Andy Wells and Charlie Berry are the founders and owners of Zing Events, a corporate team building company hell-bent on bringing fresh, fun and impactful team builds to companies all over the world.
Their motivation was to create a team-building company that turned the corporate events industry on its head. This has seen the company grow tremendously since they first launched in 2012 through creating and delivering a variety of innovative team building activities that target different learning outcomes to simultaneously engage and inspire guests.
However, no one could have predicted the unprecedented events of COVID-19 and how it’s affected businesses small and large. Here Andy and Charlie talk about how they have had to incur huge changes, make tough decisions and re-think their whole business approach and offering in a matter of weeks.
What steps did you take to change the direction of your business?
2020 was meant to be the year of high growth and team expansion however, COVID-19 put a spanner in the works and we had to completely re-think out targets, goals and strategy. We had to make sure that the business would survive through the period of change but also make sure that we did right by our team.
- Hard as it was we had to cut down our expansion goals, for now, and continue with the team that was in place
- We also had to think of new ideas that we could provide our clients to ensure that they could still connect with their teams, boost morale and focus on wellbeing. We brought to market three App-based solutions, which allow Zing to deliver remote team builds – Team Connected, Team Social and Team Motivator.
- We created a completely new 90-day business plan to set new goals for our approach, sales, and marketing to enable us to have a clear direction and purpose for the next 3 months
Do you see the business keeping the current format alongside the normal business when we can go back to normal?
Definitely. The whole team is currently working remotely and we are in constant conversation through Zoom, Google Hangout and Chat. Working remotely has been eye-opening for us, although we used to do it frequently it was never on this scale.
Moving forward, it is going to allow us to have a more flexible and productive workforce that finds creativity in both the office environment and their own homes.
This situation has definitely given us the opportunity (or should we say forced us) to reflect on the past as well as the here-and-now, whilst also taking time to look further forward to how you can make improvements for when the situation does change.
What 3 nuggets of wisdom can you pass on to people looking to adapt their business in the current situation?
- Know your numbers, as in financial numbers – from these you can clearly calculate what you can and cannot afford to do, justify your hard decisions and get a concrete plan in place for what must be achieved to maintain and/or save your business.
- Be adaptable – know that this is not a situation you could have ever planned for. Our situation has changed on a weekly and even daily basis. When it first started we had to completely change our growth plan, our offering and our way of thinking. We have adapted through creativity and worked up some new team building activities that accommodate small and large teams working completely remotely and in isolation.
- Look to the future – think about how you want to come out of this situation, how do you want to change for the better and what are the future opportunities you see with this new perspective we’ve all gained? It’s about finding the positives in challenges and find ways out that will see you through and eventually thrive again.
How has everyone adapted to the new way of working?
It’s not been smooth sailing and people have reacted differently – us included. Where the situation has been so unpredictable the realisation of what is actually happening financially, culturally and health-wise has been a shock to many. This isn’t just about new working conditions but about a complete life change for the foreseeable future. We are very aware of this and understand our team’s emotions.
However, spotting this has been the key to making sure our team members are ok and a quick chat has helped the situation, even though it’s not been face to face. We, as a team-building company, live and breathe social interaction, however you have to adapt to your situation and we want to help our clients do the same with their teams through our new remote offering.
At a time of such uncertainty, how have you maintained team morale?
As a team-building activity company, we like to think we practice what we preach. We have set up Friday night drinks after work (virtually of course) but we also participate in quizzes and activities on Whatsapp etc.
We also sat down and created a 90 plan for the whole company to give clarity, help motivate and ensure everyone was clear on how we see ourselves through the right now. It’s so important to involve your team, get their buy-in and ensure that they are happy with the new path – the team is the most important thing!
In order to keep everyone focussed and their well-being high, we created a default diary where everyone works out their ‘schedule’ for the day. This gives people flexibility with childcare, exercise, work and general wellbeing to allow a remote routine that works for them. We see mental health as a really big thing and want to make sure that everyone is happy and coping.
If you would like to let us know how your business is coping with coronavirus then please contact us here: https://sculptsuccess.com/contact