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25 things we’ve learned in 25 years of business

Over the years, Web Strategies has had many changes, many employees, many clients, and many memories. You can imagine that in 25 years of business, we would have a few things figured out by now. We asked our team what lessons they have learned along the way.

Here’s what they had to say.

Beth (25 years at WS – the OG)

  • Work is better with friends. I started Web Strategies alone in my home and managed it solo for a long time. When the time was right, I put together a team, which was the best thing I could have done.
  • You can only be great at some things. The world of technology is vast and constantly changing. It’s impossible to keep up with everything. Find your niche where you’re most comfortable and grow. Being excellent at a few things is better than being mediocre at everything.
  • Learn to let it roll off your back. I used to take every bump in the road personally, whether it was a minor issue or something critical. 25 years later, I’ve learned to dwell less on the problem and more on the solution.
  • Stay off the bandwagon. Technology easily lends itself to the next “big thing.” But technology can also be extraordinarily fly-by-night. Taking time to let new technology settle in has kept us from adopting tools and techniques that didn’t stick around.
  • Communication is truly key. Being responsive to our clients and each other has always been a central value of our team. The pandemic taught us that being flexible in how we communicate is vital to survival.
  • Be good to your community. The pandemic proved that being an active part of a tight-knit business community provides support in times of need. By helping our friends and clients promote their services during COVID, we kept busy, and most of our local businesses were able to re-open.

Faye Guerra (8 years at WS)

  • You can never be too prepared.
  • Even when you are prepared, be assured something completely unexpected will happen, and that’s ok.
  • Never let the office run out of coffee.
  • A handwritten to-do list is still my best friend. It keeps my day organized, and its so satisfying to cross off completed tasks (nerd alert).
  • Every office should have an office cat. Very few situations can’t be made better by a purring cat in your lap.

Keri Ritenour (8 years at WS)

  • Technology evolves rapidly, and as a web developer, I need to keep up with the latest trends, tools and frameworks. I have always been a lifelong learner, but even more so now.
  • Cats really are like potato chips. You can’t have just one.
  • I work with a great group of women who complement each other with their unique strengths, skills, and perspectives. Each one of us contribute in our own way and build on each other’s strengths and compensate for each other’s weaknesses. It is incredibly rewarding and productive and allows us to be more dynamic and capable of achieving our goals.
  • There doesn’t need to be a meeting for everything. Sometimes, decisions can be made more efficiently through email, phone calls or instant messaging.
  • Web design just is not about building a “pretty site”. It requires a deep understanding of user experience, information architecture, visual design, programming, and more. It is about creating a website that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves the needs of the user and the business it represents.
  • I face many challenges as a developer, such as debugging code, optimizing performance, and fixing bugs. These challenges have helped me to improve my problem-solving skills and teach me how to find efficient solutions.
  • Company provided lunches on Mondays are a great motivator and morale booster.

Emily Butler (7 years at WS)

  • Working with a group of independent women is empowering and such a flex. We love the female energy in the office and have had clients sign on because of this!
  • I can be proud of my work and also still see room for improvement. Always learning and growing and learning new things, but being proud of a project, no matter how small.
  • Helping my community in a unique tech-related way is fulfilling and rewarding. Being able to walk downtown and know that we are serving other small businesses and their clients is really a wonderful feeling.
  • I’ve learned how to build 8,000 page sites with dynamic post type content. It may have taken a few years to complete but it was such a feat!
  • I’ve learned how to be more authoritative and confident in my position. Having managers as amazing humans and role models has helped me stand up for myself in many situations.
  • A work environment can actually be fun and not stressful. We are silly and lighthearted, pet-friendly and casual, and all while still getting the work done.
  • Building a website can be stressful at times, but I always remember that I’m not a surgeon and no one’s life is at stake.

Our team continues to use these lessons and learn from each other to better help you, our customer. We hope you see the through-lines from each of our team members: community, helping others, quality work, friendships, perseverance, communication, and giving back. All while building amazing websites.

We are thankful for all of the relationships with our customers over the years. We were able to learn all of these things because of you! Cheers to the next 25!

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