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In this follow up blog, we are going to be continuing our discussion on ADA compliance on your website and what you need to know right now.
Hello Summerville, and welcome back to the blog! There is just nothing like a new year in Summerville. The whole town seems to be buzzing with new exciting energy working towards this new year's goals, new projects, and resolutions. It's a wonderful energy, and we can all feel it in the office. It has helped each of us stay focused, get to work, and inspired us to keep up with our own goals and resolutions. Thank you, Summerville! Let's make the best out of 2021 together, and let's be kind to one another. Who knows what this year or any year might hold for all of us!
One of the very first blogs we've shared this year was all about being ADA compliant, what that means, the challenges small businesses are facing right now because of it, the fact that many issues are caused due to lack of official guidance, and how the officials are going about correcting websites to ADA complaint before a bully shows up to do it first. Today, we are going to be following up with part two of that blog with even more helpful and important information to make sure your business is safe and ready to handle the changes ADA online compliance might bring this year.
What are the best ways to make your website ADA compliant?
Remember, you can do many of these changes yourself if you want to. Do not, we repeat, do NOT let anyone bully you into believing that they are the only ones who can make your current website or build a website for you that is ADA compliant and that you must spend an obscene amount of money to do so. You can work with us at Creative Consulting to achieve an ADA-compliant website or any top-notch design company that won't force or bully you, and our rates will be reasonable. Remember, outside of following these loosely based guidelines that have started to appear about being ADA compliant online, being ADA compliant can help position your business for long-lasting success and help to expand your customer base. While rules and guidelines are still not black and white, the WCAG (the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and other groups are paving the way. Until then, here is a list of suggestions and tips on how to make your website ADA compliant right now.
Well, readers, it looks like the topic of ways on how best to make your website ADA compliant needed its very own blog! Don't worry, we still have a lot more to talk about, and will continue to do so in our next few blogs. This topic is becoming more important every day, and we want to make sure you are prepared and informed. We appreciate you coming on this ride with us about ADA compliance. We hope that with each of these blogs, you are taking the correct steps to ensure that your website fits these guidelines. Please take this topic very seriously. While there are no official guidelines set in stone by law right now, that most certainly doesn't mean that it couldn't change soon. This is one of the main reasons why it is so important to get ahead on this topic, so once it is set in stone, you either will already be compliant with the law or you will just need to make a few adjustments! Until next time, stay safe and caffeinated Summerville!
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et to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Hello readers, and welcome back to the blog! From all of us at Creative Consulting, we want to wish you a very happy new year! We hope that this year is one for growth, learning, positive changes, and exciting things for you and yours. While starting a new year can be overwhelming, we hope that you look at it with hope and walk towards it with an open heart and open mind. Also, don't forget all the goals, resolutions, and aspirations you have for 2021 were made to accomplish throughout the year. Don't try and tackle them all in January, believe me! By the time the 31st rolls around, you'll already be stressed, exhausted, and ready to abandon your goals. Part of making plans, aspirations, and goals is creating a strategy and a plan on how and when to accomplish them. Make sure to stick to that plan as much as you plan on sticking to achieving your goals. Do this with both your personal and professional goals, and you'll be heading towards a wonderful new year. We are here to help you accomplish all of your business goals for 2021, too! Looking to rebrand? Build a website? Have a logo designed? Create a social media play? Add blogs to your SEO? We are here to help you with all of this and more!
What better way to start a new year than introducing a brand new member of our team? While we ushered out 2020, we ushered in a brand new member of our team who arrived right on time and has been a perfect addition to our team. Summerville and beyond, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the one and only Madi Kirkwood! From one Maddie to another, it is my personal honor to write about and introduce you to her. From her very first day at the office, we could all tell this Summerville native was going to fit right into our crazy and creative team. Madi is still settling in, but she has put the first finishing touches on her office, has dove headfirst into her position and learning more about it, and is already coming up with incredible ideas to help move the company forward.
I do have to share my appreciation and admiration for my fellow Madi. A few weeks ago, a bunch of us were working at the conference table chatting and sharing ideas. Madi was working with me on these interview questions and having a hard time answering all of them. Talking about yourself is difficult, and letting someone (practically a stranger still at this point) write about you and share it all with the wide-open web is difficult and brave. I appreciate all of my fellow teammates for being such good sports and letting me share a peek into their lives. Madi and I share the love of Bullet Journaling and I admire her organization, her creativity, humor, and the dedication and hard work she has already given and shown in just the few short weeks she has been with the creative team. To jump right from graduation into a full-time job can be difficult, but to someone who has gone to school full time, worked, and had an internship all at the same time, this new time of transition for Madi will be a piece of cake. It is a joy to have her on the team, and I look forward to all the incredible things she is going to be doing for the company and all of our clients!
