Fiona Duncan-Steer, founder of RSViP Business Networking Agency, discusses adaptation in lockdown.
Topics I have been immersed in recently, as I am sure many of us have been, are stories of adaptation and so I wanted to really expand on this and share my own experiences of adaptation so far since lockdown, as well as those of some of my clients…
Remote working and virtual events have been a large part of my adaptation story so far, taking my usual face to face events online into the digital space and it has come with its pros and cons.
Looking at the positives, I’m pleased that I acted quickly and launched the online events forum very early on, as the feedback from many of my clients so far has been one of appreciation for the efforts made and the value received.
Though our physical events would usually take a much different approach and relaxed format (of course including a tipple or two), the current online format is working as a compromise, given we have been experimenting with incorporating real life business folk sharing their wisdom and stories and this has proved both valuable and inspiring to others in the current climate, with lots of useful resources being shared.
Our next event will also include an hour of interactive networking in Zoom break-out areas, so right now I guess it’s all trial and error to see what works, what doesn’t and what is well received. It’s worth remembering that there is no right or wrong with online events – it’s about what works for you, your clients and fits with your brand.
Asking for feedback is always a great idea in any business situation of change, so batting it back and requesting feedback through a survey format, as well as customer testimonials at this time is a useful tip and this can act as your guide, as it has been ours so far – what do your customers need right now and how can you get it to them through your own resources?
As regards some of my clients, it has been really great hearing their stories of which an obvious thread has become apparent. Many have shared their journeys from lockdown commencement, of their horror at the situation, turning into fear and anxiety, to melt downs – head in hands “my business is over” scenario – to actually then having that moment where they decide to pull themselves together and act quickly, change and adapt in any way they can and enter into survival mode. It is worth looking back at your own journey so far and asking yourself “when was your survival mode triggered” and “what was the first course of action you took?”
Reflection is a huge thing and many have said that the motivation to keep their businesses afloat was having the time to reflect on the hard work they have put onto building their businesses up to this point; the blood, sweat and tears we all go through as business owners to build our brands, reputations and client base.
Many also stated that during this slower pace of life and enforced rest, mental and physical health have been very much restored. Creativity has also been a huge part of their lockdown experience, both personally and in business, and I can honestly say that this has been my absolute plus point and I’ve loved every minute of being able to reconnect with my creative side and idea generate for my business – this really is where the magic happens.
Many have said they are busier than they have ever been before. This may be because of logistics and re-prioritisation within the business, however this also comes down to new products and services being quickly implemented during the adaptation process, many of which will remain going forward. Many have spent time self-developing, watching webinars, taking part in online events, reading more books, watching more Ted Talks etc. Creativity and enforced adaptation can be extremely powerful and take you to places you never thought you would go.
Finally, many have shared their thoughts on the simplification of the infrastructure and operations side of their businesses, realising that they can trust their teams to remote work more, the realisation that the posh office with those high overheads is not actually necessary and that work-life balance has been and must continue to be restored.
To summarise, reflection at this time is a great way to inspire your next move, you don’t need to be artistic to be creative and you don’t need to be creative to idea generate, so why not empower your team to do this for you right now even at a distance and above all, keep talking to one another. Communication is everything.
See you in the digital space.