Case Study: Solve

Helping People and Websites Across the County & Beyond

For most businesses the advantage of having a commercial website has long been proven, with the shift in consumer behaviour caused by the Covid-19 lockdown only adding further credence to this. Now, more than ever people are choosing to buy online, making up for the fact they can no longer buy in person.

For businesses that previously relied solely on foot traffic or local support, many survived happily without the need for a web presence, but for most that has changed since the lockdown came into force. Those without a website are finding themselves in need of one fast, while others with old or poorly-optimised sites are quickly discovering it can be almost as unhelpful as not having one at all.

“Internet usage has doubled recently. As the high street is off-limits, online is most businesses’ main asset for connecting and selling to customers,” Lawrence Harmer, Founder and director at Solve explains. “It is incredibly important that companies maximise their potential online by having a solid online presence, good information and the ability to do business online.”

Solve, who achieved B Corp status in January, are offering free website audits and reduced pricing for site work to help businesses create or improve their online offering during the outbreak. For those that haven’t paid close attention to their online presence before, it’s everything they need to get up to speed.

Solve’s Covid-19 support includes:

• Free SEO and website consultations
• Free SEO audits
• Creating simple e-commerce sites
• Video conferencing set-up

Pivoting Websites Along With The Businesses

Already Solve’s work has helped businesses adapt to the new challenges faced by many, using exactly the kind of knowledge of User Experience (UX) and technical expertise that have made them popular with around 300 clients across Europe.

One such client required a ticketing website for a local charity event, which proved so popular online that people bought tickets with no intention of turning up, just because they wanted to give money to the cause. A ‘Donate’ button was subsequently added to the website and since then the lockdown has necessitated an e-commerce site for the charity’s organiser, all of which was advised and carried out by Solve.

Welcome To The Virtual Food Festival

If that wasn’t enough, Solve have cast their eye towards helping the wider community at this time, lending their talents to another project that Lawrence is a part-founder of. You may have already heard of The Virtual Food Festival, it’s had mentions on BBC Radio, The Telegraph and exploded on social media. The idea is to connect people local food suppliers by bringing the food festival experience online, with recipes and live demonstrations from well-known chefs including Rick Stein, Sophie Mitchell and Angela Hartnett.

Food suppliers have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many losing out on sales that would normally be propped up by the catering and hospitality industry, but during the lockdown even custom from consumers has been at a minimum. Since launching the food festival, one local food supplier has been in touch to say that the festival has “saved their season” and thousands have been raised to support local charities in a very short time.

On Solve’s involvement Lawrence says that they are “the ‘virtual’ of the virtual food festival,” and with the livestreaming, event website and donation integration it’s hard to imagine something on this scale being possible without them.

Working With Oxford Innovation

Lawrence and his team have received coaching from Oxford Innovation for some time, working with Will Cairley as their lead coach.

“All of us at Solve hugely benefit from the advice, training and support we receive from Oxford innovation,” Lawrence says. “Will Cairley has played a huge part in aiding our growth. Over our time working with Oxford Innovation, we have enjoyed Belbin profile team sessions, individual training and access to support and invaluable expertise. Growing a business naturally comes with challenges. With the help of our incredible mentor, those challenges turn into successes time and time again.”

Book an online coaching session with Oxford Innovation Cornwall at no cost to your business.


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This programme is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.