"We do contactless delivery, which I think has really shaped how our business works and how we're going to be able to deliver for years to come."
-Nip, GG’s Flowers & Hampers, Canberra
"We only see one patient at a time. Team members are always wearing a mask. We pre-screen patients, take their temperatures, have sanitisers in place, and use antibacterial mouthwash."
-Dr Patel, Timeless Smiles Dental, Pennant Hills
Melanie and her husband own and operate Kevlec Group –an electrician and property services company in Melbourne. They have grown their business steadily over the last 10 years and now employ 8 technicians and an apprentice.
"When Coronavirus hit, we had to re-assess, reprioritise and redistribute work amongst as our employees and contractors to keep them employed. The biggest predicament for us was, is it safe for our workers and customers? We care about their wellbeing.
We’ve had to train our tradies to social distance, wear masks and constantly sanitise. We had to stop car-pooling which is more expensive for us but just something we have to do.
Telling customers that we comply with the regulations has helped them feel comfortable. We have a lot of elderly and vulnerable customers, so we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure they’re safe."
Melanie, Kevlec Group, an electrical and property services company, Melbourne
"We’ve integrated our accounting software with NetBank so I’m on top of our daily position and I know what's going on in the accounts."
Melanie, Kevlec Group, electrical and home services, Melbourne
"It is critical to know exactly what your cash flow position is. For me, my accountant is critical. From a business management perspective it is important to have a robust forecasting and expense management process."
-Christine, Chorus Executive and Peeplcoach, Melbourne
Kennedy’s Auto Repairs started 45 years ago in Nowra on the New South Wales south coast. Peter started as a manager in 1993 and became the owner in 2012. Today he manages 8 employees and has a loyal customer base in the community.
"Some of our customers we’ve had since the ‘70s when we first opened, and it's a bit of a joke around town that once you start working at Kennedy’s, you don't leave.
Bushfires impacted our business heavily and then we rolled straight into Coronavirus but we’ve gotten through it by changing how we do things.
We have an ageing customer base and many people needed to get their cars serviced, but were afraid to leave their homes. So we created a new contactless pick-up and drop-off process so we could keep doing business safely.
As well as adapting our services, this year has really brought how we manage cash flow to the forefront. I now check my cash flow position daily and take more notice of where we could be saving. I’ve also spoken with some larger customers and shortened payment windows from 30 to 7 days to better manage cash flow."
Peter, Kennedy's Auto Repairs, Nowra
"We sent customers a text message letting them know we had safety measures in place to reassure them our practice was safe. Staying connected to my patients and proactively communicating was a very high priority."
-Dr Patel, Timeless Smiles, Sydney
"There are fewer flower options due to supply issues so we ask our customers to trust us to put together a beautiful arrangement with the available options. Delivery has just taken off and everyone will happily pay $10 for delivery to not leave the house."
-Nip, GG’s Flowers & Hampers, Canberra
Christine has run Chorus Executive for 20 years, her executive coaching and recruitment company based out of Melbourne. In 2018, she established Peeplcoach – an online career coaching service, which is disrupting the coaching industry ensuring that coaching is accessible to anyone, anytime.
"At the beginning of Coronavirus, new business disappeared overnight. Literally, investment in coaching, training and development stopped overnight. As a team, we spent a lot of time working out how we could continue to support our customers and adding value to them. Personally, I used that time to be very creative - to problem solve, to talk to customers, to pivot a little bit, to create new products. I am excited about what the future brings.
I’ve been doing a lot of qualitative research - deep diving with our customers, understanding what they need, what their problems are and then being open enough to change our processes and our product to suit them. You can’t be too precious, you need to listen to what the customer wants and adapt."
Christine, Chorus Executive and Peeplcoach, Melbourne
"We plan stuff for the weekend. We make sure that we knock off at a certain time and we have space in the day. With 4 kids and running a business I have to be careful that I’m not the last in line."
Melanie, Kevlec Group, electrical and property services, Melbourne
"I understand my team needs time off. I’m a flexible boss and if you want to keep staff for a long time, it’s what you need to do."
-Peter, Kennedy’s Auto Repairs, Nowra
Nip’s family started GG's Flowers & Hampers - a florist and social enterprise - seven years ago in Canberra.
Starting with small bouquets, GG’s expanded into hampers and recently became and NDIS employer, providing people with disabilities with meaningful employment.
"We had a massive increase in demand. When people can’t visit their loved ones, they send more flowers.
So there’s a lot of work, but some staff haven’t felt comfortable to work and we’ve been understanding of that. Striking the right balance between managing staff and meeting demand has been fundamental for us.
We make sure that our staff have a safe, compassionate and caring workplace with free assistance programs. We do a training session every month on personal development and self-care. We have a big commitment to self-care because at the end of the day, our business is only as good as our staff."
Nip, GG's Flowers & Hampers, Canberra
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