Sara Davies dispenses calm wisdom to cover and guide UK SME businesses through covid

Known in the business world for her savvy acumen and instinct for opportunity, Sara Davies MBE has been cast as the youngest dragon to enter the popular TV show, Dragons’ Den.

She’s taken time from her busy schedule to chat to Business Matters Magazine and share a few honest tips that have seen her and her team continue to keep pushing forwards against the covid struggle.

Initially known as the female entrepreneur who made over £500k before she even graduated her university course. Now her company Crafter’s Companion turns over in excess of £34million per year, her experience winning Sara and her 190 strong team many awards over the years. Throughout lockdown Sara and her team have worked tirelessly to communicate with their loyal following on social channels bringing new ideas to life in the craft world and keeping the nation’s minds entertained.

Everyone’s experience of lockdown has been totally unique to them. How have you found it?

Throughout this unprecedented time, it has been impossible to carry on with a ‘business as usual’ attitude. Even so, throughout times of uncertainty and great difficulty, I’ve seen around me that entrepreneurs and business leaders have found ways of being extremely resilient and resourceful. Whilst challenging to watch, it’s also been inspirational to see people’s ability to pivot business models are what companies have relied on to keep trading and to keep business moving throughout this pandemic – myself included.

What advice would you give to our readers to ensure that they come out of lockdown with a positive story?

There are certain things that we can do to try to ride this wave, whether it’s communicating effectively or continuing to sell products and services through different channels. I have found the following things to be extremely useful when trying to navigate through this time.

First and foremost, remember that messaging is key. It’s an uncertain time for everyone and customers will appreciate being kept in the loop with any important developments.

Insights into what changes you have made to the business that will affect your services and precautions you are taking to make sure that your staff and customers stay safe, will be greatly appreciated by your followers.

It’s important to identify the positives in any situation so try to maintain regular messages of optimism. Be realistic about challenges and what steps the company is taking to overcome them but also keep people informed of your successes and try to boost morale.

Going above and beyond for your customers throughout this time will be noted and remembered. Whether you’re providing free content such as tutorials, workshops, recipes and inspirational ideas or encouraging them to feel part of a community on social media, these touches will make you stand out from the crowd.

Would you say that communication on this level is as vital for staff as it is for customers?

Similarly, effective communication with staff and key partners is vital. Setting clear guidelines and expectations will allow your company to communicate effectively. And, while regular contact is instrumental, it’s just as important to consider how your team, supply chains and trade partners are coping throughout this time. Use calls, emails and video meetings to check in and, stress that people can come to you with any concerns. Try to help and support wherever you can.

Whether you’re still travelling to work, working from home or not currently working, our day-to-day lives are drastically different. 

We’re juggling roles as parents, teachers, employees, managers, partners and more. On top of this, we don’t have as much access to our usual support systems of family and friends. This is a stressful time for everyone so remember to take a break when you need to.

Do something that makes you genuinely relaxed or happy, whether  it involves exercising, reading a few pages of a book you’ve been meaning to read, watching a TV show you’ve been meaning to watch, trying a new craft or baking.

As I previously mentioned, while this pandemic may have altered the way we do business for months and years to come, it inadvertently presents the opportunity to try new things.

For example, your company might have relied on in-store experiences to sell your products. However, taking advantage of strong video content and an easy-to-use website throughout this period, could enable you to tap into a new market of customers.

What has been most essential for you to remember?

Being able to pivot, whilst continuing to provide a first-class customer service, is something that will set your business aside.

How have you found surrounding businesses? Have they supported each other through this time?

Yes, absolutely. You have to remember that everyone is going through this together. No one has the correct answers but if you need advice, reach out. The UK’s business community is extremely diverse and people are often willing to share their own experiences to support however they can.

Cherry Martin

Cherry Martin

Cherry is Associate Editor of Business Matters with responsibility for planning and writing future features, interviews and more in-depth pieces for what is now the UK’s largest print and online source of current business news.
Cherry Martin

Cherry is Associate Editor of Business Matters with responsibility for planning and writing future features, interviews and more in-depth pieces for what is now the UK’s largest print and online source of current business news.