'I lost every client': How business survived pandemic devastation
- Credit: LiveLink Resource
A Norwich business owner who lost every single one of her 110 customers in lockdown has spoken about her company's miraculous bounce back - which will see it double in size over the next year.
Wendy Norman founded LiveLink Resource in her bedroom in Norwich ten years ago, aiming to provide a virtual receptionist service.
Having grown over the course of a decade to 17 staff - with some operating remotely from Bulgaria and Mallorca - Ms Norman was devastated when the country was locked down in March last year.
She said: "I remember it like it was yesterday. Our clients are largely private healthcare specialists: podiatrists, chiropodists, osteopaths, as well as some hospitality businesses, and I just knew I stood to lose them all. I thought I was going to lose my home and everything I'd worked for.
"Over the years I've learned how fast you have to adapt in this industry, so I came up with a plan to pause our customer's subscriptions and pay their overheads until they could come back. And they did, as well as so many more which meant I went from five members of staff in lockdown to 17 - and I'm hiring seven more.
You may also want to watch:
"We have people working all over the globe - as long as they've got the right attitude and will be part of the team I'd consider them. We consider ourselves a premium offering and I'm very precise in who I hire - we work with very specialist clients and if we're booking their appointments the person at the end of the line needs to reflect that."
Thanks to her work with private healthcare businesses Ms Norman has seen the changes in public mood as the pandemic went on.
- 1 'Second time this year' - Armed police called to Norwich street
- 2 'Someone will get hurt' - Frustration over pothole near Norwich surgery
- 3 Elton John to kick off UK leg of farewell tour at Carrow Road
- 4 Ex-head charged with sex attacks on boys at Norfolk school
- 5 Men ran over roofs to flee police after Norwich cannabis factory raid
- 6 Hopes for a summer reopening of popular park café
- 7 Jailed in Norfolk last week: Drug dealer, £1.3m fraudster and paedophile
- 8 New bus and cycle lane opens after traffic disruption into city
- 9 'We offered £20k over and still lost out': Frantic housing market revealed
- 10 Music shop for rent after couple bow out after 34 years
"We really turned a corner around March this year because people were starting to get their first jabs. The fear factor was gone and the phones just started ringing off the hook. We have however seen an increase in the number of people booking appointments but not turning up - perhaps because there is still a level of anxiety," she said.
And thanks to this boom in demand Ms Norman believes her firm will grow to turning over nearly £1m in the next twelve months.
"I never would have thought ten years ago starting out with just a phone in my bedroom I'd be talking about turning over £1m with so many wonderful clients," she said.