Name: Madi Kirkwood
How long have you been working at CC: Almost one month!
How did you hear about the positions: My professor from CSU sent me this way last month whenever the SEO Specialist position opened up, and I applied right away!
What do you do for CC: I am the Search Engine Optimization Specialist
What is your favorite part about working for CC: I love the team & how close everyone is here. A good team and communication are the backbone to any striving business, so I am extremely excited to continue to grow closer to everyone here!
What have you learned since you worked at CC: A better question is, what haven't I learned? I am continuously growing and learning more about how I can sharpen my skills and gain more knowledge every day!
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC: My favorite part of my workday is accomplishing a goal that I set prior to that day. It is incredibly encouraging to be able to succeed in the things I set for myself.
Favorite memory at CC so far: Any time I'm laughing with our team! I have loved being able to connect with my coworkers and learn about our shared humor!
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC): Guerin's Pharmacy has held a place in my heart since I was in middle school. Memories of getting ice cream in the summertime or a cold glass of bottled Coca-Cola bring back amazing nostalgia.
What is your educational background: I graduated from Charleston Southern University in 2020 with my Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design & a minor in Business Administration in Marketing. I try to continue my education as much as possible because of my ever-changing field. I specialize in not only SEO, but I am also a branding and advertising designer!
What are your hobbies: I enjoy being crafty & doing digital illustration in my free time. I also like to play Indie style video games, going out in Charleston with my friends (socially distanced & masked up, of course!), and actively practicing self-care!
What is your favorite color: My most used color palette is a combination of shades of reds, blues, and yellows. I would say those are my favorite colors!
Interesting Facts about you: I am allergic to pineapple!
Favorite Food: Anything that has to do with potatoes, they're the most versatile food & I am a sucker for some good mashed potatoes!
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville: Honestly, nothing beats my grandma's cooking, but if I had to choose, Eva's on Main is a wonderful place to go for a homemade meal!
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville: Going to the beach and going axe throwing are some of my favorite things to do!
I don't know about you, but after I interviewed Madi and read through this, I had the strangest urge to go axe throwing and grabbing my favorite potato dish! I know I say this after every introduction, but I love how much more I learn about each of them when I get to write about them! I also enjoy how I can see each of my teammate's personalities shine through in how they answer. These blogs always make me smile, so I hope you are too! Cheers to January, Summerville! I look forward to another exciting year of bringing you the best Creative Consulting can give! Until next time Summerville, stay safe and stay caffeinated!
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In this two-part blog, we will be discussing something pretty delicate in our world right now. It is one of our personal goals to strive to not only help our clients and fellow small business owners grow their businesses, but we also strive to educate others and tell the truth about what's happening in the world of business right now. Today, we are going to be discussing a very important hot topic, being ADA compliant!
Hello, Summerville, and hello 2021! How many times have you written the date wrong so far this year? I've done it an embarrassingly amount of times! Anyway, welcome back to the blog writer's desk, and while we are just a few weeks into the new year, it is still such an exciting time to own a business. While so many people hate the beginning of a new year as much as they hate Mondays, when we look at a new year we see the beginnings of something very special and exciting. We have the opportunity to grow and become the company we want to be, and to help our clients do the same. That, to us, is incredibly exciting and one of the many reasons why starting fresh in a new year is what we live for!
One of the ways we try to help all of our clients and fellow small business owners grow is to inspire them to look at every new year as a new opportunity. It's the perfect time to go after their goals and a perfect time to plan how to reach them. We also try to take the time in the first few months to continue educating our clients on what is happening now in our industry, and how that might impact their business on a day to day basis, and what to be cautious of. Currently, one of the hottest trends in the marketing world and the website design world is offering clients to help them become ADA compliant. It's a sad reality that many marketing companies will use scare tactics to force small companies into a website contract with them, claiming that they aren't ADA compliant which could land them in a huge lawsuit. This is such an unnecessary and cruel thing to do to small businesses, who are already struggling to make ends meet in the first place. We want to state that by law, there are actually no guidelines that state exactly what or how your website must be set up to be ADA compliant. At least there isn't anything yet. If you are being bothered or badgered by a company telling you otherwise, please brush them off or speak with us. They're being bullies, and we don't like bullies here at Creative Consulting. In this two-part blog, we are going to be talking about what ADA Compliance is, how your company needs to be approaching this term and its current guidelines, and why the threat of being in danger isn't anything close to what many companies will say that you are in. Yes, you need to be compliant, but there is wiggle room, which is what we will be talking about today.
