January is a time for reflection on the previous year and to think about the coming year. It’s a time to assess what went well for you and to address anything you want to work on changing. It is the fresh start of a new year, and we are so excited you are here with us on this journey! During 2021 we made some amazing moves within our business to support the growth we have seen throughout the pandemic. As we continued to push forward into the unknown, we brought on two new team members, Mckenzie and Danielle. Mckenzie joined our team as a Web Specialist and Danielle joined our team as our Project Manager.
With the growth of our team throughout the year, we were able to bring on 60 new clients. Each one has been essential to our growth, and we have had so much fun bringing all their ideas to life and getting to know their businesses. The experience of trying to expand our business, and help others do the same during a pandemic have helped us develop our skills and strengthen us as a team. We were so blessed to not only survive but thrive this year!
Looking forward to 2022, we have no plans of slowing down. Our growth and development as a team is one of our top priorities. We want to push each other to the next level in everything we do. When we support each and our individual growth, the entire will benefit from it, and we can continue to grow together as a business. Another major goal for the year is to create new business and community partnerships. We focus on small, local businesses, and love being able to be part of their growth. We also want to help all our current clients meet any goals they have for the year. When we strengthen the businesses around us, we strengthen the community, making it a better place to live, work, and visit.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
“I encourage you to listen to your body. Don’t wait if you feel like something’s not right. Don’t explain away pain and discomfort that is persistent.
January 2019 Pain began - I assumed it was from beginning to wean my last baby from nursing.
March 2019 Pain so excruciating I stopped driving.
March 2019 Misdiagnosed at the ER as costochondritis (pain of the chest wall). No one bothered to even check my breasts.
March 2019 Another trip to a different ER revealed several large masses in my left breast, as well as enlarged lymph nodes.
Mammogram, ultrasound, biopsies, genetic testing, bloodwork, MRI’s and bone scans were all completed within 6 days of the last ER visit. Diagnosis given of Stage IIIb (later changed to IIIc) ER/PR+ HER2- breast cancer. I was 38 years old.” - Erika Berry via Facebook
Hear the whole story about Erika’s diagnosis, treatment, and inspirational journey that came along with it all here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7ektePahm2bhJ1hvVVfxO9
My business is pretty straightforward. We help other small businesses leverage digital technology. Looking back, it was no surprise that this is the business I ended up starting. My stepdad worked in IT, and I remember building our first computer with him in our living room. By ten years old, I was helping my friends’ parents pick out and set up their computers, learn software, programs, and utilize their new machine best. It was clear helping people with technology was my passion.
In 2012, I moved back to West Liberty, OH, a three-stoplight town, and started a company doing what I love. Today, we have 11 employees and help more than 200 clients reach customers all across the country.
We know firsthand that large digital companies have been a boon for small businesses. We use many of the leading tech companies’ free and low-cost digital tools to promote our services. For example, we use Google Ads to help us find clients that need computer repair or SEO help. In addition, we run our entire digital infrastructure on Google Workspace. Not only do we use these tools in our own business, but we advise our clients on which tools will help them most and how to get the most out of those tools.
Digital advertising has been an especially fantastic tool for us and our clients. The data and algorithms that help with targeting and the fact that you only pay when someone clicks on an ad makes advertising worth the cost. And Google Analytics ensures that digital marketing, ads, and social media are optimized to maximize return on modest investments. It has been a game-changer for many of our clients.
Small businesses couldn’t compete with large companies’ billion-dollar ad budgets and teams of consultants in the past. Now, with a modest investment, they can reach their target audience quickly and cheaply. Moreover, for businesses that operate using e-commerce, their market is now national or global instead of limited to our small town.
During the past 16 months of the pandemic, digital tools’ value has only become more apparent. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and tools like Google My Business allowed our clients to communicate directly with the public quickly and easily. In addition, for companies that operated brick and mortar stores that were forced to close or limit occupancy, we helped them transition quickly to e-commerce, online shopping, and direct-to-consumer shipping.
