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By Agnieszka Szwarczewska
During COVID-19, and for the majority of 2020, the press has been filled with confronting news about the pandemic’s massive impact on both Danish and International business.
While it is essential to stay informed, it can also be disheartening to constantly read troubling news.
So, in an effort to balance the scale, we would love to hear your ‘good news stories’.
The ways in which you or your business has coped with difficult circumstances, have spread kindness, helped others, and turned adversity into achievement.
Your stories can inspire every one of us to learn and develop through these challenging times.
With that in mind, here is the SQUARELY story of growth through adversity, as told by CEO and Founder, Agnieska Szwarczewska:
When the lockdowns began and the borders closed, I realized that this would have a significant impact on SQUARELY’s development.
Our primary strategy had been to focus on B2B projects - offices, hotels, and restaurants. To bring our Green Solutions to commercial spaces. We were just finalizing a few very promising collaborations.
Suddenly, the quarantine resulted in closed cafes, no tourists, empty office buildings. Our key markets didn’t exist anymore – and so, like many others, we needed to think quickly.
Added to those challenges, was the fact that I was 6 months pregnant and preparing my team and the business for my first leave - hoping, eventually, to reduce working hours by establishing well-tested processes.
We had to face this new situation head on, and we had two choices, spend time applying for
governmental support, or try and pivot - FAST.
In 24 hours, we decided on the 2nd: we changed the entire company strategy, cancelled B2B, redid our website, focussed entirely on B2C, changed the responsibilities of our team, and had them learn new skills.
As a result, after a few weeks, our sales started to increase.
Eventually, they tripled!
We managed to introduce new products to the market.
We had a lot of challenges with production and transportation. But we produce locally, so even though our suppliers could not deliver, we found new ones.
We work with vulnerable people, and public institutions were closed, so for a period, to get our products to our customers on time, we even moved assembly to my apartment.
Our entire SQUARELY team engaged in physical work, packing, assembling, shipping.
We worked together and overcame each problem as they arose, to ensure that our customers receive their products and had a good experience in these difficult times.
Eventually, our B2B cases came back; we secured a number of great projects that we will share in the next few weeks, among others for Go Boat, Lakrids by Buelow, and Microsoft.
We are happy to share this story and hopefully it will empower other small companies to move quickly, take risks, and keep going. We also hope that women who are hesitant to start their careers as entrepreneurs will read this and see that it is possible, even in the middle of a global Pandemic.
I wasn’t sure if it would be possible at the beginning of this crisis, but I am now writing this having done several calls, emails, and social media posts - all with my newborn happily sleeping in my arms.