Posted by Renee Schmidt

SheBytes gets a major facelift via a site redesign by the Small Business Authority (SBA)!

A Blog is an Organism

While this may strike you as an unlikely idea, it’s true: a blog is indeed an organism.  And like all blogs, SheBytes is alive.  SheBytes was born in early 2011 to happy parent; Renee Schmidt (that’s me!)  Since that fateful day, SheBytes has been a constant concern. I make sure SheBytes gets all the attention “she” deserves (yeah, that’s right; I decided to give my blog a gender). And, I provide for her by feeding SheBytes with all the nourishing content she needs to remain viable.  Now let’s fast forward a bit:

Today is the first day SheBytes is up with a brand spanking new, face-lift-redesign, courtesy of our dedicated and dear friends at the Small Business Authority (The SBA).

Like all living and breathing creatures, SheBytes evolves.  Every parent knows that their little girl is going to grow up and become a woman; and today SheBytes has come of age.  Our redesign is greatly indebted to the SBA for one plain reason: The SBA is AMAZING at what they do!

The Small Business Authority (NASDAQ: NEWT) is a provider of business services to over 100,000 SMB’s (small and mid-size businesses) in all 50 states.  Services include: lending, merchant processing, payroll, insurance, web services, and many more.  You may be thinking: “what doesn’t the SBA do?” In truth, not a whole lot; I’ve used them for everything from motorcycle insurance to web design and hosting.  Let me tell you a bit about what the SBA did for SheBytes.

An Identity Crisis

Although still young at the time, SheBytes was going through an identity crisis and was in need of a major face-lift.  In the words of the beautiful and brave Marilyn Monroe, “give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” Well, SheBytes certainly needed a new pair of shoes and the SBA wanted to personally customize and glam them out, for her.  And they did!

I met with the SBA in Manhattan to discuss SheBytes and some very preliminary ideas of what I wanted for the blog.  I was reassured that my baby (SheBytes), would be in caring and creative hands; a crucial combination.  But assurances are one thing –it  wasn’t until the SBA assigned me a design team, did it become clear I would be receiving lots of personal attention for my site redesign. Next, the SBA sent me an extremely thoughtful questionnaire, meant to get to the root of what my site is supposed to both look like and accomplish. They asked some obvious questions that I knew the answers to, but more importantly they asked a lot of less obvious, yet quite leading questions that I needed to be more thoughtful about.  The collective answers gave the SBA a clear picture of what I felt was lacking or less than ideal with my current site, along with what I’d like to see on the new one.

After I returned the questionnaire, they sent me two totally different mockups within 48 hours!  The mockups represented the disparate (more like overly ambitious), directions I had given them on a follow-up call: “For SheBytes, I’m thinking Apple meets Prada!” We ran with the mockups, blended elements and came up with a viable whole that meshed my favorite components of each. Now that the redesign has become a reality, I realize that they couldn’t have hit the nail more closely on the head!

Throughout the entire redesign process, the SBA was really on top of their game. They were speedy with responding to emails, understanding, innovative, patient, clever and most of all, just downright brilliant!  There wasn’t an idea I threw out there that was refuted or outside their scope; not many design firms are that sophisticated (trust me, I know from experience!).  I also really like that the ENTIRE company is based nationally, in the U.S. –no outsourcing!

Women do Tech!

Now that the redesign is complete and the site is live (love it!), let’s tribute to Ms. Monroe once more:  “I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.” Like Marilyn, SheBytes hopes to shine a light on the female side of the male-dominated techie-verse and show everyone that women and technology do mix!  Thank you SBA!  SheBytes’ makeover was just what the doctor ordered and because of the excellent work from the SBA, it ‘vibes’ everything I imagined plus more!  I can’t wait to hear what you think!

PS: If you want to learn more about the SBA’s Web Design & Development services, click here.  Or for a full list of business services, click here.