, there are a lot of ups and downs so it’s important to celebrate when you can.
12. It’s all about your vibe
We wanted to make sure that our space reflected who we are as a company so in 2019 it was time to move again, this time to our Cardiff office. It meant the team having more space to work on projects, making us more central for clients and a continued focus on growth.
13. You can make a plan, but you have to be able to adapt
There was a lot to learn in 2020, how to survive Zoom fatigue, the endless patience that teachers have and how much the little things mean. Overall though, we learnt the importance of adaptability as our team all headed home and we kept going through the pandemic.
14. Keep a close eye on tech developments
Our focus in 2021 was new tech and how we could use it to make our offering even better. Upskilling is a great way to keep your teams engaged while also boosting your capabilities.
The past year has gone so quickly, with the addition of more great clients and a growing team. Alongside introducing industry-leading benefits to reward our team for all of their hard work.
I’m sure there are many more lessons to be learned too, but for now, here's to the future and thank you for your support through these 14 years!