Coronavirus has affected the lives of everyone in the country. It has been a challenging time that we have to continue to adapt to on a daily basis with our Edinburgh team, clients and suppliers across the country.

As a brand with over 150 years of history, it has been important for us to stand strong as a team and face this uncertainty together. Our Managing Director, Jonathan Payne shares his views on the recent challenges that retailers have been subject to and how we can face this time of uncertainty proactively.

March 2020 was a month we could have never prepared for. It has been a period unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. We have been busily planning our showroom renovations for the last 8 months since I joined the company in August. With the building works finally starting in January, we were getting ready for an exciting year ahead.

Our focus was quickly redirected by the uncertainty that COVID-19 brought and how it so quickly affected each area of our business, from our clients and partners through to our craftspeople, head office and sales team. It has been important to remain flexible and adapt quickly to allow the business to continue to operate as effectively as possible. It is also vital that we stay positive, work together as a team and look to the future to allow us to see past the challenges we currently face. 

I have noted five key points that have helped us continue to stay on track and positive throughout this time.

1. Remain People-Centric 

For us, it’s vital that we take time to care for colleagues, friends and family – however resilient we are, we all benefit from the support of others. As a company, we always consider every single person in our business as an individual and try to assess their needs. This has meant thinking ahead to what our teams require to allow them to work from home, keeping in touch regularly and always being available to talk should they have any concerns or issues. 

2. Do The Right Thing

Always choosing to do the “right thing” – even when it’s a more difficult thing to do. In uncertain times, sometimes the easier option is to “cut costs” or let the bottom line drive behaviours or decisions. At Hamilton & Inches, we always focus on doing the “right thing”. In the current situation, our number one objective is to protect the team and in turn, protect this incredible business. 

3. It’s Not The Fact, It’s How You React

Controlling our responses to stressful situations and always remaining positive is an ethos that we try to live by each day. With the media bombardment of potentially worrying news, it’s important for us to keep looking forwards and focusing on the fact that we will get through this. Despite what we hear or see in the press we must all remain positive, seek to help others and focus on the future. 

4. Make A Plan and Stick To It

It’s vital to work through tough times and whilst being responsive to new situations, sticking to the overarching plan. Having a positive vision for the future will ensure we stay on track and help everyone to see the part they can play in our recovery from this challenging situation.

There is no doubt that this year will be a challenging one and will shape the future of our world. But if we meet these times with positivity, strength and a willingness to adapt, we will face those challenges head on.

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