Mixing business and Covid-19 – Staying alive in 2020
In an unprecedented way, COVID-19 brought the world to a stand-still. Many of you know of businesses which have been forced to close down, undergo a restructure or change direction in order to survive. A few have been able to thrive, but we consider this to be rather rare. It is almost unbelievable how hard most of us have been hit. In this post we will explain the activities we have been taking in order to keep our business running and some of the challenges we have faced along the way.
Our active clients dwindled down to single digits, but one of our most notable successes throughout Q2, were that we were able to continue mentoring a start-up company. We are looking forward to their exciting launch in Q1 2021. Whilst the company name will remain a mystery for now, we have helped them to develop their brand, website, a solid business strategy and business plan with clear steps towards a successful launch. Beyond launch planning, we have also been working with them to target areas for immediate growth. It is important to note that the founders have full-time jobs and they were still able to find the drive, determination, and time to develop their new business, with our guidance and support along the way.
Some of you will have had a business idea (or two or three!), and you may have found the time to develop things further during the lockdown period. If you feel that you need some additional advice to push things forward, please contact us for an initial informal chat to see if we can help you.
During April, we heard that the NHS was struggling to provide enough PPE for their staff. Reports of our NHS heroes having to work with used PPE, or inappropriate protection against COVID-19 in a variety of situations, motivated us to get in touch with our suppliers overseas to source a variety of equipment: masks, gowns, gloves. What ensued was a month-long steep learning curve about how to tender to government departments and the NHS. This was not only a sales activity, but a hefty administration project in ensuring the correct procedures were followed.
We learned a lot about the rigorous process undertaken in supplying quality PPE and adapt ed so we have become an approved supplier to government departments and the NHS. We are ready to take more orders as the next wave of COVID-19 approaches in Q4.
How did you learn to adapt and pivot your business with the challenges we’ve all faced in 2020?
In recent years, we have been doing more business development work for our clients and a little less of our favourite thing: design. However, we are extremely proud to announce that we have been working with a number of new businesses on some great products which are at different stages of development. We will see some of these ready to launch within the next 12 months. Each product falls within a different industry sector. It has been a tremendous time of creativity. Whilst the number of client meetings have reduced, the team has had more time to refine our own internal product designs:
– A new E-bike/E-scooter with storage capacity, intended for commercial use.
– Potentially, the world’s first fully electric, modular sports car, also suitable for everyday use.
– A bespoke, powerful loudspeaker system, which will get the attention of all the discerning audiophiles out there.
– A portable accessory for drying out your wet sports shoes, hiking boots or ski boots.
– A new type of BBQ, with a special twist to enhance and complete the social experience of outdoor cooking.
For each of these businesses, we have been sourcing vendors and suppliers from the UK. We feel that, during this critical time, we have a duty to contribute and keep the manufacturing industry in UK alive, rather than outsourcing to companies overseas. If you are involved in a UK business which could help supply us with components or construction for any of the products mentioned above, please contact us.
It is easy to lose motivation during times of quarantine, self-isolation and adhering to general lockdown guidelines. We have used the time to be more productive with our design work. Hopefully, this will yield some lucrative outcomes for all involved. We are always on the lookout for commercial partners, investors and advisors for any of our projects, so please do contact us if one of our projects has piqued your interest.