What a difference another year makes. It’s been 2 years since we relaunched Sadlowski Consulting as BentoSMB Inc. This time last year we hosted a holiday party for friends, family, and staff. We had just moved into our brick and mortar space a few months earlier, our team had grown to 6 full-time staff members, and our services continued to expand.
As BentoSMB enters its second year we have continued, to grow and evolve. Though not the way we may have expected a year ago.
You may have seen some of the updates on our social media and wondered, “What exactly is going on over at BentoSMB?” Here are some of the changes we have experienced over the past 12 months.
Our brick and mortar office went bye-bye in the summer of 2018. After 6 months in the space, we made the decision that a physical office space offered no real value to our business or our team’s ability to collaborate and complete projects. Many of us chose to work from home at least a couple of days a week, leaving our physical space empty and collecting dust. Getting rid of the brick and mortar office gave our team increased flexibility, saved us all commute time, and saved valuable resources we were able to invest in other areas of our business, like staff training and hardware.
Since we closed our physical office space, our team has gone digital. What exactly does “gone digital” mean you may ask? Essentially, we see the world as our office. As long we have a strong internet connection we can work from wherever we like and the same goes from our staff. “Grab your passport and your laptop and off you go! We’ll see you on Slack.” This digital model means we have the ability to see the world and run our business in Canada at the same time.
As digital nomads, we get the chance to meet Shopify clients around the world and learn from their stories as well as see the world outside of our bubble. This decision has made our team stronger, more connected than ever. Weekly calls and apps that keep us on track and the freedom to work where and when we want create amazing work-life balance.
Our services haven’t so much “changed” in the past year, as they have narrowed and focused.
Over the past 12 months our services have specialized. By narrowing our services to focus more on Shopify and the technical solutions surrounding that platform, we have had the chance to increase our knowledge and truly be Shopify experts in every sense of the word.
Shopify site builds, store customizations, custom app builds, store migrations, and product and inventory work are just some of the many Shopify related tasks we now offer to our clients and excel at.
Our team has stepped up the challenge and learned the platform inside and out. That knowledge combined with our technical and business operations expertise means we have a deep understanding of e-commerce based business and what your site needs to accomplish, and we pass that knowledge and empowerment on to our clients.
As any small business owner knows, your team is going to change. We have had staff changes over the past year and now have an amazing team of 5 full time staff, including myself, as well as a variety of freelancers with specialized skills at our disposal.
If you know me you know I don’t normally wear my heart on my sleeve, but I want to use this opportunity to thank my amazing team.
I could not be more proud of this team and what they accomplish on a daily basis. They bust their asses to make this business run and I am so proud of the work of our team every single day. They learn and have adapted to the digital life effortlessly.
We have gained some awesome new clients in the past year and maintained relationships with some incredible local businesses that have been with us from day one.
Our client base is expanding all the time and is now global, just like us. Time zone changes, saying hello in new languages, and working with unique products in new markets comes with this international territory and we love it.
To all of our clients, new and old, thanks for making BentoSMB what it is. Some of you are website build clients from over 3 years ago when I first started consulting. Others are brand new Shopify merchants we have had the pleasure to create some amazing sites with. We couldn't do what we do without you.
With all of these changes over the past 12 months, there is one thing we now know for certain. Change is the only constant in small business.
When you stop changing, you stop growing. You stagnate. We hope to never stop evolving, never stop learning. As the saying goes, the most dangerous sentence in business is “This is the way we have always done it”.
So, who knows what our year 3 update will look like. We certainly don’t and we are not just okay with that uncertainty.
We welcome it.
Owner, BentoSMB Inc.
Earlier this year Shopify launched the Shopify App Challenge. The brief, create an app that helps solve a challenge amplified by COVID-19, but that would also have staying power beyond the pandemic crisis. We knew, without a doubt, that we wanted to be a part of this challenge. So, our small team set to work building our second public Shopify application, Recipes.