On March 23rd, 2020 the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, addressed the nation instructing the British people to “Stay at Home”, a deadly virus, the likes of which we had never seen before, was ravaging communities, taking lives and leaving a debilitating legacy in its wake. We wrote this blog in those early days and discussed the freedom of choice, and it continues to be one of the most visited pages on our web site.
Why did we write it? Because reflection seemed so fitting for the time. What have we learned? That pausing and taking a long deep breath, is not as risky a business strategy as we might think, it can be great both personally and professionally. Professionally, we used the time to look at how we could build a better, more sustainable design agency – and that didn’t necessarily mean, how can we be better at making money.
To be frank we, like most companies, lost a lot of business in those long months but we weathered the losses and now, have a robust strategic plan in place to support growth over the coming months and years. And personally, how did we feel about what we wanted to achieve for the business? We wanted to be more than a money making machine, we wanted to build a business that would provide an opportunity for our people to grow in skills and confidence, where making a valuable contribution to others is good for business and personal success, for their business community, clients and their colleagues.
We used the time to consider who we wanted to work with and so became more selective. We concluded that we want clients to want to work with us because they trust us, because we are aligned in our values, and because naturally we fit with them – any client that comes to us by their own volition is going to be way more committed to working with us to one we have had to endlessly chase. So, we put some thought to how we engage with clients – as a marketing and design agency, it’s something we are pretty good at.
Soap has always been a pretty neat little design and branding agency. At 14 years old we have seen a lot, we bounced back pretty quickly after the financial crash because we have always been quick to react to economic changes – we streamline, we pivot (such an overused word but it works), we are honest about our vulnerabilities and address them, we develop our people ensuring we have the right people doing the right job, we review our client base, we look at where we can find efficiencies for us and our clients; the list goes on.
So today, 19th July 2021, is Freedom day, it feels like any other day to me, to be honest, but it will be interesting to see, with our new found confidence, how the economy bounces back, how quickly, and, whether our revised strategic and people plan will yield as we hope it will – time will tell.