Obviously, we would not be in business without the various digital tools and services that we help our clients leverage. But many of our clients wouldn’t be in business or would not be as successful without them.
When lawmakers set their sights on big businesses, their actions almost always have repercussions for small ones. New regulations could mean more expensive and less effective tools for my clients’ businesses. That means less room on my clients’ balance sheets for my companies’ services and less revenue for me to continue to invest in growing my business. It’s past time for Congress to consider what their actions will mean for small businesses and not rush into passing laws that will inevitably harm their futures.
Ryan Berry is the founder of Berry Digital Solutions in West Liberty, OH, and a member of the Connected Commerce Council.
My typical day includes working in my home office updating websites, posting to social media, and brainstorming ideas for Berry Digital Solutions. When the workload slows down, I enjoy spending time with my fiancé, Parker. Parker and I are high school sweethearts. We both attended Triad High School and have been together since 2014. We are getting married on October 23, 2021 and we are beyond excited! We have two fur babies that we adore so much! We have a cat named Trixie who we adopted in January of 2020 and most recently, we adopted a Miniature Australian Shepard named Odin who is now seven months old.
Most of my free time is spent with my fiancé. We both enjoy nature hikes in Yellow Springs, fishing, playing video games with our friends, watching anything and everything Marvel, binge watching The Office for what seems like the millionth time, and having Harry Potter marathons. One of our favorite memories is attending the renaissance festival which we plan to attend again this year! Another fall favorite of ours is watching Ohio State University football on Saturdays. This has been a tradition of ours since we started dating almost seven years ago!
Family is the most important thing in my life. I enjoy spending time with my family any chance that I get. I have three siblings; Macie, J.T., and Addison. I am also a proud aunt of Owen (6), Connor (4), Quinn (2), Hailey (4 months), and Elias (2 months). Being with my nieces and nephews is the best, and it's even better when we are all together at once! I could not imagine life without my family and I am so lucky that we are all close knit.
This past year has been very eventful with my fiancé and I moving into a new place in February, planning a wedding, two new additions to our family in April and June, getting a puppy at the end of May, to leaving my job of two years and starting a new career on June 7th. I have been very blessed with the life I have been given and not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for helping me along this path. I still have a lot of learning and growth to do, but I am surrounded by love and happiness that has given me the motivation to always be my best self. I am so excited for what the next few years will bring and I look forward to all that the future has to offer.
We have all been in those meetings before where one person in the room sounds like they are speaking in a different language. We want to make sure when you meet with us you are as prepared as you can be and have a good understanding of the basic terms we will be using. Read through this list of website design lingo that we think everyone should know.
Content refers to any text, photos, graphics, videos, and anything else that will live on your website. When developing a new website, all the content that goes on it will have to be created. Copy will need to be written for each page, photos will need to be shot, videos will need to be created and even icons and graphics will need to be produced. If you are refreshing the look of your current website, some of the content can be reused or refreshed to fit your new site.
A favicon, also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, or bookmark icon, is the small graphic that accompanies the name of your website in the address bar on your web browser. It makes your site easy to identify with just a small image. The favicon will show up in website favorites, bookmarks, and on some browsers even in the history.
Resolution is a word used when talking about photos or videos. The resolution of an image is the detail in which it holds. The higher the resolution of an image, the more detail you will be able to see. If the resolution of an image is too low, you will start to lose detail and the image will become pixelated and blurred.
4. Responsive Layout
A responsive layout is something that has become more of a standard in the past decade. When your website has a responsive layout, it will render well on a variety of different size screens and devices. The rendering is based on percentage rather than size and can help make your website accessible to anyone, no matter what device they are viewing it on.
5. Back End
You will often hear people refer to the back end of the website. The back end of a website is a portion of the website not viewable to the public. This is where website changes and updates can be made. Once they are made and published on the backend, they will appear live on your website.
