I've come to the realisation that many of changes brought on over the last few months by this Covid crisis to the way we run our business are here to stay – and that some of these enforced changes may well prove to be positive in the long run.

A new way


I've come to the realisation that many of changes brought on over the last few months by this Covid crisis to the way we run our business are here to stay – and that some of these enforced changes may well prove to be positive in the long run.

It's certainly a stressful time for most of us in business – the fear of uncertainty, the ongoing financial pressures, navigating staffing issues – I could go on but I know that you know exactly what I'm talking about. So the positive thing to do, because that is the way we have to think as business owners, is to look at how we can adapt to this enforced change in order to survive and, hopefully, once again thrive. Chameleons – this is how we need to be, and I have to say this is what we're starting to see here at Aesthetic Response.

Over the last 9 years of providing our specialised and exclusive service to the aesthetics sector, we've had to work hard to convince practice owners and managers about the benefits of outsourcing calls and diary bookings – with the Covid lockdown we're seeing a shift in thinking. Over the last couple of months we've had a number of new clients coming on board, and are also seeing our existing clients turning to us for more extensive support. We've been pondering on what we think is changing – why are business owners like yourselves now more willing to consider outsourcing? Ironically we've realised we're also making similar decisions with various aspects of our business where we can bring in more remote help, especially with HR.

Without doubt the impact of Covid is a major headache – from complete closure of a business, adapting to home working, and now to the social distancing challenges in the work place, and as small employers there is a sea of bureaucracy to wade through in order to get it right for re-opening and providing treatments. We're hearing that our clients are finding our support is helping to reduce some of their forward planning and staffing headaches: how many team members can work from the premises, the need to keep reception clear, protection against track and trace isolation risk, the cost of bringing staff in off furlough when business turnover is reduced and costs are high – I could go on!

So what has really changed? For myself as a business owner it is the need to simplify my life and this crisis has given me time to reflect and think about what needs to change for this to happen. This need for a no- nonsense, simpler and more streamlined approach is what we are hearing from clients old and new. Every aspect of the business now needs fine tuning, firstly for survival and then for new green shoots of growth. One of our major realisations here at AR is how effectively we can facilitate home working, giving our staff more flexibility in how they work as we move forwards – for us the transition to home working always seemed like it was too big a leap – in reality it was pretty seamless – every member of our team is a wonderful chameleon, adapting well to this new way of working. Our clients are having to do the same adapting – thinking about how they can manage their clinic environments, staffing needs and clients safety, streamlining and cutting costs whilst not cutting corners. Using our call response service is proving to be a valuable piece of the puzzle in this new Covid world – flexibility is going to be critical to most businesses as they move forwards in these more uncertain times. Lessons must be learnt if we're going to adapt to this new environment and thrive in the months and years ahead. I feel hopeful that this sector can rise like a phoenix from the ashes, stronger and more robust, whilst maybe simpler and more streamlined like we are here at AR. We need to press on with determination and adapt to a new way of doing things to ensure the future for each of our businesses – turning this Covid nightmare back into the dream we once had way back at the beginning!