Turning Lockdown into a Competitive Advantage – How one Bristol firm used a dark time to positive effect.
Chris Parry, Bespoke Frameless Glass https://www.bespokeframelessglass.com/
It’s rather an understatement that for companies who manufacture bespoke products, the national lockdown was a taxing time. Like many, Bespoke Frameless Glass had an enforced three-month period where they stopped production completely.
A specialist frameless glass company, they found many projects were halted. But they used this time to their advantage and threw themselves into redevelopment of the business. This involved installing a new email and CRM system, and establishing new business processes. They also invested in marketing to create consistent SEO and social media activity.
Bespoke Frameless Glass also used the time to develop a new product; protective glass screens that became popular in doctors’ surgeries and medical practices.
In all, they witnessed growth of +420% over this time, allowing them to hire 6 more staff. The way they managed this is repeatable for most businesses, and these are their top tips.
Taking time to work ON the business
The key to success as business owners is to get out of the day-to-day business tasks and take a step outside of it. Popularized by Michael Gerber in his excellent book The E-Myth, the concept of working IN versus ON a business is one that many business owners have had to learn. Early on in business, most founders have to take on all roles in the business. And as a business owner, our time is our biggest resource. How can you free yourself some time to work on the bigger picture? You know you are working in the business if you are doing a task that could be easily handled by an employee. Delegating those tasks will free you time to work on the systems and processes. Building the business in a way that can work without you is key to having the time to strategize and grow.
By spending time working on our business, Chris and the team at Bespoke Frameless realized they could make the business processes so much simpler. For instance, they had long wanted a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to help them keep in touch with their customers. They knew that this would save them precious time in the long run. They also spent time making sure all their systems worked seamlessly – email, CRM, quoting, the progress on different jobs. It is a matter of creating some simplicity that all staff can easily implement.
Keeping in Contact
The new CRM allows them to easily contact their former customers and prospects. It’s easy for companies to get caught up in ‘shiny new things’ and chase down new leads, when you have a bank of loyal brand lovers at your fingertips. That timeworn expression of ‘you can’t sell to a man who isn’t listening’ holds true, and your previous customers are more likely to be listening. Don’t assume loyalty. You need to work on that and look after those customers who have looked after you in the past. Add value to their lives.
By working on these three aspects of your business, you will be more likely to have success in growing your company. Lockdown provided a golden opportunity to start this process, and now as the nation moves out into a more ‘normal’ work pattern, the work Bespoke Frameless Glass has done is paying dividends.