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21 April 2020

What has Covid-19 meant for businesses so far?

As we continue through the Covid-19 crisis, Nicki Ramsbottom, our Marketing Director, considers the challenges faced over the past few weeks and what Covid-19 has meant for businesses so far.

It can not be denied that Covid-19 has been the most disruptive world event for businesses in modern history. Nicki discusses what it taught us so far about how we run our business, and what she feels all businesses can learn from Covid-19.

What Covid-19 has meant for businesses so far?

It’s a virtual world

As a marketer, it’s not a new concept that people are increasingly communicating via online platforms as opposed to face to face. Adapting and evolving marketing plans in line with this is commonplace for a marketing team and we are turning to our digital marketing toolbox more than ever. However, in the space of a few weeks, we have changed from choosing to utilise digital marketing tools to pretty much existing in a virtual space.

What has that meant for us at Steeles Law? Luckily, we were extremely well placed to move the entire firm to remote working (I’ll leave our IT Director to talk to you about that). So, after a test day, we were up and running in our new remote offices. However, this posed a number of challenges for the marketing team, as all of a sudden we were not running a full event schedule, representing the firm at local networking events and meeting regularly face to face with our colleagues.

It’s time to shake up that priority list

Just a few weeks ago, our marketing team were sat in our Norwich Boardroom with post-it notes stuck all over the boardroom table as we pulled together a wish list for our marketing strategy. Well, think again. All of a sudden many of these ideas were no longer possible and we had a completely new set of priorities. In the space of a few days, our team were faced with a list of challenges, many we had not encountered before.

Content is king – Where have you heard that before? Yet again, not a new concept for us marketers, but never has this been truer than today. Information has become unbelievably valuable in a time where no one quite knows what is going to happen over the coming months and how we can evolve our businesses to withstand it. Our lawyers have been fantastic at identifying the key questions both businesses and individuals may have at this time and creating more content than ever for us which is proving popular with our audiences.

Evolve your offering – Our management board met for a strategy away earlier this year and one of the ideas that came from that session was a new Business Consultancy and Restructuring Team. Not your usual offering from a law firm, we realised that our management team, made up of legal, financial and marketing specialists, could also help other businesses as well as our own. As we pulled together to decide how we would ensure the firm navigated the current crisis, we realised now was the time to launch that team. This was a unique set of skills which we could also be using to help our clients and one that could not await the usual planning and launch campaign.

Keep in touch

As we were completely evolving and increasing the marketing activity, we realised we needed to find new ways to communicate with our colleagues. Gone are the days when you could wander over to a colleague’s desk or ask a question whilst making a cup of tea.

It all started with a WhatsApp group for our remote working team, ensuring we were communicating quickly and effectively without getting lost in a sea of emails. We then needed to find a way to virtually communicate face to face.

Enter Zoom. Not only a fantastic tool for client meetings, it is proving a great way to hold team meetings. If fact, we seem to be talking more! We have also launched a Coffee and a Catch Up for all staff which gives us all the chance to have that much missed chat with those in your office.

What Covid-19 has meant for businesses? Steeles Law staff members keep in touch via Zoom

 

Why had we not used this before?!

We have also increased the frequency of our usual monthly staff newsletter and added in content such as recommendations for podcasts and tips for working remotely. As we all get used to this ‘new normal’ it is important we stay connected and support each other.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice

No one knows what is to come, but we do know we will need to ask advice of our colleagues, friends and family as we navigate our way through it. As we are turning more and more to online sources, we have set up a Coronavirus Business Discussion Group on LinkedIn which allows companies across a wide range of industries to connect, discuss the challenges they face, best practice for remote working and new ideas to combat the challenges.

I have no doubt we will continue to encounter new challenges over the coming months but it is a learning curve we are all in together!

Our teams continue to work hard providing legal services for you and for your business during this unprecedented time. More than ever it’s important to keep in touch, our social accounts continue to provide legal updates and now you can also sign up to our e-news.

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article or you would like to share what Covid-19 has meant for your businesses, please do get in touch.

*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.

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