Digital Dales

We live in an unprecedented era of technological advances and it is easy to take for granted the speed at which change is happening.

What seemed impossible just ten, five or even one year ago is now viewed with a mild indifference.

Think about it, how we interact, travel, consume and survive is being continuously moulded and at such a rate that it is almost impossible to keep your finger on the pulse of the modern world.

That being said most of us could think of places that fall behind. Ask anyone (in the North) and they would tell you, London and the South are beneficiaries of anything that could be classed as technological upgrades long before it makes its way up the M1.

On an even greater scale is the gulf between rural communities and the towns and cities they surround.

But that’s not the point of the countryside is it? It’s supposed to be representative of a different time, a by-gone era. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Unspoilt views and a modern technological infrastructure don’t go hand in hand, do they?

With all that at the back of anyone’s mind would you really want to run a digital agency in the Dales? Is the off-grid web designer really a preferable choice for a business operating in the hyper-fast consumer and corporate markets of today?

Beth and Sean of Craven Digital seem to think so. In fact, so convinced are they, they have moved not only their homes but their business to the outskirts of the idyllic village of Gargrave known primarily for its tearooms and antique shops.

Quite literally off the beaten track, Craven Digital’s new headquarters are situated in a converted barn surrounded by nothing more than rolling hills babbling brooks and roaming Sheep, synonymous with the Dales.

Something that strikes you on the drive to Craven Digital as the buildings roll past the windows slowly being replaced by vast open green spaces is that you are truly cut off from the constant hum of the cities. Immediately you have room to breathe and take a step back. If ever you needed an excuse to turn your phone off and concentrate on the task at hand this was surely it.

A fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Craven Digital’s client base…

“Although we’ve only recently moved our clients are already giving us really positive feedback about the new office. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere but with that comes a chance for them to take a proper step back from their business.”

That’s not to say that they are literally cut-off, quite the opposite. Boasting download speeds and phone signal that most rarely achieve indoors and in many city centre offices.

It’s not the technology that is the cut off; it’s more a state of mind you get when you are away from the incessant white noise in any modern office block or city centre.

Having space to really take a step back and asses your business is key when working on major projects like a web build, of course, it is but many of us never take the time do we? How often have you seen colleagues or even caught yourself answering emails or phone calls when you are supposed to be scoping your new site or brand relaunch.

“They make time to come and see us and have a think about their objectives, their strategy and how that fits in with their marketing. And I think they really value that time and actually set it aside to come and see us whether it’s for training or discussions or planning or just going through reviewing projects as they go along. It’s kind of the perfect place for that which works really well.”

Great views and a large tick in the employee wellbeing box aside what else did Craven digital offer its client base. For that matter what was the client base? A place often overlooked for its commercial opportunities, does the region known for agriculture have a captive audience?

Beth outlines why Craven Digital is succeeding in their new setting…

“So most of our clients are small businesses, sole traders or people with just a few employees and they tend to come to us because we’re approachable friendly people that spend the time to get to know them get to know what they’re trying to do in business and take the time to really help steer where they are going unlike maybe a large agency that might just churn out sites one after another we take the time to really sit down with them have a brew and a bit of a chat and stick with them on their journey. Pretty much everybody we’ve worked with is still with us and we really take the time to develop with them really and see where they’re where they’re going.”

It’s inspiring to see a business like Craven Digital not only progress the way it has but grow when moving to a place many wouldn’t venture to other than for a Sunday stroll.

They are proof that our counties rural business communities are thriving and if anything is a hotbed for the region’s entrepreneurs.

So the next time you are sat planning your next web project, maybe a  day trip to the Dales could be just what you need.