How has your professional services business responded to COVID 19?
Every industry has been impacted differently in recent months. How is your business seeing through this period? Whether you're in accounting, law, marketing, PR or otherwise, we'd love for you to share your story.
I own and operate a Human Resource/ Employment Relations consultancy and for us during the uncertain time it was important to be there for our clients so we extended our available times to chat on general matters - or actually anything at all as Mental Health and Wellness is extremely important at this time as well. We also for the month of March and April changed our payment terms so that we were accessible to as many people as possible.
We operate a tech startup that is designed to give businesses control over their legal work. mode.law gives businesses tools to do as much of their own legal work themselves (e.g. automated contracts) as well as for engaging lawyers when they need extra help.
We had been in beta version since June 2019 and were running behind schedule. We were working on a big update that would bring new features as well as a different pricing structure before launching the product. However when the Covid-19 crisi hit we were looking at ways to help struggling Australian businesses. It seemed obvious that we should make the product free for a period of time.
Making the product free required few changes, and meant thall users would have access to all features of the platform. We were able to update the site within a week to make it suitable for use. We have been promoting mode.law since 31 march and have been pleased with results.
We are a project management firm and are looking at our repeat customers and tapping into what they need. We are also spending time working on our business rather than in it.
Times have changed and more thought needs to be put into delivering on customer expectations.
We have used this as an opportunity rather than seeing it as an automatic downfall. I can't stress this enough - all businesses CAN pivot during this time, some more easily than others, but it's doable. Sit back, analyse your business from a top line perspective and change what you do to suit the current times. There's still opportunity out there to be found. To give you a few examples, I've heard of small fashion labels changing their whole business to make HAZMAT suits and Covid-related attire, I've heard of cafes and restaurants turning into grocery stores and make-at-home-meal businesses, of distilleries maintaining their production, but also producing hand sanitiser - we're creative beings!
For me as a marriage celebrant, it was a bit of a shock at the beginning of the lockdown as we really didn't know what we are facing, as well as weddings were limited to only 5 people for some time, then 10, 20 and we can now see how it's slowly opening up for outdoor venues - at least in NSW.
So I actually used this situation to develop the option of the small wedding at my place in my backyard garden, of course, following the Covid regulations, as they change. Surprisingly enough this alternative actually worked for many couples. Whether it was because of the mandatory regulations, or because couples actually liked the idea of avoiding the big demanding wedding scenario and going with a small intimate wedding ceremony.
At least this way, I could offer couples a nice alternative option to tie the knot.
For me it's an opportunity to educate other businesses (and my specialisation of tradies such as sparkys, plumbers and builders) to get through this time. The landscape for small business and JobKeeper is constantly changing, and I'm keeping on top of it and advising my clients, and those linked to my social media. I have space for my clients, and also a Business Continuity Plan available for $250 that also includes a section on managing your employees. (It's available here https://spitfireaccountingsolutions.lpages.co/business-continuity-plan/)