Driving business growth during turbulent times – Q&A with CEO Andrew Nugée
The Growing Business Awards, who awarded Imagineear their Creative Industries Business of the Year 2019, has launched a new Resource Hub for business leaders and entrepreneurs. With advice and support on driving business growth during turbulent times, the Hub shares 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.
The Resource Hub spoke to Imagineear Founder and CEO, Andrew Nugée, about the company’s response to working in new circumstances regarding revenue, employee safety and business operations in these unprecedented times.
How has your business been affected by the current pandemic?
We experienced a 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. However, a pivot towards content production, app building and healthcare has boosted three other revenue streams and we are urgently reviewing others – so we are actually even busier in business development!
Our office-based staff are all managing to work from home and we took the decision to furlough – and train – our site-based staff. 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;
- 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 our staff are all working well, remain focussed, and delivering – I’m very proud of them!
How are you and your business adapting to these changes?
Our senior management team 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 and 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 both 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 a stock checking platform. We have also had the opportunity to develop the software used on our devices and for our clients, eg. our content management system. Our other technologies are very much standardised: laptop, iPad, phone, internet, access to server, etc. and all working perfectly fine.
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.
Since 1998, the Growing Business Awards have been bringing together and honouring some of the UK’s most outstanding entrepreneurs and high-growth businesses. Consistent high-quality nominees, numerous categories and a finely-tuned judging process have ensured the Growing Business Awards have become one of the most esteemed on the circuit.
Following Imagineear’s win last year, the judging panel said: “Imagineear has demonstrated clear vision and ambition. It is a business with global impact, that has innovation and creativity at its very heart.”
The Resource Hub is available through the Growing Business Awards website.
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About Imagineear Ltd
Imagineear is a leading provider of multimedia content and technology solutions. We design and produce multilingual content, which we often integrate with existing archive materials, as well as live audio. We publish to smartphones, and to smart devices on-site, working with sports venues, cultural sites and the healthcare sector. In London and Amsterdam we have experienced content, hardware, software and data solution teams. Our goal is to help our clients deliver exceptional value and memorable experiences to their visitors, both on- and off-site. www.imagineear.com