How Has Covid-19 Affected Your Business?
This is an unprecedented time in the world, for life, family and business. We asked a selection of Connecticut creative business owners: How has Covid-19 affected your business, for now and possibly forever?
Over the last five months, we’ve been very fortunate — a majority of our clients are in the consumer package goods industry, packaging studios, and a few nimble corporate clients that shifted to stay productive with in-house employees and remote design staff. These sectors were highly active; some brands have reported a boost of over 30% in sales during the first two quarters, including increased online business to keep pace with consumer demand.
Many of our key freelancers were already situated to work remotely, supporting agencies and in-house design teams. We have always encouraged creative professionals to set up fully functional studios to support their expertise. Whether the focus is on design, copywriting, website development, motion, or video — working remotely is standard practice.
The big question — “Is anyone is hiring now?” The answer is YES. A few studios and brands have been hiring during the last four months, starting new hires remotely. Those clients have provided laptops and software with remote application access solutions for seamless engagement with the team.
We have also picked up new clients that began engagements with our talent as full-time freelancers that will transition on site later in the fall.
With so much social separation and uncertainty, people are eager for insights, information and entertainment. Consumer wants and needs evolve with the news cycle, creating a rapidly moving target. In certain verticals, especially master planned communities and luxury real estate, we’ve seen an explosion in interest. Many families are looking for an escape to capitalize on their time together, so sharing a relevant message has been vital for clients in that market. Across the board, our clients have relied on us to be even more nimble, reaching consumers in a way that’s more targeted and efficient than ever.
As we navigated working virtually as a team, we began to embrace the technology and the efficiencies it created. It inspired our Overabove In-a-Box series, which reimagines some of our top capabilities to fit today’s needs. The Shoot-In-a-Box, for example, combines a no-contact film shoot with virtual editing to ensure our clientscan still tell their stories through video.
Our goal has always been simple: put the right message in front of the right audience at the right time. The current reality has not only shown us how important that goal is, it’s encouraged new ways of thinking to help us get there.
Projects have been put on hold or eliminated. Budgets have been slashed. Some clients have been laid off. We’ve been participating in many webinars regarding the rules for safely operating a business and securing government loans.
The most obvious permanent change will be the acceptance of remote work. Is a large studio really necessary anymore when everyone can work efficiently at home?
The most obvious permanent change will be the acceptance of remote work. Is a large studio really necessary anymore when everyone can work efficiently at home? — Dan Taylor, Taylor Design
We have been lucky. Most of our clients are insurance, finance and healthcare based – all service industries and industries that had to remain active during the Covid crisis. We do a lot of video and broadcast work and have directed a few shoots remotely. That could be a way of working that lives on, at least until there is a vaccine.
Luckily, our agency was set up well to work from home and had been doing so once a week for several years prior to all this happening. As we complete our third month remotely, we work so well out of the office that I could see us increasing our work from home days from one day a week to two. But, that remains to be seen.
Silver Creative Group
Covid has caused us to rethink how we do business; our office surroundings and our connections with each other, plus our clients. The transition was largely smooth, as both our team and our clients were already set up for the ability to work remotely and accustomed to shared screen meetings. We are connected with Slack and have all our files on a server accessible from anywhere. Immediately our staff saw the benefits of the time (and cost) savings from their commute and enjoyed the bonus family bonding and home improvement task time.
At Silver Creative Group, we have been fortunate that most projects on tap were not cancelled and new opportunities arose. We are keeping busy with requests for projects that relate to how each business is handling Covid in their line of work. We have found that many clients are busier than ever due to their need for creative solutions to manage their evolving needs. For example, our real estate accounts are hiring us to add virtual tours to their websites. We created a fundraiser for a charity to be held entirely online instead of in person this year. And our food & beverage accounts have asked to help manage their increased website demand for online sales.