Hey everyone, I realise that it's been a while since I last wrote. Believe it or not, the first 3 months of this little venture have been amazing, hence the reason I haven't had a chance to touch write a new blog post.
I can honestly say I've learnt a lot. I'm constantly adapting what we do and how we do it based on our experiences. Isn't that how it's supposed to be when you're starting up? The response on our processes from our customers has been amazing and I'm happy about that, because I've spent a lot of time thinking through the customer experience. What I am now having to focus on is growing the team and this is a whole new chapter.
During the end of February/early March, we had embarked on a recruitment campaign, trying to secure around 10 new tradespeople to our team and we managed to get 8 of the 10 I needed. Today, the search continues, all be it at a slower pace, but I'm hopeful that despite this current period, people will want to engage with us and join the team. This will ultimately lead to Company growth and the ability for us to hire more people. Let's be honest, in the current climate any employer that can provide employment is a blessing.
Before March 23rd, I had projects booked in for our team until June. Without sounding disingenuous, that's a pipeline I was proud of. I've worked hard over the past 2 months to get Ancora Renovate's name out there, especially in and around Manchester, which is our base, and get customers to give us a chance to work on their renovation and home improvement projects. Everything was on track and we were looking to run a few project simultaneously as part of our growth strategy. But then the communication on lockdown was announced and it's halted operations. Understandably I might add.
So, since then, I've been taking the opportunity to catch up with my team to ensure they are ok. My guys are sole traders so many are relying on the govt support during this period. I've touched base with customers to check in and just say hi. And it's been reciprocated which has been lovely too. I've caught up on accounting (man do I hate it) - a labour of love for sure. I've been updating social media channels a bit more frequently - I love the creative part of this process. I've been catching up on study for my interior design diploma - another labour of love (it's not all pretty pictures and paintbrushes!). And, I've undertaken a couple of budget DIY projects at home. The major benefit of running a renovation company is that I always have paint and basic supplies lying around!
Life is much slower now. I'm so used to working at a crazy fast speed and constantly being under pressure so it's been quite difficult honestly trying to stay productive during this period. I have days where I do loads of stuff and other days where I can't focus and don't feel the urge to do something. But you know what, so are a lot of people out there. I totally admire people who are still getting up and working a 9-5 at home and able to stay focussed. At this point, I feel like my most productive period will be the week before lockdown ends when I feel that sense of urgency that usually drives my productivity.
What next? Well, with three more weeks to go, I'm looking to do one more DIY project, get my admin finalised and then focus on looking forwards. What will people want after this period? Will people have spent the last 6 weeks looking at their 4 walls and realising they need a change? Will people realise they need more space and want to either upsize or expand their current home? Will people be able to afford changes to their properties if their employment has been affected by this terrible situation. Who knows. In unprecedented times, the only thing to do, is ride the wave.
Stay well everyone x