Personal and Professional Development Never Ends
Covid-19 certainly threw a spanner in the works for many businesses in 2020. However during a time of such uncertainty, continuously working on your personal and professional development could arguably be the key to overcoming the challenges that were faced. After all, development and resilience work hand-in-hand. For our latest podcast, we were again privileged to be joined by our founder and Director, Amy Hooke. Read ahead on the blog as Amy shares how the pandemic impacted her business, how she juggled motherhood during the crisis and what 2021 has in store.
The impact of Covid on business
All was not clear at the beginning of the pandemic in terms of its impacts on business, however business growth was certainly not what most expected. In fact for many bookkeepers – especially virtual bookkeepers, business has done just that, it has boomed. For Off The Hook Bookkeeping, Amy shares how the business grew throughout the pandemic, with a dramatic increase in businesses demanding virtual bookkeeping services. Assisting businesses with getting their staff onto Job Keeper and performing lodgements early were just some of the tasks that made for a busy time.
When business started to quiet down, Amy used her time wisely, channelling her efforts towards a new direction. She put together a Membership program for her clients, creating something that she had always wanted to do. Amy mentioned that it was the six to eight week period during Melbourne’s harshest lockdown, that helped bring together this new initiative. The range of different services as demanded by her clients enabled her team at The Savvy Bookkeeper to build the new program which has now taken on its own life. In some way, Amy saw the impact on her businesses as insightful – allowing her to step back and make some bigger picture decisions.
Motherhood, business and a global pandemic
It was always going to be a team effort to make it all happen. With a young family, Amy knew it was going to be a struggle to manage her businesses and motherhood – especially when her boys were no longer able to attend child care. From a personal perspective, Amy made the decision to step back from being involved in a lot of the day to day operations and give her team flexibility in their roles.
Luckily for Amy, #TeamSavvy stepped up (as always!) during the season, allowing her the time she needed to juggle motherhood whilst navigating any impacts on both businesses, The Savvy Bookkeeper and Off The Hook Bookkeeping. Angie and Maia worked together to achieve some incredible results, managing all aspects of the businesses for some period of time.
Upon returning to a relatively ‘covid normal’ business – the largest challenge for Amy and #TeamSavvy was reconnecting after a long period of little communication. Amy describes the pandemic as also being a huge learning curve for both herself and her team, as they recognised how they each dealt with the challenges faced in different ways – including how they communicated their feelings.
What’s in Store for 2021
Challenge, resilience and growth are all highly regarded values at The Savvy Bookkeeper and Off The Hook. Following on from this year and the Covid Pandemic, Amy has certainly seen new potential in both her businesses, in terms of growth, but also the resilience in her team in running them.
Into the new year, Amy is looking forward to continuing to service her businesses from a ‘big picture’ perspective. Whilst her business plans have already been set, the pandemic helped Amy come to the realisation that her businesses can run without her – and very well! Without stepping away, which is something she is definitely not prepared to do, Amy looks forward to developing her team and growing her business offerings which she describes as a new and exciting chapter.
In terms of business offerings, Amy has plans in store for working with some of her clients of whom have more matured and established businesses. She looks forward to working beyond the requirements of initial business planning and helping these clients continue to grow their profits with the use of clever tools and ongoing coaching and mentoring plans.
Personal and professional development
Personal development throughout the year was key to remaining resilient during the pandemic, especially with all that Amy had to juggle. Professional development was also equally as important in ensuring that her businesses were staying on top of the ever increasing demand for her services, all whilst remaining relevant.
Key takeaway: “No matter what life throws at you, continue to work on your personal and professional development to the best of your ability. It's also important to remember that people have different coping mechanisms when life throws difficult situations. Check in with those around you whether that be staff, clients, friends or family – it makes all the difference!”