More than a year on since we were first told to “stay at home”, and all the wiser for having faced three lockdowns and a whole host of challenges in between, it feels like a good time to reflect on the year gone by, and where we find ourselves on the other side of it.

Avid readers of our blog will know that we faced some testing times last year, and feared for the future of dodio, a fear that will have been shared by businesses the world over.

We were thrown immediately into a heady mix of financial worries, home-schooling and creating makeshift offices on our dining tables, all topped off with a sense of impending doom.

But this hiatus in normality gave us a rare opportunity to stop and reflect. To adapt and reinvent ourselves.

We took the time to streamline our processes, improve our products and services, develop our business plan and completely remodel our marketing strategy.

We worked on adding value for our existing clients, donated our skills to local charities and made sure we were ahead of the game with innovative industry trends.

We also took the time to look outside our own business at the challenges being faced by businesses in the local area.

To no surprise, we found that the businesses that were struggling the most were those who, prior to lockdown, had relied heavily on footfall. The customers were still out there, and so were the products and services they wanted, but the physical connection between them was, at least in the short term, lost.

We seized on the opportunity to reconnect businesses with their customers by approaching local companies to offer web design and ecommerce solutions. At a time when Amazon’s share price was going through the roof on the back of a near global lockdown, it felt good and played to our values to divert some of that custom to small, local businesses.

As the spring turned to summer, there was a growing recognition by local sellers that ecommerce was their lifeline. For others, the enforced downtime became a great opportunity to smarten up their online shop window. We found ourselves with an influx of new clients and, having done the groundwork to be a better business and a better agency, in a stronger position than ever.

We have started 2021 with a raft of new client wins, including a prestigious contract with Sunderland City Council to develop online platforms for Sunderland’s business centres as part of the Council’s inward investment programme.

We’re delighted to be working on projects and with clients that align with our values and ethos, and to find ourselves in a position to grow over the coming months.

Whatever the next year throws at us, we’ll lean in to it and take it in our stride, with the knowledge that our ability to adapt and capacity for change are our greatest strengths.