In case you missed it see what’s in this section
My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus
By Zara Coney of Hamilton-Brown which is a creative design agency working out of London and Bristol. The company is celebrating its 20th year anniversary in 2020. Zara heads up the Bristol office.
When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business?
As soon as we saw the Italian situation unfold we started finalising our contingency plans. Additionally through my network in Bristol I saw things quieten down and people starting to work from home. As a company we have been extra vigilant, cancelling all non-essential travel and increasing our online communications with clients.
What has been your plan to continue?
Over the past year we had been building our agile working capabilities and that is a huge relief. We have been able to set the agency up to be fully functional, albeit remotely.
I suspect clients will become much more comfortable with virtual face-to-face communication and the online channels through which we do business will remain high. Interestingly we are seeing frequency of these communications increase, which is lovely. I do think we will have incredibly strong bonds with our clients post Covid-19.
What advice would you give to others in business?
Embrace digital communications and agile working. Try to stay positive and keep aiming high, we will come out of this and the most important thing is that we are ready to return.
It is so important to work as a team and look after each other, especially mental well-being during periods of extended remote working. Communication is critical, you need to let your clients know you are there and diversify if possible to meet the new needs of your clients.
For us, we are looking at supporting charities with their graphic design whilst we have a little more time on our hands.
What can we do to help each other?
We can help each other by keeping a online community going. Ask for help and advice with anything that’s on your mind. Someone will have something helpful to say and we are all going to be changing the way we work.
My immediate priority is looking after our clients and my team whilst we work remotely for the foreseeable future. It has been wonderful to see them all supporting me and one another.
What do you think can be learned from this in the business world?
The importance of agile working, communication, being online and being able to adapt your offering rapidly. Also being able to offer ideas to clients so that they too can adapt quickly.
Your parting thought?
We will come through this but right now the most important thing is to look after yourself and your loved ones. I also think we will see the best of the South West as we all pull together to support one another.
*the image shows some of the Hamilton Brown team with Zara Coney in the red dress. This was taken at the opening of their Bristol office and well before Covid-19.