Our Experience Starting a Business During Covid-19
Rebecca and Hannah here for another blog on this happy Friday! This week we wanted to discuss our experiences of starting a business during the Covid19 pandemic in an attempt to inspire others to start up a business in an area that they are passionate in and to share our story.
In March when lockdown was announced it became apparent that the coronavirus was more serious than we originally expected. For us it meant our final university year at Swansea University was cut short, and teaching and exams were moved virtually, with Zoom becoming our new best friend! It was a scary time for everyone, and as students we began to expect months of uncertainty and limited job prospects. As a result, we decided to be productive, making the most out of lockdown and enabling ourselves to stand out from the crowd, starting a business was a fantastic option for us. Both of us are extremely interested and passionate about marketing and social media, topics that have grown tremendously during time studying at university and also through personal interests.
What has been the difference between starting Pre-Covid and during Covid?
Building relationships and meeting clients
The main difference between starting during the pandemic is that everything has become virtual and for us, there is a huge reliance on using online forums, social media and email based communications for contact with current and potential clients.
When creating a business, establishing strong relationships with clients is essential. To make our services more personal, we would love to be able to meet face-to-face with our clients, showing out passion for what we are doing and allowing us to learn more about them and their business. However, we have had to think fast with ways to create greater understanding, breaking down the barrier of difficult communication. Through the use of our ‘get to know you’ questionnaires and regular zoom calls, we are able to attempt to build the strongest of relationships with clients as possible, facing current situations.
Changes in learning and developing your business
As a team, we have attended two online courses for students and young entrepreneurs in Wales, led by TownSq Accelerator and the team at Summer Start-Up Week 2020. Participating in these webinars has enabled us to develop our learning and network, meeting others who are in similar situations and creating a community whereby we wish to share each other's companies and aid growth! Yet in comparison to pre-covid times, these courses may not have been available to us and all networking would’ve been face-to-face, being more personal which may have increased their benefit to us. Despite the differences we have tried to make the best out of the situation and use all of the resources available to us to boost our success.
Building a presence - Online or Bricks and Mortar
For InTouch Marketing Consultancy, we are extremely lucky how simple it has been to build an online platform through the use of social media and creation of a website. This has allowed us to set up and begin working with no strains in place from Covid-19. Working from home has become the new norm to many of us, but to some small businesses who are looking to open on a high street premises, limitations are in place for opening stores due to lockdown. This could cause a tremendous strain, postponing the launch and grand-opening on your business, but that does not mean you have to put your dreams on hold. Preparation is key and being ready to go will greatly benefit you when restrictions are lifted. Ensure you are following all government guidance and sticking to social distancing measures, you could be ready to start building your small empire in no time!
Negatives of Covid-19 on the business
Like many other business types, as a marketing consultancy, there is often a large reliance on personal recommendations from previous clients, but due to the limitations of social interaction, getting our name out there has become a more difficult challenge for us, and we have relied on engagement across our social media to boost our brand and reputation. We have also been unable to network through events which we know would be a great place to meet our target audience, however, we have been actively networking through online platforms such as B2B on LinkedIn to boost our awareness.
What is our plan for a post Covid economic climate?
Post Covid, we aim to continue to provide support and advice to small businesses as the country comes out of fighting the pandemic, and into battling the effects it’s had on our economy. We understand that the road to recovery for small businesses is going to take a long time and social media marketing will play a key role in raising brand awareness and driving customers back to small businesses as they begin to open again. Tackling this together, we aim to expand our business with the introduction of new clients, as well as new services as part of our business portfolio.
Do you recommend starting a business now?
Yes! The future is so uncertain, there is no better time to take a risk and start doing something you love and are passionate about. There has been a huge increase in the amount of new start-ups within the UK, showing that people are being productive during lockdown. And for us, it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
The response we’ve had has been amazing! We have received publicity from Swansea University which has recognised us for our achievements, and we have received positive recognition on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram- which has really boosted our confidence and shown us that through investing time and effort we will be capable of remarkable things.
In such a scary and uncertain time, receiving such a positive response has really helped us to persevere during this difficult time, and continue to voice our services to help gain greater experience and support those small businesses around us who require it. Starting InTouch Marketing Consultancy has kept us busy and productive in a time where without this business we may have been wasting time and not investing in our futures.
It has been enjoyable to expand on the marketing skills we have and applying it to other small businesses through the creation of our client packs and content creation service. In addition to this, building an online presence through the designing of our website and establishing a business presence on social media, we have used our creative skills and published fun yet educational content for not only our own profiles but also for our clients.
Swansea University article - https://www.swansea.ac.uk/som/news/student-start-up---in-touch-marketing.php
Our Website - www.intouchmarketingconsultany.co.uk
Follow us on Instagram - @theintouchgirls
Like our Facebook Page - InTouch Marketing Consultancy
Connect on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/47575192
Thank you for reading this weeks blog, we hope its inspired you! We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about our story and business!
We are still looking for small businesses who are interested in improving their social media presence and increasing engagement- if this could be you, don't be afraid to get InTouch!
Keep busy and stay safe everyone :)
Rebecca and Hannah