When covid hit, like so many business owners, we went into a temporary state of panic. We were the epitome of a start-up, grafting to get the business off the ground, land the big breaks wherever we could, and grow a following. I’m sure every business owner would say that this global crisis was something no one could ever have prepared us for. It quickly became clear that the survival of the business depended on us going into ‘fight mode’ and so, we did.
We looked at our strengths and how we could maximise those to keep the till ringing. The most obvious one, and thank goodness for it, was our ecommerce site. Sales had been well established and remained strong, so we put a huge amount of focus on making sure that the site and shopping process were seamless. Our social media outlets became a real lifeline, and we harnessed the power of having them and being able to connect directly with our wonderful customer base. Engagement soared across all our platforms ‘ as much as we were seeking that sorely missed interaction, so too were our followers. While yes, they are a vital marketing and sales tool, actually they were so much more than that during a period of isolation, anxiety and let’s face it full on fear. The hope of course is that we are starting to emerge from that awful time, and remote working won’t last forever, but my personal hope is that we maintain that ability to connect (digitally and emotionally) with people from all walks of life, in all corners of the world.
The power of digital for me was more than just pounds, shillings and pence. So much of what Peachylean is about is our people, our community ‘ that means the team I have around me, as well as our wonderful customers. Finding ourselves isolated in our homes, without that daily buzz of the office, face to face meetings, brainstorming sessions ‘ it seemed almost impossible to me that we would be able to maintain that energy remotely. I quickly implemented a plan that meant we had weekly Zoom meetings, they began with discussing the business objectives at that time, any important happenings, bouncing around marketing ideas and so on. However, we made it somewhat of a ‘policy’ that the final fifteen minutes of the meeting was to talk about homeschooling, any worries anyone had, thoughts, musings…..whatever! I’m so grateful that in spite of our geographical distance, as cliche as it might sound, we were able to sustain the closeness that is core to Peachylean.