In the pandemic, local businesses were pressured to close down or go completely digital because of the huge loss of in-person customer interaction. Our inspiration came from the observation that a lot of business owners may not have known what to do during this time and the realization there isn’t really clear resource to help them get started that is friendly to beginning tech users.

What it does

We created a platform for small and local business owners to learn about everything they need to navigate their business in a digital world and network with like-minded people. Bloom equips them with the tools necessary on how to grow and keep their customer base. It offers a wide range of services such as website making tutorials, tips on branding, and how to update their information on public sites. We also created a tool that would allow for small business owners to see how their neighboring local businesses grow their online presence, which can serve as inspiration or connect these business owners or foster a sense of community in local areas.

How we built it

We used the Website building tool called Squarespace. We researched what we needed for each page and linked them as helpful resources for users.

Challenges we ran into

Our biggest challenge was finding the best way to collaborate over Zoom. We had to try several different website-building platforms to find the best multi-user platform where we could work on the website together simultaneously. Since most of us had very minimal website building experience, it was a learning curve to learn all the tools that we could utilize in a short amount of time. There were times where progress was lost on work that we spent a lot of time on, but in the end, we learned how to work fast and not make the same mistake twice.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of the design and simplicity of our website. We made sure to consider who our users would be, people who are not really used to the Internet, and configure our links, descriptions, etc. into features that would help our users and not overwhelm them. We also aimed to make sure that the website was available to those in marginalized communities by using colors that make the text on the page easier to read, creating a text to speech option, and also a change language button, for non-native english speakers who are looking to grow their business.

What we learned

We learned about good design practice. It is important to have a color scheme and make your information as clear and visually stimulating as possible. Additionally, we learned how to troubleshoot independently and as a team because nothing ever goes 100% right all the time.

What's next for Bloom

In the future, we would want to expand the Network Tool, and possibly make it a fully functioning networking platform that is beginner tech-friendly. Additionally, we would want to add the features of live chat with a developer with the help of Twilio and other resources on how to use digital payment methods.

Use 'swehacks22' as a password to access our site!

We own the domain name but it will take more than today to transfer

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