Adapting Business in Kirklees – Social Progress
Janet from Social progress talks to us about working as a team and continuing to make progress with clients through lockdown.
We have been working in partnership with KLTV to find out how businesses in Kirklees are adapting through the pandemic and to learn from their experiences. Janet Bebb from Honley-based Social Progress is the first to be involved, see her interview with David Broadhead from KLTV on Youtube.
Social Progress is a team of seven; five social media specialists and two office dogs, Bruce & Tiny. They work with a variety of clients, primarily offering social media training and account management services.
On working as a team in lockdown, Janet from Social Progress said:
“We very much work as a team and bounce ideas off one another when in the office. We haven’t been able to do this quite so easily, but we have still managed to work creatively. We have a WhatsApp Group to just chat things through on an ongoing basis and we have two weekly catch ups, to touch base, check how everyone’s doing and discuss the odd client challenge. We’ve found this works really well to keep us connected and working as a team.”
Before lockdown, the team worked in a collaborative office environment and met with clients face-to-face; usually with a cup of tea in one hand and Instagram in the other. Social media training would take place in their Honley office, but now that isn’t possible.
You only have to visit their website to realise that Social Progress have a “glass half-full” mentality. And especially in these times, it’s not a case of what we can’t do, but a question of what we can do.
Since the coronavirus crisis hit the UK, Social Progress have had to adapt how they run. The team aren’t new to working away from the office but continuing to train other businesses and individuals has been more of a challenge.
Janet talks about reasons they have shied away from offering online training in the past:
“One is delivering online does not give the trainer the same feedback you get from delegates as you do with other workshops. Another is that some of our clients requesting training are just not that tech savvy, and so we’re aware that delivering training online may create even more challenges for them.
However, what we’re seeing is that the online training is working well. People are open to it and we’ve delivered some 1-2-1 training sessions, some group training sessions where all get to speak, like zoom meetings, and we have delivered webinars too. All are well received and people in general are transitioning very well to an online experience.”
Utilising online platforms such as Facebook and Zoom have enabled the team to continue to connect with their clients and help them achieve their business goals. Moving training online adds another element of flexibility, clients can connect from the comfort of their own home, no matter the distance. The team have already reached clients outside of Kirklees, including a business owner in Bradford, and a blogger in America. While nothing will beat a face-to-face meeting, virtual ones will have to do for now as Social Progress and many other businesses continue to find more value in the work that they can do digitally.
Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Business said:
“Social Progress have not been slowed by this pandemic, in fact, they have built a new service into their business. It is great to see businesses using this difficult time to grow.
We are seeing digital being used more and more, from events that have moved online, to teams working with new software to communicate. The tools that we gain now won’t be left on the side-line when we find a new normal, if we embrace them, they will be used to build a more innovative and collaborative workstyle.
The challenge presented by the pandemic is not only for businesses to survive, but for them to grow. The business landscape has been dramatically altered over the last few months and it will continue to adapt into something new, as must our businesses here in Kirklees.”
If you are a Kirklees business and would like support to help you adapt through the pandemic, visit Coronavirus: Help for businesses and self-employed.