Webinar playback: ‘We looked around to see which parts of the business could be better… there was plenty to find’

Business owners were struggling to keep a handle on how their companies – and their workforce – were performing during lockdown, according to an industry specialist.

Jason Betteridge, the managing director of Circyl, a software consultancy business, was speaking as part the panel at TheBusinessDesk.com’s latest webinar, Gaining control of your business in chaotic times, sponsored by Probrand, the managed IT support and services firm.

Betteridge said: “Not seeing your staff face-to-face on a daily basis has been hard for some business owners. Many haven’t had the confidence invest in any kind of software system to help them gain a better view of their business because costs have been cut.

“However, those that have are now reaping the benefits are are emerging from the lockdown well ahead of their competitors.”

One such company is Falcon Contract Flooring, of Bromsgrove.

The firm’s managing director Charles Hassall said: “When lockdown happened we almost immediately lost 90% of our turnover. We had to act quickly and initiated a process called Project Storm and that’s how we came across Circyl.

“We’ve emerged a better business. My advice is to any other business owner who need to get an improved overview of their business is to invest in tech. Without it you’ll be left behind.”

Another company which has done well during the lockdown is Nottingham based facilities management firm Octavian.

The company’s managing director, Reshma Sheikh, said: “We started working remotely in January, and so when lockdown was announced we were already making it work for us.

“I’ve been a proactive champion of remote working – if anything, the situation over the last few months has been a blessing in disguise for Octavian; our staff are now much more productive and motivated.”

Access to data is key to the success of staff working remotely or off-site, said our panel.

Betteridge added: “It’s important to get data on how different parts of your business are performing. It stops the need for everyone to record every single detail of what they’re doing all the time and it also encourages a culture of open communication within a business as it becomes more transparent.”

Sheikh said: “Honesty and openness is important. If you don’t trust that someone offsite is doing their job, then they probably shouldn’t be working for you anyway. I’m a data obsessive, but you can overdose on data.”

Betteridge agreed: “You need the right data at the right time captured. Data is key, without it you have one single version of what’s happening.”

For Hassall, the process has been transformational for his business. He said: “We looked around to see which parts of the business could be better… there was plenty to find.”

To view the entire webinar, please click here