Driving business growth during turbulent times

Business continuity and growth are the key challenges in these unprecedented times for all business leaders and entrepreneurs. Government lockdowns and travel bans are taking their toll on earnings, employee safety and all business operations. Our Resource Hub brings you insights and intelligence from a range of business leaders, detailing the steps they are taking to protect their businesses and operate under these new conditions.

What your peers say

We have surveyed business leaders in our network, initially asking them four key questions regarding their response to these new circumstances.

“On the property side, we have had to shut down all our developments under construction which has resulted in furloughing over 30 staff and on top of that, we have had to manage our commercial & residential tenants who in many cases are unable to keep up with rent payments.”

- Joe Fogel, Managing Director, House Group Developments
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How has your business been affected by the current pandemic?
As with many businesses in both the packaging and property/construction industry, we have been directly affected and greatly impacted by the current pandemic.
Firstly, on the packaging side, our main customer base is food service and with the closure of all cafes, deli’s, restaurants and all hospitality, the demand and requirement for bespoke packaging has completely ceased. There is still a small requirement for take-away packaging however this only makes up 5-10% of our business.
How are you and your business adapting to these changes?
With VaioPak, we have added many new takeaway packaging lines to our E-commerce platform which offers next day, zero contact deliveries. We have also added a large PPE range which has sold very well and in many cases, supported the NHS requirements with them being one of our customers.
With House Group Developments, we have had to work directly with our tenants, working out payment plans and any further support we can offer during these troubling times
How has your technology held up, have you had to explore new options since March?
Luckily, in both businesses we have invested heavily in IT cloud based solutions over the past 2 years which we really have seen the benefit of during this pandemic.
Not only with the ability to switch all staff to home based working within a few hours but also our investment in various PropTech platforms which has allowed us to give regular updates to our portfolio of tenants with the click of a button and track all payment plans which we have implemented.
What technology are you now using that potentially will improve your everyday once the lockdown is lifted?
As above, pretty much all software & technology within both businesses is cloud based and I think that is very much the future. In my view, many businesses who have suffered greatly with the overnight switch to working from home are those who are using outdated software and old school working methods.

“Pivot towards content production, app building and healthcare - three other revenue streams.”

- Andrew Nugée, Founder and CEO, Imagineear
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How has your business been affected by the current pandemic?
  • Pretty severe impact on per visitor revenues from attractions - a big revenue stream for us. In Amsterdam for example, we lost 80% of our revenue base overnight
  • Pivot towards content production, app building and healthcare - three other revenue streams
  • Urgently reviewing other possible revenue streams - very busy in business development
  • Desk-based staff all managing to work from home
  • Site-based staff all furloughed - and training. Our furlough policy has several components:
    • We pay 100%, so make up the difference
    • We ask furloughed staff to undergo training, and provide LinkedIn Learning accounts for all (allows us to monitor as well)
    • We furlough whole teams at a time; defining workers vs non-workers within teams would be divisive and corrosive
    • All of the above is of course subject to change if necessary
  • Otherwise staff are working well, remain pretty focussed, and delivering - very proud of them
How are you and your business adapting to these changes?
  • We - senior management - are communicating more. For example, our quarterly company meeting is now monthly online, and more inclusive, because it can address all offices and staff in one go. And we now have an additional mid-tier management meeting monthly
  • Middle management are communicating more. We run a weekly zoom call to discuss one aspect of the business or projects or another
  • In working to compensate for the physical proximity of the London office we thus become virtually closer as a business. This is very interesting and positive.
How has your technology held up, have you had to explore new options since March?
  • We have taken the opportunity to overhaul and develop in-house enabling technologies like stock checking platform
  • We have had the opportunity to develop the software used on our devices and for our clients, eg our content management system
  • Our other technologies are standardised: laptop, iPad, phone, internet, access to server, etc - all working perfectly fine as far as I hear.
What technology are you now using that potentially will improve your everyday once the lockdown is lifted?
  • Like I imagine everyone on the planet, we are now all increasingly proficient at using Zoom, and video meetings will become a feature of any future scenario
  • We will doubtless preserve some of the additional communication, and run some meetings by Zoom. I will need to see whether I can run a combo Zoom and presentation meeting - ie streamed and projected at the same time. If so, we will certainly do this.

What our sister publication Real Deals says

Explore the ways in which private equity and venture capital investors are responding to the current situation; how they are protecting and supporting their UK SME portfolio companies, by visiting Real Deals’ website

See more stories

What to watch and download

Review whitepapers, infographic reports, ebooks and other published material that will support your finance function in these new circumstances.

CCB Business support brochure

Coronavirus - support for businesses. This document outlines some of the support available to you and your business to ensure you’re well prepared for now and the future. Coronavirus – All. Together. Now. It’s clear that coronavirus has everyone feeling on edge and uncertain at the moment.

Coronavirus government support for businesses

We know things are uncertain at the moment, so we want to reassure you what we’re here to help you. On top of any financial support you might need, the Government has launched a range of temporary measures to support your business through this period of disruption caused by coronavirus.

Webinar: The roadmap to Covid-19 recovery

This webinar assesses the current environment and plot a roadmap to Covid-19 recovery. In such unprecedented times as this, it is crucial to take both a macro and micro view of the impact of the crisis and plot potential recovery.

Webinar: Offence is the best defence

In the face of widespread disruption and major upheaval to all aspects of work and personal life, the most important task for private equity managers has been to communicate clearly and consistently with their investors.

Report: Covid-19 Global Survey: Inside business- impacts and responses

ACCA's global research with over 10,000 finance professionals identifies a wide range of business and financial challenges facing organisations of all sizes and across all sectors

Santander Industry Insights

The pandemic is impacting every sector in different ways. Santander's insight series unpicks the details using the latest data and expert commentary.

What we're reading

Here you can find our curation of expert articles from across the globe that are practical, insightful and will keep you up to date with further developments.

If you would like to contribute to our Resource Hub, please contact our team on 0207 360 3460 or email