We are absolutely happy to announce Switchbox made 12th on the Business First’s Fastest 50 growing business list! Below are pictures from the luncheon
Congratulations to Goodwill Columbus on their new site that just launched! Conrad Phillips Vutech did a fantastic job on the design and the overall user and testing experience. We were very pleased to work with them on the development of the website. The site is a fully responsive design and integrates with several of their external services including the mobile (iPhone and Android) application that was previously developed. If you have not seen the site please take a chance to view it and of course please donate your items to them, they have locations, which you can find on their website, close to you.
A few months ago, Switchbox decided to apply for this year’s BBB Torch Awards. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Torch Awards are put on by the Better Business Bureau annually as a way to evaluate and award businesses for having high standing ethical practices. The BBB awards in four categories which is depicted by the amount of employees working per each organization.
The main portion of the application was broken down into six criteria that called for us to explain and articulate how our own business complies with each ethical practice. The criteria included: Leadership commitment to ethical practices, communications of ethical practices, organizational commitment to ethical practice, organizational commitment to performance management practices, organizational commitment to ethical human resource practices and organizational commitment to the community. When all of these were first introduced to us, I think we all sincerely believed Switchbox fit positively into each criterion. It seemed like an easy task at the time, articulating our company’s ethical practices. However, we soon realized that we gravely underestimated just how much time and work this particular application was going to take as well as how much we would learn from the experience of applying.
We began brainstorming, asking ourselves how does our company comply with these ethical practices? How can we prove them and in what areas can we do things better? The application process began to take on a whole new meaning. We closely examined the company from an ethical perspective and by doing so we were able to learn a lot about our company. For our answer to Criteria 1 “Leadership Commitment to Ethical Practices”, our president Joel Stephens wrote: This application process has forced me to evaluate not just the documents, but how we have been using them for the last few years. It’s forced me to have some honest conversations with our staff and shift the question from, “what do we have?” to “how are we using this?”
To us, the application process was a learning experience and because of this we believe our company is better off for having applied. This process in itself proved to be a true testament of Switchbox’s ethical code. Proving, this company strives to do things the right way, accepting we have room to grow and allowing change in order to do so. It is a tremendous honor to be chosen as one of the Torch Award winners. We spent a sincere amount of time organizing, planning and executing this application and are grateful that our hard work paid off. However, we are mainly honored to be part of a growing business that truly makes ethical decisions and runs its organization under practices that affect its community and team for the better.
A big thank you to the Better Business Bureau for this great honor!
When the two Columbus-based law firms Isaac, Brant, Ledman & Teetor and Wiles, Boyle, Burkholder & Bringardner, Co. LPA, decided to merge, they looked to Switchbox Inc. to help them develop a new website the would reflect the culture vision and reputation for the newly formed Isaac Wiles.
A merger of equals required some special consideration in order to bring out the depth of practice areas and the benefit to clients who were poised to benefit most from the merger. In recognition of these requirements and challenges Switchbox assembled a team of specialists including Blue Laser Design and communications specialist Lori Murray. Working with the coordination and support of the firm’s internal marketing lead, the team embarked on an ambitious schedule to build and launch the new site.
“We don’t want it to look like every other law firm’s website” was the main directive. The site also needed to display over 50 attorney profiles that were not only engaging, informative and scattered among the firms many practice areas, but they also needed to be easy to find. Lori Murray rose to the challenge either by meeting with the lawyers in person or interviewing them by phone. The goal was to craft individual profiles that were expressed in a single team’s voice. Blue Laser came up with several design mockups from which one emerged as the clear choice: A clean look that was as engaging as useable.
The Content Management System (CMS) was another challenge. The client wanted to be able to manage the content without having the site and its design look like a “CMS” driven site. Switchbox implemented the unique CMS platform developed specially for its clients in order to address this very issue. CMS platforms often require a sacrifice of web design and usability in order to make it possible for a non-technical person to edit and maintain content. Switchbox has overcome much of these challenges with a unique approach that allows the page design to come first. There are enough additional features to satisfy most power users as well.
From initial design to final launch, the team worked closely with the firm’s marketing coordinator, Amber Seymour, who functioned as an effective single point of contact to keep the project on schedule and facilitate all the internal tasks required. The result is website in which all parties can take pride. It will doubtless go through the sequence of post launch-improvements that make for winning websites.
Last week, our President, Project Manager and myself (Administrative Manager) had the opportunity to attend an event at Scioto Country Club where Hunter Lott was the key speaker. Hunter is a business coach who specializes in Human Resource practices. His presentations are informative, engaging and entertaining. Lott has traveled throughout the US delivering the dos and don’ts of HR practices and the legal ramifications that go along with them.
I have to say that even though I am more interested in the nitty-gritty details of HR than most, Lott’s presentation pleasantly exceeded my expectations. While he did focus on the details, even personally going through attendee’s handbooks to draw connections, he also focused on the bigger picture. Most people look at HR as a resource, one to make the best legal decisions, regarding staff primarily. However, Lott focused on the idea that a company’s culture is closely related to its HR policies. It seems obvious enough if you think about it but I think this is an idea that tends to slip away from a company’s mindset, which can largely affect the culture. Think about the tough conversations, the annual reviews and even the occasional uneasy conversations we all must have when letting an employee go. In all of these instances, it is how our companies handle them that define a company’s culture. If we avoid and put off the tough stuff, we are demonstrating to the rest of the company to do the same thing. Would we really want an employee to avoid calling a client because they needed to have a hard and maybe a little uncomfortable conversation? Every business that has a great company culture leans on various company core values but the most important values will always be trust and honesty.
When you begin to think of how onboarding an employee, conducting interviews or scheduling exit an interview has much more to do with simply getting the correct paperwork filed away, you are able to see how these small action items affect your company overall. With this understanding, you are more likely to take more time with employees, provide them honest feedback and overall affect your company positively. Being the leader and teaching by example is the best way for a staff to learn and grow in the correct direction.
If you ever have the opportunity to see Hunter Lott speak, it will certainly be well worth your time. Having the opportunity to attend an event like this, only reminded me how truly invested Switchbox is in creating a great company culture. I really value working for a company that is willing to give up some time and money in order to better our working environment for our staff.
For more information on Hunter Lott, see the link below.
Congratulations to Kevin Snyder and Raj Sheth on the launch of their re-imagined site,www.ThePracticeConnection.com! Kevin and Raj partnered with Switchbox and our friends at Blue Laser Design to not only re-skin the look of their dental practice sale and recruiting site, but to also completely overhaul the behind-the-scenes functionality. We not only made it easier for applicants and practices to connect, but streamlined the listing management functions so that these busy professionals can spend less time online and more time making their businesses better!