BaseKit, 2021: A Year in Review

BaseKit employees posing in front of Christmas tree

People, partners and product: if we could only choose three words to sum up 2021 at BaseKit HQ, we would have to choose those words. From new hires to product launches, there has been a lot to celebrate this year! Just in case you’ve missed anything, here’s our annual roundup of the last twelve months.

We hope you enjoy…

Team update: new hires, staff days out and a focus on recruitment

We welcomed nine new BaseKiteers

Without the BaseKit team, the work we do with partners wouldn’t be possible. It’s as simple as that. Each staff member contributes to our mission to help small businesses thrive online. So, when we recruit a new BaseKiteer, it’s an exciting moment.

2021 has seen the addition of 9 new team members:

  • Jack, Rob, and Bill, our 3 new developers
  • Zuza, our new QA Test Analyst
  • Connie, our new Growth Manager
  • Tennille, our new Global Account Manager
  • Carl, our Business Development Representative
  • Joe, our Technical Support Agent
  • Ryan, our new Sales and Marketing Director

You can take a look at our team page to find out who’s who – and don’t forget to keep a close watch on our blog in the New Year. We’ll be sharing profiles of some of our lovely new team members, so you can get to know the people you’re working with a little better.

The BaseKit spirit, captured on video

With so many new additions to the BaseKit team, it got us thinking… just what is it that makes working at BaseKit so great? And who better to answer that question than the people themselves? That’s exactly what we did when we invited a film crew to the office and let the cameras roll…

We’re very proud of the resulting video. It captures the culture of BaseKit perfectly: welcoming, hard-working and a place where everyone can make a real difference. Next year we’ll be recruiting for more positions, so the video isn’t just a celebration of what we’ve done so far. It’ll play an important role in our recruitment campaigns – more on that later in the blog!

It’s not all work at BaseKit…

Team activities play an important part in life at BaseKit; last year, our usual get-togethers took on a very different shape thanks to the power of Google Meet. So, when Coronavirus restrictions eased in England this summer, it was a refreshing change to be able to meet in person for our summer day out.

Safety was paramount, of course. We met in the open-air and played outdoor games, enjoyed lunch picnic-style and chatted about everything we’d missed over the last eighteen months. Although we were conscious of COVID and ensuring everyone felt safe, reuniting in the same place felt wonderful.

BaseKit employees stood in field

Working from home update: navigating COVID restrictions to reunite the BaseKit team

Maintaining the team spirit while apart

Working from home does present a unique set of challenges, not least in keeping everyone connected. It was important to us while physically separated to virtually bring the team together for social activities. And so, Team Happy Hours were born!

Each team takes it in turn to host the Happy Hour. They think of a fun activity and we all participate. We’ve had everything from bingo to Scattergories, from word games to art competitions. Don’t worry – I don’t think any of us are about to run off and become an artist any time soon. We quickly discovered that while the BaseKit team has many strengths, drawing isn’t one of them! But we had fun, and that’s the whole point, right?

Promoting work-life balance with reduced working hours

Work-life balance is an important part of life at BaseKit. When our team provided feedback that they wanted a different approach to working hours, we listened.

From January 2022, hours will reduce from 37.5 hours per week to 36 hours per week – with no change to salary. Not only does this represent a reduction in weekly working hours, it also gives staff more choice too. It gives our people have the option to work a shorter day on a Friday or spread their hours through the week a little better. We’ve also introduced the option to take a 2-hour lunch break, giving people the time to work out, run, or catch up on life admin that isn’t always possible at the weekend. We’re pleased to be providing even more flexibility for life at BaseKit.

A return to the office for BK staff

If 2020 was the year of living on video call and messaging apps, 2021 was the year of (finally!) connecting in person. In October this year, we returned to the office and initiated company-wide ‘All hands’ meetings. For a morning every month, the team gathers together to hear about BaseKit’s latest achievements, progress and future plans. It’s a small win compared with the momentous global events of the last two years. But for us, as a team, it’s not something we take for granted. And the best bit? Everyone has an opportunity to have their say and contribute to driving the company forward. The delicious lunches from local small businesses are also a huge plus!

First Company All Hands 2021, BaseKit a year in review

Product updates: an exciting new product and getting our partners more involved

Go Connect Scheduling (GCS): A new direction for BK and small service businesses

After announcing exciting new developments at the end of last year, 2021 saw the internal launch of BaseKit’s new product Go Connect Scheduling (GCS). The application allows any small businesses to take and manage bookings online, launched with some existing partners earlier in the year.

It’s been a huge moment for us and the work and dedication from our development team has been outstanding. To finally be able to share months and months of hard work is wonderful; we’re so proud of everyone who has contributed to the project, it really has been a collective effort. And what’s even more exciting, is that the product is starting to make a difference to our partners and small businesses around the world.

The New Year will bring plenty more developments with GCS and we’ll be rolling it out widely. Watch this space!

Continued developments for BaseKit’s core product

Although this year has been dominated by the development of GCS, we’ve still delivered plenty of other improvements to our core product:

  • New store & local business categories: We added 24 new content sets for new users to select during on-boarding. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to get online. The new content sets will allow users to quickly choose the category that’s appropriate for them, making things clearer, easier and faster.
  • ‘Add content’ improvements: We made it quicker and easier for new and existing users to add content in the website builder. This helps improve publish rates, increases the likelihood of upgrading to a paid plan and means that users feel the full benefits of their website’s possibilities.
  • Section height settings: We’ve added the ability to increase and reduce the height of sections with our new height settings functionality. This gives small business owners more control over the look and feel of their site, helping them create something beautiful and unique
  • Toolbar improvements: We improved the toolbar with a new visual design for better usability across desktop and mobile. Responding to feedback and analysis of how new customers use the product, we made adjustments to ensure the website builder continues to delight, impress and empower small business owners.

You can take a look at the full list of improvements on our product updates blog. These continual improvements are down to the commitment of the whole BaseKit team; from listening to feedback, researching the latest trends to putting the changes in place.

BaseKit’s innovative Customer Activation Programme ramped up in 2021

Our partners are exactly that: partners. So it was important that we enabled more collaboration this year, with a push on the Customer Activation Programme (CAP). At all stages of the product journey, we are expanding the reach of product data. From the moment a partner signs a contract, throughout the ongoing engagement with users and nurturing campaigns, we are leading with data.

The result has led to a greater understanding of how to implement go-to-market plans and the ability to make data-driven decisions when it comes to onboarding. This reflects our broader aim: to become a data-forward business. For the benefit of our partners. And for our own decision making as a business.

BaseKit 2022: a look at what the future holds

BaseKit to recruit more new team members in 2022

We’ve just hired a UI designer, as we’re keen to focus even more on the experience SMBs have with our product. But it doesn’t end there! Next year, we have even more plans to expand our team. We’re hiring a Head of Marketing to join our Bristol office and we’re recruiting a Sales Executive to join us. We’ve exciting plans about where to take the business, and these people will play crucial roles in helping us get there.

Exciting product and company announcements

We’ve mentioned already the internal launch of GCS. Next year will see the full launch of the product, making GCS available for all partners and beyond. It’s a key moment, not least because we’ll see the full impact of the team’s hard work over the last 18 months.

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for an announcement of some exciting new funding news. We plan to invest in the team, the product and the future of the company. It’s an exciting time to be a part of BaseKit.

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