We have spoken to several Team Entrepreneurship students and recent graduates who own start-up businesses about their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. This case study is from Joe Stallion, co-founder of Solvi Solutions.
Solvi Solutions is an organisation specialising in Marketing Automation, using technology to streamline the marketing process, while delivering relevant and personalised experiences to a company’s audience, saving both time and money for busy workplaces.
The impact COVID-19 has had on how I run my business
The drastic impacts of this pandemic have been reflected across the local and national economy, affecting the daily operations of many businesses. Whether sales are booming or declining, this environment calls for a response.
At Solvi Solutions, face-to-face interactions are preferred, but not essential, when delivering our service. This has allowed us to continue with some level of normality. We strive to maintain our high standards, giving our clients one less thing to worry about during this time.
The focus of our account management strategy shifted to support a broader spectrum of client needs, often ranging from a friendly chat about business to website development and maintenance. We have continued to build our community through digital networking events, looking to expand this support to others.
Internally, it has been a similar story. We have facilitated change to look after our most important asset: people. For some, home working is a dream, but for others, it can lead to burnout, loneliness and declining productivity. Many of these challenges can be attributed to a lack of structure, making it important to engage in daily video calls to address pressing tasks and business objectives. It is also a great opportunity to engage in the social element of business we all very much miss.
What I’ve learnt
In both life and business, adversity is one of our most effective teachers. COVID-19 and its wider economic impacts continue to represent a formidable opponent for many businesses, including my own.
In times like these, strategic partnerships and business relationships are key to survival. This pandemic represents a common enemy through which businesses in both local and national markets can collaborate for the greater good. We have done our best to exchange the currencies of knowledge and information to assist those struggling in this time.
At Solvi Solutions, we have reached out to our network providing cost-free advice and guidance surrounding the digitalisation of business operations and processes. In return, our network has granted access to networking circles, software discounts and testimonials. This transmission of value has been instrumental not only to coming through this pandemic afloat, but also becoming more resilient than ever before.
I came across a quote from Simon Sinek, one I wish I had seen earlier, but am glad to share with you now:
“Always plan for the fact that no plan ever goes according to plan.”
As a business, we had never planned for viruses, volcanic eruptions or meteor showers… and I don’t think we ever will. Successfully planning for every eventuality makes a couple of big assumptions (1) we can accurately predict what that situation might look like and (2) that our plan goes to plan.
Adaptability in the face of change triumphs stringent planning, while also being useful outside of a global crisis. We have leant to use our agile nature to adapt to market demands and continue providing value to new and existing clients.
How I’m feeling about the future of our business
The future for businesses, including my own, remains unpredictable. However, the entrepreneurial traits of optimism and open-mindedness can overcome the uncertainty that this pandemic has created.
Feelings of negativity can become overwhelming in times like these. After discussions with my co-founder and the wider business community, it became clear that everyone was feeling a similar way. Most businesses had to adjust the direction of growth away from their desired path, adding to the pressures of the pandemic.
It becomes important as a business to accommodate this new path and view it through a positive lens. At Solvi Solutions, we have proceeded to re-frame our offering to help those recovering from this crisis, and our marketing automation continues to support a range of businesses in the South West. Pivoting, transforming and conforming to fresh market needs is our anchor in remaining positive moving forward.
Visit the website here.