Can you believe we are already coming towards the end of 2020?! It seems crazy that we are busy planning and putting strategies in place for 2021 when it feels like only yesterday, we started what would be the first of two national lockdowns this year. Did I think I would still be working from home full time when I put together our last update? Probably not! Has the Zoom fatigue completely kicked in and driven me a little crazy? Very much so! But without the ability to work from my spare room and without the use of these new technologies we wouldn’t be able to wave farewell to this bizarre year with our heads held high, feeling proud of what we have managed to achieve.
As we look to the future, all be it still a bit uncertain, we thought now would be a good time to give you an update on how we are getting on, because it’s important to us we remain open and honest during these mad times.
As we head towards the end of 2020 all you can say is that was different! It was different for many reasons. It was different as we had to look at new was to connect as a team and to stay engaged with each other, it was different as we had to make sure all of you our clients were kept up to date and provided with realistic expectations and it was different, because regardless of all of the challenges, we have still been able to have a successful year, we have still be able to keep our clients happy and maintained fantastic relationships with our suppliers and each other. Times will continue to be challenging and now more than ever before we must look for a better way, we have to continue innovating and we have to communicate, communicate, communicate, so here we are again.
2020 has been a fantastic year for Indigo Swan whilst at the same time the most challenging we have had. We now have a full set of Swans back working full time and we are in the midst of planning our strategy for 2021. I know not everyone is in this place and as always if there is anything we can do to help you, then please do reach out. We head into 2021 full of optimism, full of hope from the lessons we have learnt, the relationships we have enhanced and the continued want to be the very best we can be as Swans, as a company and as a partner to the suppliers and our clients. Thank you for your support through 2020 and I very much look forward to ending the year in a positive way and taking that energy (no pun intended) into 2021 and beyond.
We had a record-breaking year in 2019 and our growth plans meant that 2020 wasn’t going to be any different. Then COVID hit and it was very much about entering survival mode.
Our income is reliant on our customers paying their energy bills, so when lockdown was enforced and sadly businesses had to close, we had to monitor our customer commission by industry closer than ever before. We furloughed Swans, including our new business team which would have a knock-on effect to our 2021 performance. My days consisted of forecasting numerous cashflow scenarios so we could prepare for the impact we would see.
Our hospitality and leisure customers were impacted where consumptions were lower due to temporary business closures. We have been able to help them by putting payment plans in place and making sure their billing is accurate. The largest businesses we work with have not been impacted in the same way and have allowed us to continue to produce positive results.
We are delighted that all Swans have returned from furlough leave to their full working capacity. Like all decisions we make at Indigo Swan, the one to furlough 50% of our team wasn’t taken lightly, and whilst we missed working with everyone day to day, it was the right decision to ensure we protected the company and added security to the future of Swan’s careers.
Despite all the challenges we have faced this year, our 2020 year-end performance is likely to achieve around 90% of our 2020 target. These results are a real testament to all the Swans working hard and pulling together.
Swan engagement has remained high, and this was proven when we completed our annual Swan happiness survey in October which gave us an engagement score of 72%, way above the national average.
I am so proud of everything we have achieved as a team to get to the position we are in today. I cannot wait to finalise our 2020 performance and to celebrate our wins this year with the Swans either in person (feathers crossed) or virtually, either way it will be awesome.
In the past our marketing strategies have relied on incorporating personal touches – something which has been difficult to do during 2020. Like for many, it’s not been easy and although we have had to change our approach slightly, it’s opened our eyes to new opportunities and new ways of working – which has only been beneficial.
Personally, I believe our brand has become stronger over the last 8 months and this is partly due to our remained focus on our values. They are incorporated into everything we do, both internally and externally. Our unflinching commitment to finding a better way has helped us navigate through these challenging times and compelled us to innovate and adapt.
We’ve worked hard to maintain a business as usual approach, even though this year has been anything but conventional. Our focus has been on our online activity, social media engagement and making sure we are producing informative and interesting content. Not everything has worked, some campaigns we will not continue – but how do you know what works for you unless you give it a go? As we move into 2021, we will continue to develop this digital focus in our strategies, something I know we all feel very excited about.
Finally, I just wanted to touch on some of our recent award nominations. Awards are important to us as they help us recognise and celebrate all the hard work everyone puts in. They help position us as industry leaders and they are a great excuse to shout about all the amazing things we get up to on behalf of our clients. To be a finalist in the Norfolk Business Awards Customer Care category, is something we are all really proud of. The Swans go above and beyond each and everyday to look after our clients and make sure they receive the best level of service possible and this has never been so important than it has over the past 8 months. We’ve also been shortlisted for not 1 but 5 TELCA awards as well! An achievement we are all very excited about and looking forward to December when the finalists are announced.
Having just past my 2-year Swaniversary at Indigo Swan, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all my fellow Swans for their overwhelming kindness and. I’m certainly feeling ready to tackle 2021 together head on and can’t wait for the day we are back together in the nest doing the tea rounds.
Until next time…
Head of Marketing