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My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus
By Claire Brewerton who runs The Virtual Business Centre, based in Wiltshire, helping ensure that companies do not miss those vital calls into their business.
When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business?
As soon as we started getting reports of lockdowns in other countries we activated our business continuity plan so we were well ahead with our planning when the lockdown happened in the UK.
What has been your plan to continue?
We have given all staff encrypted laptops and VOIP phones – we are a fairly tech savvy company so we had the resource and the technology to make it all work – so now our team are all working from home safely and securely.
How have you changed your business as the weeks have passed?
We’ve changed the way we communicate with our staff – we are a social bunch and it is important that we can all keep in touch with each other. We have been using Microsoft Teams for internal communication –so things like time sheets, staff rotas are now available remotely - although there seems to be plenty of pictures of cats being shared ! Otherwise it has pretty much been business as usual – just bizarre to be literally “virtually working” .
As a result of our staff already covering calls for our clients we are now covering a couple of Coronavirus Support helplines for a charity – so that we can liaise between co-ordinators and vulnerable people in our local community – which helps the whole team feel that we are supporting the local community effort at this time.
What have you seen about business which has been positive?
In terms of our business, the resilience and adaptability of our staff who have gone from being a team who worked together everyday in an office environment to working from home.
The mutual support they have given each other has been amazing and if anything it has made the business stronger in terms of communication and team spirit.
In terms of business in general our customers have shown great strength in adapting to the change in all their varied business sectors. We are proud to be able to support them.
Have you seen any negative behaviours in business?
As a call centre we get some negative calls but that is often from frustrations around the current circumstances and therefore understandable.
What advice would you give to others in business?
Look carefully at how technology can support your business, sometimes you don’t have to stop doing something, you just have to do it slightly differently. Think creatively and adapt if you need to so that your business will survive.
What can we do to help each other?
Communicate. If a business is struggling or needs advice then reach out to other. We need each other to get through this. Shared knowledge is vital.
Your parting thought?
We are all in this together, it will get better.
For more information visit www.virtualbusinesscentre.com