Hosting is a service that allows your website to be searchable on the internet. Buying hosting is basically buying space on a server where your website can store its files. Every website that you have ever visited is hosted on a server somewhere and takes up physical space! There are different types of hosting, and we can help you figure out what is best for your site.
7. Below the Fold
“Below the Fold” is a term that started in the days of newspapers. It literally means below the fold of the newspaper’s front page. Nowadays, “Below the Fold” refers to the portion of your website that is not visible unless you scroll down the page. As a good rule of thumb, the most important information you want people to see first should live above the fold on your website.
Your domain is what people will type into their web browser to view your website. Your domain name generally should be the name of your business, but sometimes you might find that someone else already hosts a site with that domain. You will want your domain to be easy to spell and easy to remember so people can find you easily!
Navigation refers to the menu often found at the top of your website, although side navigation is currently on trend as well. These are linked to other subpages on your website that visitors will require quick access to. If your navigation is confusing or too complex it will make it hard for people to find what they are looking for and ultimately they will leave your website unsatisfied.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
This is something I have been struggling to write. What do I do outside of the office? Honestly, the same things a lot of other people do. . . work to maintain that work/life balance. If I am being really real - it’s hard! I am a people pleaser by nature. Disappointing someone, anyone, is triggering. I want to be the best wife, mother, daughter, employee. . . the list goes on and on. So, I decided that if I wanted to do this right, I had to do another hard thing, be authentic. If you know me, like really know me, you know I am careful to share my stories. I guard them closely, because opening yourself up to someone comes with a risk. A risk of being judged or misunderstood. While I pride myself on being authentic, I would rather hear someone else’s story and be their support person than share my own, but I can do hard things. I also really value authenticity and vulnerability. In a time where mental health is still undervalued, it’s imperative to shine a light on the good times and bad, to reminder others that hope is never lost, and there is always light in the darkness. So, let’s start in the darkness:
September 29, 2019 - A year ago, I was drowning. Not in a literal sense, but in a metaphoric body flailing, can’t keep your head above water, soul crushing sense of the word. Life wasn’t working out the way I planned. I was stalled. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the future I imagined was no longer clear. I sat looking at a husband that completes me, that knows me better than I know myself at times, who lifts me up and has given me the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful little boy’s life: Preston, a kid that’s mine in every sense of the word, except one. In my mind, I was failing them both. I couldn’t give my husband a baby or Preston a sibling. Month after month you lose a part of yourself until you don’t know who you are if you can’t have a baby. There’s an overwhelming sense of being less than. It hits you in the moments you least expect, and there are constant reminders around you that you can’t do something most women can. As women, that’s how we define ourselves. It’s how we compare ourselves to others.
So, I overcompensate. I become unbearable to live with, because in my desperation I seek to become the best wife and mother possible - and I lose myself.
Then I see a post about a job I’m not remotely qualified for, but I decide it’s worth a conversation. I learn a little more and I’m in. I’ll be honest, it sounds crazy! Leave the job you’re great at, go do something you know nothing about, for someone you met just a year ago that has these wild plans that sound too good to be true! I needed a little crazy, and more importantly, I needed something for myself that I could feel good about and excel at.
My job has given me everything I never knew I needed: time alone to heal and just be, new experiences that give me the chance to find myself, and a purpose. My inability to “have a baby” doesn’t define my worth. Does it make it easier to imagine my life without a baby? Absolutely not. Are there still moments where I feel like I’m drowning? 100%, but it reminds me that I can do hard things and for now that’s enough.
P.S. You can do hard things too!
Now a little light, because we all need a little love and hope.
November 11, 2020 - Nine years ago I met you, a squishy faced boy who loved superheroes, snacks, and had a dad as a best friend. It took time for us to figure out how we fit in each other’s lives, and it wasn’t an easy road. With guarded hearts, we navigated the rocky waters. I never saw you take your first steps or say your first word, but I watched you confidently head into your first day of kindergarten, shared in the joy of your first touchdown, and comforted you during your first experience with death. With disappearing cheeks and a deeper voice, I’ve watched you become a teenager who’s wise beyond his years. Yesterday, in a courtroom, with a judge and your dad, I watched you become mine! After nice years, some tears, and a lot of love I can officially say that I became your mom!
