How are small businesses surviving the pandemic, the lockdown and working from home? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be finding out how companies in different sectors are coping, starting with some thoughts from Aaron Rudman-Hawkins, Managing Director of The Evergreen Agency, a digital marketing agency based near Oxford in the UK.
Q. How are you motivating your team through the current crisis?
Our team’s happiness and wellness is the most important thing. With everyone working from home, we’ve lost that office banter, the infamous treat jar, stories from the weekend around the coffee machine and the ideas and collaboration that flows so naturally across our desks.
We’ve encouraged “sunshine breaks” where everyone takes two-hour breaks in the middle of the day to get some sun and just recently we’ve had luxury cakes despatched to all of their home addresses as a special treat and thank you for their hard work.
At times like these it's the little things that matter. The WhatsApp messages to check in how each person is feeling and the small token gestures that show you care - these are the things that put a smile on your teams face and reassure them they are valued and appreciated - that is why I do what I do and these are the things that keep your team motivated remotely.
Q. How have sales improved and why?
We have secured several new clients, all with one thing in common. They know the importance of marketing in times of uncertainty. We’re an SEO agency and with more people turning online for their needs, we’re seeing a big upshift in products and services being searched for online. This is placing increasing importance on eCommerce and service-based businesses to be visible. We work with businesses across a variety of industries such as events, tech, food and drink and more, to increase their visibility online and to drive higher volumes of enquiries, leads and sales.
Q. What are you doing differently?
Remaining very positive. There has been a lot of “doom and gloom” in the business world of late. As an agency, we have remained very positive and pro-active. We are ensuring our social media channels are full of useful, practical content and advice that is helping businesses get by who may be struggling without the previous help they would have employed by agencies working on a variety of internal services. We are ensuring the advice pieces we create are easy to follow so that anyone outside of our industry understands what we do and the importance of it. This approach and mentality has attracted businesses to our agency who have employed our services.
Q. How have you managed to stay afloat?
The Evergreen Agency has been operating for seven years. We credit the trust clients have placed in us to continue providing them with a valuable service. In the past year, we have grown from an agency of four people to 11, so we’re bigger, stronger and more robust than we ever have been, making us more equipped to thrive in these times.
Q. What is your advice to other businesses?
Don’t follow the noise or just copy what everyone else is doing. Be brave and rise against the tide in your business and marketing decisions. Don’t feel the need to place everything on hold until the crisis blows over. Your consumers need you more than ever before, it is recognising how to pivot and adjust rather than delay activity. Be positive regardless of what is happening and always strive to showcase the value and expertise your company provides because that is what will make you stand out.