Navigating the business world in the era of COVID-19 can be daunting. So much has changed, seemingly overnight, and who knows when we will ever return to life as we once knew it – but it’s not all doom and gloom. We chatted to some of our clients to hear how they were coping, and most business owners had remarkably positive things to say. Here is their feedback on the COVID-19 coping strategies they used to keep their businesses and brands afloat.
The Pilates Studio
Photo: The Pilates Studio
Maggie Ferreira from The Pilates Studio Kloof has had to adapt to the digital age and take her classes online. This is something she had always wanted to do but was intimidated by the technical aspect of online classes. The lockdown forced her into a position where she had to either close her studio or adapt to this new and daunting technological landscape. Thankfully, with the assistance of her colleague, Yvonne, and some support from the team at TBC, she was able to move online seamlessly.
Maggie is now enjoying offering her classes via Zoom and many of her clients who have busy schedules have appreciated being able to work out from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. This has also opened up a new clientele base and many of her new clients have joined her classes from London, Ballito and Stellenbosch. Even though the level 2 lockdown legally allows the Pilates Studio to open for physical classes, Maggie has seen the benefits of offering classes online and so has opted to still offer these remote classes 3 times a week.
The Kloof Project
We chatted Sandra Wickee from The Kloof Project – one of our pro bono clients – and she said that although their gardening staff were not able to work during the level 5 lockdown, thanks to generous donations that the charity had collected from fundraising efforts throughout the year, they had enough savings to pay their staff full wages. This is very encouraging to hear, and they expressed how grateful they were to the Kloof community. Another positive was that they noticed a substantial reduction in the amount of litter in the Kloof area due to residents being homebound.
For many businesses, the lockdown was a welcomed time of rest and an opportunity to catch up on administration. Rob McInerney, principal and broker from Share-List Property, used the opportunity to catch up on unfinished projects and evaluate expenses – addressing the unnecessary ones and, therefore, optimising business operations.
“We used the time to strategise and plan the way forward. This involved valuable advice and help from the marketing team at The Brand Collective,” remarked Rob.
Another huge positive for him was that he learned how to use the video conferencing app, Zoom, which has made his life and remote business meetings a lot easier.
Image featuring Homewood founder, Ian Perry.
For local furniture giant, Homewood, the lockdown provided an opportunity to finetune their marketing strategy and enhance their digital presence. With imported woods no longer being an option due to the lockdown restrictions, there was a move towards using more local woods. A huge positive for Homewood was that a new and environmentally conscious range of furniture was born from the lockdown. Ian and his team conceptualised the ‘Amanzi furniture range.’ Using alien invasive and water–thirsty trees that dry up our precious waterways, Homewood partnered with “Inhlabathi” to craft furniture with a positive environmental impact.
Homewood worked with the team at The Brand Collective to develop the ‘Amanzi Conscious Collection’ from a marketing perspective. TBC assisted Homewood in upgrading their website and turning it into an effective virtual showroom.
“Increasing our spend on Google AdWords and driving traffic to our new site had a large impact on our business and is the reason why, post lockdown, our physical showrooms saw a vast increase in foot traffic, phone calls and web enquiries. This, in turn, has now started translating into good sales – thank you TBC.” – Ian Perry, CEO of Homewood.
It is vital to remain relevant in the ever-changing digital landscape. Would you like advice on how to move your business online? Chat to us today about creating or upgrading your website or allow us to advise you on improving your digital marketing strategy or digital presence. We have tailor-made packages to suit your business needs and budget.