In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity

In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity

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In the past six weeks we’ve heard a lot of warnings about the impending economic recession

Hitting sales targets and keeping business afloat has been hard, but as the adage goes there’s something about adversity that breeds innovation, reaffirming our fundamental need as human beings to survive and thrive. We’ve seen many businesses adapt their models and supply chains, develop new ways of working, invent new products and ways of caring for their staff, communities and customers.

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein.

At moneycorp, we’ve had the fortune of working with some of these businesses as they ride the wave of uncertainly. Changing your production line is no mean feat, but many have done it, and have done so to help key workers and the NHS in this health crisis. Vesper is a high-street clothing manufacturer and brand, whose core business is dresses to wear to events such as weddings, parties etc. They temporarily closed their warehouse because of government social distancing guidelines, and to also ensure that they weren’t taking up delivery and courier services when others may need them more. Vesper have since reworked the factory and manufacturing process to produce face masks, medical scrubs and medical gowns for the NHS and care homes. Their masks and gowns are being approved by NHS trusts and they have also reopened the Vesper website, donating a pack of facemasks to the NHS frontline every time a customer purchases a pack themselves. 

Successful companies are always looking at ways to improve customer service, and early on in the lockdown, Moghees Sheikh who runs realised that the restrictions would cause major disruption to clients, and they needed to be taken care of. He’s incredibly motivated to play his part in times of need, saying “As a migrant and as an entrepreneur, the UK has given me a home, success, and identity.” Even without his staff, Mo has been working 18 hour days turning his business into one that can carry out mobile phone repairs without physical contact to the customer, by sending and receiving goods by post.

He’s created special discounts to support the NHS staff and launched a doorstep repair service so people of Luton, Loughton, Letchworth, Hitchin and surrounding areas (where our stores are located) can get their phone fixed which is the only source of communication for many. With many years of experience dealing with Chinese suppliers, Mo has also utilised his great relationship with reliable partners that we deal with on a regular basis to help provide PPE.

Men’s underwear business has seen itself going steady despite a dip as a result of Covid-19. Founders Jane and Adam were well prepared for the issues caused which has helped them to continue shipping to over 80 countries around the world. After Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic has caused the biggest fluctuations to sales. However, Alan Greenspan, then Federal Reserve Chairman, used sales in men's undies as one of his barometers for the state of the economy. Unlike women's lingerie, the men's underwear market is steady, which is why Mr Greenspan found it so useful. New customers are still shopping with, and the business is hoping they stay loyal in the long run. Co-founder Jane Garner has a gut feeling that Covid-19 will change the way people shop online:

“We are crossing fingers that search engines will start identifying the real specialists and niche retailers like instead of favouring huge multichannel and multiproduct businesses with massive marketing and tech budgets.”

Shopping online may be changing, and so may be the way we listen to music. With so many people spending time in isolation the calming experience of hearing favourite performers, realistically reproduced in high quality sound, is sure to help many people during lockdown. The Right Note supplies high-end hifi systems for people’s homes. “There’s anecdotal evidence that Mozart in the background aids study, but what about a broad range of music for mental therapy during confinement?” asks owner Jeremy Baldwin. ''I see wide smiles and amazement as people suddenly hear a new performance when we reveal delights previously hidden in favourite recordings, the realism of musicians in the room.''

Douglas Henn-Macrae who imports digital organ consoles from Germany. Typically he would collect the organs personally, via a 3-day, 1,200-mile round trip to Salzwedel, Germany. He would then deliver them to the customer, normally back home in the UK and help set up the hard and software to enable the user to start straight away. Whilst Douglas can’t make those personal deliveries and travel to Germany because of social distancing and lockdown restrictions, he has organs waiting for collection, and customers waiting to play them. Instead he’s enjoying seeing so many people get back into music, keeping in touch with his customers so he can get back on track as soon as restriction are lifted.

Keeping in touch with our customers on a regular basis and developing strong relationships is crucial to how we operate at moneycorp. That hasn’t changed, in fact, it’s probably become even more important to us. That will never stop, and we will continue to support you with our services in any way we can.

To our clients, we want to hear from you about how you are dealing with the current situation. We will endeavour to use our networks to help you connect with other businesses. So get in touch by dropping us a line and let’s keep talking, and ride this wave out together as best as we can.

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