AN INTERIOR design company which has a workshop in Coventry and a showroom in Leamington has been celebrating two years since the Covid lockdown and has now doubled its annual turnover.
Christopher Peters, a bespoke kitchen and interior design firm, has also had to adjust to the challenges posed by Brexit.
Co-owner Grace Lyn said: “We were suddenly closed for business with no idea when we would be open again. In the end, we were shut for a total of eight months, and we could have easily wasted that time waiting for things to get back to normal.”
Instead the team at Christopher Peters worked with local business coach, Kevin Riley, throughout the pandemic to make the most of an unprecedented time.
“Kevin helped us view the pandemic as an opportunity.
“He guided us on which grants to apply for, and we used those to survive.
“We were also successful in receiving a grant which we invested in a new spray booth for our workshop when we reopened.
“During the first lockdown, we also revamped our website and sales approach ready for when our showroom was open again.
“It’s natural for people to make plans to improve their homes when they’ve been confined to them for months.
“We’re currently on track for our best year ever with an increase in annual turnover of 200 per cent from the previous year.”
Co-founder of Coventry-based digital design agency Twentytwo Digital, Lee Corden, took his business in an interesting direction as the first lockdown started.
“We decided to offer free services to our clients to show our loyalty.
“I was passionate about being there for them, so when they were back operating fully, we could share in the spoils.
“We also set up a 24-hour turnaround on e-commerce websites which meant we could fulfil the spike in demand for companies turning to online sales and delivery – think pizza restaurant changing to pizza delivery.
“Without having the sounding board of a business coach, we may have not succeeded with this approach. However, it paid off and due to our business growth, we’re on track to recruit 12 new staff members.”
Founder of education company Tutor in a Box, Sophie Parker, saw 90 per cent of her customer base cancel her services as the pandemic hit but managed to adjust and come through the testing time – again helped by Kevin.
She said: “We were massively impacted – before the first lockdown I only had two students I worked with online.
“When exams got cancelled my whole business model crumbled. I had premises that I could no longer afford, and I was facing a lot of uncertainty.
“Rather than give up, Kevin held me to account and helped create a plan.”
Infrastructure was put in place to offer remote daily lessons – not only to GCSE students she previously worked with but for children in years 1 to 13.
Her team has since grown from two tutors to 25 and all of the business has been approved to be part of the Government’s tutoring catch-up scheme.
I had a team of two tutors – now I have 25! All of our business is now online and we’ve recently been approved as part of the government’s tutoring catch-up scheme for students.”
ActionCOACH – who Kevin works for – has gifted 750 coaching sessions to businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire.
“Our team at ActionCOACH Warwick was passionate about offering support to any business that wanted our help over the pandemic.
“To see the immense impact these businesses can now have on the local community is beyond fulfilling,” added Kevin.
To sign up for a free event with ActionCOACH Warwick, visit https://warwick.actioncoach.co.uk/events/