Words can’t truly express how I feel. Eternally grateful. Thank you to your dad for trusting me, for bringing me into your lives, and allowing me to love you both. To your birth mom, thank you for creating a boy that’s changed our lives forever. For loving him and making the hardest choice possible for him. For putting him first. To you, my not so squishy faced boy, thank you for making me a mama. For teaching me so much about life. For making me a better person and for allowing me to be a part of your life.
August 13, 2021 - Today I am here. I am surviving. Surviving a pandemic, surviving a son entering high school, and surviving a baby that still isn’t here. All of that is what makes life beautiful. It’s messy, and complicated, and happy, and sad. I hope that if you’re reading this you know that you’re not alone, that there is beauty in the mess and that you can do ALL the hard things!
Adam “off the clock” and Adam “on the clock” are similar in many ways. When representing Berry Digital Solutions, my main goal is to connect with the local businesses of our community and help them succeed and grow in all they are trying to accomplish so that our communities are sustainable and attractive for many years to come. That’s one thing that is integral to who I am – community.
Off the clock you’ll find me looking for any opportunity I can to coach. This year was the first year I took on the challenge of coaching my sons’ t-ball team. Nothing builds character more than having to find ways to motivate 4 and 5-year-olds to abandon the instant gratification of playing in their dirt piles for the long-term gratification of maybe getting to catch a ball hit to them. After all, if we can’t all suffer through enjoy t-ball games together, how would we get perfect photos for high school graduation parties? Take my 4-year-old son Connor and his mid-game nap at 2nd base for example.
All jokes aside, seeing young kids fall in love with team sports for the first time and getting confidence in themselves and what they can do is an amazing thing to be a part of. Aside from the absolute joy of coaching my own sons, I get the pleasure of coaching various sports, at my alma mater, Triad High School. During the fall I get coach the high school football program alongside an amazing coaching team and witness the school pride of our students and fans. Being on the sidelines under the lights on Friday Nights in, what is arguably, one of the main events of these small towns is an experience in and of itself. While I love t-ball and football and everything in between, one of my biggest coaching passions is basketball. I’ve been involved with the Triad Basketball program in various capacities over the past 10 years and there is nothing that compares to the sound of squeaking shoes and nets ripping. Walking into the gym where I once played and where my kids may play someday, preparing to coach the kids in front of me, is a feeling that is hard to capture. At the end of the day the opportunity to coach provides me the privilege of instilling life-long lessons into future members of our community – a responsibility I take great pride in.
My wife of 5 years, Macie, and I are also in the process of building a house to raise our four kids, Owen (6), Connor (4), Quinn (2) and Hailey (2 months). Our house is being built into a hillside that overlooks, what seems like, all of Champaign County.
It’s a house that represents a place for our family to grow, a place to unwind with our friends, and a place where we can overlook the vast farmlands that represent the hardworking people that make up our community. We often go there as it’s being constructed to just sit on the porch and appreciate the view, or allow our kids to run on the 5 acres of land where we will someday play catch, have bonfires, cookouts, and so much more. ’d be remiss not to mention one of the top benefits of the location of our house. It’s 2 miles away from Woodland Golf Course. Woodland was one of my first real jobs, I’ve met many wonderful people from this community there and learned many valuable life lessons. It’s so important to me that my wife even threw my surprise 30th birthday there.
So, it goes without saying that it is a place I love to go to relax with my clubs, a friend or two, and the fresh air.
Growing up in a small town comes with its share of stereotypes. “Isn’t everyone related?”, “Everyone knows your business”, “Small towns are boring”. I’ve never prescribed to those perceptions. I think growing up in communities like ours is a true blessing. There is no place I’d rather raise my four kids than here in this small community. There’s no place I’d rather spend my weekends golfing with my friends I’ve known since kindergarten, spend my Friday nights other than under the lights coaching the Triad Cardinal football team, no place I’d rather live, work and play than the place that built me. I look forward to returning the favor and assisting the small businesses who work every day to build this community into a place my kids will raise their families in.