Let's take a step back though before we get in over our heads or things get confusing. The ADA is the American With Disabilities Act that requires physical locations to provide fair access and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Some of the most common examples of this are restaurants and public buildings must provide wheelchair accessibility and they must provide menus and other reading materials in Braille for customers who are visually impaired. Today, in our very media-heavy and driven world, ADA compliance has now spread out to the digital world and our digital devices. ADA compliance is now requiring all websites to provide accessibility for all on their webpages. This can include web content that can be used by those who are blind, for those who are deaf, help for those who must navigate by using their voices, and providing screen readers to help read and describe all content on the webpage for those who might not be able to see it. So yes, by law you must be ADA compliant and provide these options. Your website must also not prohibit the use of these tools that we've mentioned above that would prevent an individual with a disability to access your webpage as needed. However, here is the kicker! There are no clear ADA regulations that spell out how every website must be laid out and designed to provide accessibility to everyone with a disability. There is so much grey area, and so much unknown, which people are taking advantage of and trying to decide what it means for them, not for the digital world across the board. All it states by legal documentation is that all businesses that fall under Tier 1 or Tier 3 must provide internet content that gives at least "reasonable accessibility" to individuals with disabilities according to Business News Daily, but that is all that they say and no guidelines or examples have truly been supplied.
What businesses fall under these different tiers? That's when it begins to get a little tricky. Tier 1 Businesses are those that have at least 15 full-time employees and are open for business at least 20 weeks out of the year, and they somehow engage in an industry that adds to and affects commerce. However, if you have 14 or fewer employees (for example you are a self-employed company of one) and you work less than those 20 weeks a year, you don't have to comply as being Title 1. According to Findlaw.com any tax-exempt private membership clubs also do not count as being Tier 1 businesses. Businesses that are owned by a Native American Tribe are also exempt from being Title 1. However, Tier 3 gets a little more tricky because more businesses fall under its umbrella. Tier 3 businesses are businesses that are considered and live in the category of being public accommodations. Examples of this included and are not limited to:
ADA was passed in 1990, making sure that all public access locations had to provide accommodations for everyone, including those with disabilities. 20 years later in 2010, the Department of Justice passed the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design which mandated that all electronic information and devices had to be accessible to those with disabilities. However, because the law states that you only have to be ADA compliant if you fall under Tier 1 and Tier 3, it is still best to discuss with a lawyer what you should do for their website to not run into any issues. While there is no reason to prevent someone with disabilities from enjoying your website and content, for those who don't fall under those tiers, you shouldn't be badgered into building a website with a company you don't want to work with because they are saying your not ADA compliant, and the only way to avoid a lawsuit is to work with them. Remember, there are no clear rules about being ADA compliant, however, again, you need to be respectful of the ADA complaint ideals. What we are trying to explain here is that you can make these additions and adjustments yourself to your website. You can even make your website more accessible for those who use different tools to access and enjoy it, and to make sure they aren't turned away from it.
Many companies today, since it is such a grey area topic with no real definition, will take advantage of the fact that this world has no clear-cut definition and will attack smaller companies that don't fit in any tier. They will bully and scare them into buying a website from them, and in our books that is a bad business tool. In the second half of this blog, we are going to be continuing our discussion about being ADA compliant, its current battle, and how to keep your company compliant while not being bullied by others to conform to their incorrect definition of being ADA compliant. This is a touchy topic and one that we need to talk about more. If you feel that you might be going against ADA compliance or in some trouble because of not following what ADA guidelines there are, please contact us and we will work through it together! Until next time Summerville, stay safe and stay caffeinated!
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In one of our very last blogs for 2020, we are wrapping up this blog series about the best things you can do for your business now to make the new 2021 the best year yet!
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writer's desk! The year is slowly picking itself up and putting itself away, and boy was it one for the books. We are happy to see it go, and we are happy and excited to see what this new year will be bringing us. As all of us at Creative Consulting have been gathering for our last in-person meetings of 2020, it's been interesting to sit back and see what this year has taught us. First and foremost it has taught us how resilient our town is. Nothing can stop Summerville! In fact, through all of the challenges we have been through as a community, it has been incredible to see just how much we have supported one another and continued to grow together and for one another. We have seen compassion, hope, and the dedication each of you have to your families, community, and your passions.
We have also experienced so much support and an outpouring of love from all of you supporting small businesses of all kinds right here in town. You decided to shop small, give big, and give back to your community. You took more time to be proud of the movers, makers, and shakers right here in town, Thanks to that you now own beautiful pieces of artwork and homemade products made by your incredibly talented neighbors, and you have tried some of the best new dishes and desserts made from your neighbors that you might not have known about unless the pandemic had happened, a tough silver lining, but one just the same. We have also seen resilience in our industry that we are so thankful for. We are honored to support and care for your businesses, and to help build and support them to help reach all of your goals and more. It has been an honor working with each of you, and we look forward to ringing in 2021 with you and stepping into new beginnings.
