We came to write this blog off the back of our weekly blog title idea that we share with our social media followers, but upon having a quick look back through our previous blogs, we realised we’d uploaded the same blog exactly a year ago – what a happy coincidence!
If you’ve read our blog ‘August 2020’, you’ll know that it was a round-up of everything we’d experienced in 2020, plus our plans for the rest of the year. So, we thought, why not do the same again -just one year on! So here it is, August 2021…
This time last year, we were in the midst of a global pandemic and were focusing on navigating our business and our clients’ businesses through it. We’d furloughed our staff members to keep our business afloat, and the few of us remaining worked tirelessly to continue providing our Virtual Assistant services for our clients.
By the time August rolled around, things were looking a little brighter, and we onboarded a new digital marketing team in the form of two apprentices. We desperately wanted to grow our business, but the circumstances of the pandemic were making it increasingly difficult to do so. While our company was doing well, the future definitely seemed a little more uncertain than it ever had done before. But, being the determined type, we powered through, and it wasn’t long before we had a full team back in the office again.
Albeit, not for long.
For a couple of months (the bit where eat out to help out was a thing. Remember that?), we were able to get back on our feet. The digital marketing team made some changes to our social media; we onboarded several new clients who had realised they required some extra support due to changes brought about by the pandemic, and it finally felt like things we were getting back to normal. How wrong we were!
Towards the end of October, we were hit by the ‘work from home if you can’ rule, which – surprise, surprise – not many of our team could do! Due to the nature of our services and the software we use to manage tasks like credit control and data entry for our clients, setting up at home just wasn’t possible for 80% of our team. But, because the health and safety of our team comes above all else, this meant we had to work quickly (literally overnight) to ramp up our COVID safety measures while also asking our two digital marketing apprentices to work from home.
We rearranged the office entirely, separating desks to give each staff member their own space. We used yellow tape galore to section the office into safe zones and provided more hand gel and anti-bacterial wipes than we ever thought we’d see in one place. The kitchen became a one person at a time zone, gloves were worn, masks were used, and, thankfully, due to our quick actions, we were able to continue working safely from our office. We communicated with our now-remote workers through Whatsapp and, as many of you will know, that’s how it stayed for some time!
In amongst all these changes, we’re proud to say that we never let a client down. We were available each and every day to keep on top of whatever they needed us to, whether that be credit control, content creation, data entry, general admin, or to simply give some advice on how to make it through the pandemic.
And that leads us to now!
August at The Edwards Company
A few weeks ago, our final staff member returned to the office full time, which means our team is whole once again! We’re also incredibly pleased to say that The Edwards Company has been COVID free throughout the pandemic, and we’ve managed to minimise disruption as much as possible – quite an achievement, if we do say so ourselves! In comparison to last August, this one is looking incredibly promising! Here are a few things we’ve been getting up to, as well as some exciting future plans…
West Midlands PA Awards
Our Managing Director, Lisa, and The Edwards Company team have made it all the way to the final round of The West Midlands PA Awards. We were nominated in the Independent VA of the Year category, and we’re thrilled that the work we put into supporting our clients and their businesses has been recognised. Lisa has worked incredibly hard over the last few months to present our company to numerous judges, panels and past winners, and we can’t wait for the final result to be revealed towards the end of the year.
Keep your fingers crossed for us!
In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve recently undergone a huge branding makeover. Our website is brand-spanking-new, as is our colour palette, logo and social media! Our business has grown so much from where it started out in 2013, and we wanted a brand identity that really represented everything that the company has become. It’s taken a while, but we’re thrilled with the final product, and we’re looking forward to making the most of it throughout August.
If you haven’t already, make sure you have a click about on our website or a browse through our social media – they’re fancy!
Joining the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
We’ve recently become members of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, and we’ve spent the last month making the most of everything they’ve got to offer. We truly believe that investing in valuable memberships is one of the best things we’ve done for our business. Not only do they provide excellent advice and guidance for growing our own business, but they also help us to continually improve the support we provide for our clients.
Lisa and Liz have attended many a GBCC webinar and networking events, making valuable connections with like-minded business owners, and Louisa is set to attend her first one in September.
If you’re a business in the West Midlands area, a membership with the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce is something that we would highly recommend.
Working with Charities
Supporting charities is something that we’ve always done at The Edwards Company. Through our Content Creation service, we donate £1 for every blog post we write to a few charities of our choice. We’ve recently selected two more charities to donate to: Wood Green – The Animals Charity and Molly Olly’s Wishes.
We’ll be donating to both charities throughout the month of August and beyond, and we’ll also be working with Rachel, the founder of Molly Olly’s Wishes, to provide content for their monthly newsletter. We’re really looking forward to our involvement with both charities and supporting them in any way we can.
New Team Members
August is also looking like a good month for growing our team! We’re looking forward to having two new receptionists join us in the coming weeks to help provide the very best experience for our clients and manage our front of house while we take care of everything behind the scenes!
Selecting the right members for our team is always a lengthy process – we’ve read through many a CV and will be conducting plenty of interviews, both over the phone and face-to-face, to find the perfect fit for The Edwards Company -we can’t wait!
Supporting your Business through August and Beyond
While our August is looking positive, we know the pandemic has caused huge issues for so many businesses that may be proving difficult to come back from. Our Virtual Assistant services are designed to support you. Whether you’re struggling with workload after having to reduce your staff numbers or need a bit of extra online exposure to get your business back up and running, we can step in to help.
We offer services in the following areas:
If you think your business would benefit from support in any of the above areas, please do not hesitate to get in touch – we’re looking forward to working with you.