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How creative SMEs can adapt to the new normal

By Selsabil Amine
03.11.2020


At Echo, we have always believed in the importance of peer networks in supporting businesses to thrive. But one part of having a successful network is knowing where your own business is headed in the ‘new normal’, where we will continuously face uncertain lockdown measures.

As a small business owner, it’s tough to do and think of everything on your own, so in this blog post, Selsabil Amine puts forward a list of questions and suggestions that creative SMEs can think about to adapt to our new normal.


Continuing lockdown measures are amplifying the need for an engaging online presence. For creative businesses that have traditionally shared their best work ‘face to face’, an authentic and personalised digital transformation is needed for these uncertain times.

Use the 5 suggestions below to start, continue, or enhance your digital transformation.

1. Own your digital transformation

Look into the process of how you create content for your customers. A healthy digital transformation will make you feel at home online, so what did you do before and how can you offer that, something similar, or even better, online?

How can you offer a mixture of free and premium digital services?

Is your revenue model meeting your short and long term business needs?

2. Believe in your business continuity plan

If you realised that you didn’t have an effective business continuity or disaster recovery plan only when COVID struck, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to build one.

Check out a suggested 5 step plan on how your businesses can bounce back from COVID, then get everyone in your business on board with the plan.

It’s paramount that all staff members understand the content and action points of your continuity or disaster recovery plan.

3. Learn, adapt, overcome

An often overlooked part of adaptation to new economic climates is the learning and development of staff and decision makers.

What new things should you learn to adapt to your digital transformation?

What about your staff in content creation? Or your client-facing staff?

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by a perfectionist idea of what executive members and staff should learn, so stick to the most high-impact learning and development needs.

4. Build an authentic relationship with your customers

Your customers show you how your business is valuable and important to them and the economic landscape.

Keep your customers aware of any changes to how you will be operating and prioritise their engagement.

Think about how you can develop and maintain an online community.

If you already have an online community, ask your customers for feedback to help you with product planning and visualising your roadmap.

5. Face your (decision-making) demons

If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that quick and effective decision-making is going to be a crucial part of navigating the economic, political, and social changes that lay ahead.

What are your internal barriers to quick and effective decision-making?

It’s not about simply reducing the steps to decision-making. Look at where in your business you will need to make proactive and responsive decisions. Ask yourself if the way you make those decisions is helping or hindering your business goals and needs.


Echo is working with London Business Hub to host a Peer Networks programme for creative sector SMEs.

You’ll join a small curated group of business peers for action-focused workshops and 1:1 support designed to help you build business resilience, hone your leadership skills and ensure your business thrives through Covid-19 and beyond.

If you are a London-based creative SME, established for at least 1 year with a turnover of £100k+, this might be just what you’re looking for.

Find out more and apply here: https://economyofhours.com/peernetworks