In part one of this blog, we spent time talking about all of the financial things you can do right now to help save on your 2020 taxes. While many of those decisions, purchases, and money moves might seem like a little bit of strain on your business accounts at the end of a very difficult year, we promise that they are still good decisions. While you might feel every penny this time of year, you will appreciate the time you dedicated to following the list in our previous blog and spending a little more money now. Come April 15th, your tax expenses will not be as challenging to cover, painful, or a surprise. In this blog, we are focusing more on the business aspects of closing out a year. What can you be focusing on and working on now that can help you create the best business plan for 2021? How can you make your goals become realities? How can you uplift and support your team? Let's talk about it!
Year-End Count Down
Before we all wrap up our work for the new year and settle into our holiday parties with our coworkers, there is still so much left to do. This is our busiest time of the year, so we understand that sometimes things can get lost in the shuffle. Don't let that happen this year! Use this end of the year checklist to wrap up 2020 and get your head in the game for 2021! We know the pandemic has been devastating to so many of you, and many companies are still trying to recover from its reverberations. Keep strong, keep going, you've got this!
From all of us at Creative Consulting, thank you for an incredible year! We deeply appreciate your support and friendship and couldn't do what we do without all of you and the incredible town of Summerville. We are so appreciative to our clients who have been with us for years, our new 2020 clients, and all of our future clients. We wish you all a very exciting and wonderful 2021!
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The end of the year will be here in no time, and with only a few weeks left to spare, end of the year spending could help your upcoming tax season be much less painful!
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writer's desk! While we are all ensconced with holiday cheer and joy, we know many of our readers and fellow small business owners are figuring out the best steps, plans, and decisions to make their companies bigger and better in 2021. We know many of our small business peers are trying to wrap up this crazy year as best as they can, planning for what they can, and figuring out and planning for the best ways to save money on their upcoming 2020 taxes. Oh yes, we are going there already. As much as you might hate it now, we promise you'll love us for it later! With so many small businesses being passed up on small business loans and other opportunities this year to help them through what the pandemic left behind, pinching pennies and saving what you can might be the difference between getting your head far above water and doggy paddling.
Like we said, we're going there. Tax season is going to be here much faster than we realize. We'll celebrate New Year's day, blink, and all of a sudden April 15th will be here! It will seem even closer for those who paid their taxes on the extended day of July 15th. Instead of having a whole year to prepare for 2020 taxes, it suddenly became 8 months to prepare. Four months makes a big difference when you're a business owner, you know that and we know that. So give yourself an early Christmas gift and jump on board for being prepared now.
Don't worry, you're not alone. We are already wrapping up our year, deep in planning mode for 2021, gearing up to be as prepared as possible, and ready to jump-start on whatever 2021 might bring us. So, as an early gift from us to you, we wanted to help you get organized with some tips, suggestions, and even a checklist for how to make 2021 your best year yet. In this two-part blog, we are going to be covering it all! This first part will be dedicated to how to save some nickles and dimes now to make tax season less painful, and part two will be an end of the year checklist to help wave goodbye to 2020 in the strongest way possible.
Buy It Now, Save Later!
Our passion is to help companies grow to their full potential and beyond, creating a powerful brand, voice, and social fingerprint. We offer website design services, graphic design services, social media management, search engine optimization services, and much more. Each of these services is beneficial for companies who wish to grow and expand, and to rise above their competitors. Each of these services is also what we are very passionate about. We continue to grow, study, and learn about the latest trends to continue to offer the best of each service. Have you or your company been considering a new website, a new logo, a new rebrand, someone to manage your social media services? Now might be the perfect time to sign on with us! Purchasing a new website or a logo design this year can be used as a business expense to help lower your 2020 taxes for next year! Up your game against your competition and begin bettering your business, all while saving money for your growing business now!
While we are talking about saving your company money, here are some other things you and your small business could be doing right now (after signing on with us for a website or logo project, that is) that can save you some serious tax headaches come April 15th. Please remember to save all of your paperwork and receipts, and make sure everything is documented and dated properly. This will save any confusion if anyone tries to challenge you when you make these financial decisions, and they will make your tax advisor and preparer very thankful for your organizational skills!
As a little sneak peek at what our next blog is going to be like and some things to start thinking about now, here are a few things you can start doing to revamp your business and save money going into 2021.
There is still so much to share, so make sure you join us next time for part two of this blog. While it's so easy to let go this time of year and you just want to sit back and enjoy, please don't forget that there is still so much left to do! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about your end of the year business plan, please don't hesitate to reach out and chat with us! We are here to help make this year and every year the best year yet. We are right with all of you who are burning your 2020 business candle at both ends, believe us, but we know the work and dedication is worth it! We are dedicated to helping our company grow to help yours become the best it possibly can! Until next time Summerville, make sure to shop small and support our community. Make sure to contact us if you are looking to design a new website or a new logo, and never forget to stay extra caffeinated this holiday season!