Berry Digital Solutions is proud to be made up of a team of people that not only bring passion to their jobs but have passion for their lives. In this new blog series, we want to highlight our team members and what they currently are doing outside of the office that keeps them motivated and inspired. First up is Chris Anders, one of the founders of Berry Digital Solutions, and the guy behind the scenes keeping everything running smoothly. Read what he has to say about coaching his sons below:
When I’m not sitting behind a computer for Berry Digital Solutions, you’ll probably find me running a local baseball, basketball, or soccer practice. My boys are 6 and 8 years old and already love sports as much as I do. The Super Bowl, March Madness, Opening Day, and National Championship Games are all important dates on our family calendar that we plan for and schedule around.
A major milestone in our family was the moment my boys were old enough to join youth sports leagues and begin playing the sports they love with their friends and peers. Initially, I had no intentions of coaching their teams. I figured they’d heard all of my “coaching” at home and were growing tired of my voice. I would remain on the sidelines as a supportive dad and let a new voice teach them some new things. But it didn’t take long to realize how much these local sports leagues needed volunteers. Practices couldn’t get started without coaches, and the pool of volunteers was so low that a couple of times, our seasons were delayed because no one was available to coach the teams.
As the co-owner of Berry Digital Solutions, I can make my work schedule pretty flexible, and I had a background in athletic administration, so it started to feel irresponsible of me not to volunteer. I took the plunge when a shorthanded friend of mine asked me to help him out with my son’s T-ball team. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to command the attention of a dozen preschoolers. I’ve gotten pretty comfortable behind a keyboard, and if you don’t bring the energy and passion every time with a group of 5-year-olds, it can flop pretty quickly. (Shoutout to my mom and dad who, even after a combined 6 decades of elementary school teaching, continue going to work every day to do it again and again and again. I have no idea how you do it. I’m completely exhausted after 1 hour of practice with 10 kids. My dad actually taught class all day long, and then chose to coach for another 2-3 hours each night in multiple sports throughout the school year. It was normal to me when I was kid, but now it seems certifiably insane to do that for almost 40 straight years.)
Since I started coaching, my head is constantly filled with practice ideas, funny things the kids say or funny things I can say to them at the next practice. I want them to look forward to the next game or practice as much as I do. The world is a crazy place full or stress and anxiety, so I try my best to create a practice environment where all of those stressors disappear, and we just get to have fun playing sports and joking around with our friends for an hour or two.
My favorite part of coaching is seeing how far the kids grow each season, from that first practice when everyone’s shy and maybe never even played the sport they’re signed up for, and by the end of the year they’re getting hits every game or scoring goals and everyone’s so excited it’s difficult to get a word in with all of the conversations happening between new friends.
The pictures I shared are from my WL-S T-Ball and Coach Pitch teams this season. At the start of May (on my birthday to boot!), my Coach Pitch team went on a magical run in the Logan County Preseason Tournament. We eventually fell in the Championship Game, but I swear, no team had more fun and more smiles that day than the West Liberty Lions Club. Even after losing, our kids were on Cloud 9 and you can really tell in those team photos. No matter where I end up on this coaching journey with my boys, I’ll always cherish these smiles and memories, and I can’t believe that I once made up my mind that I wasn’t going to get involved and coach my boys’ teams.
Outside of work, I like to spend time with family. I have been married to my husband since 2003, and we have a 16 year-old daughter and a 12 year-old son. My son is autistic, and for most of his life, I've stayed home with him, taking him to special schools and therapy. Now that he's a little older, I enjoy working from home, building and updating websites whenever I get a free second!
I love to read and hike, and I'm a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan, but my passion is travelling. I've been to 46 states and all over Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean, and there's plenty more on my bucket list. I spend a lot of my free time planning my next adventure!