Firstly we can’t complain; Inkerman is as busy as ever, we still have our jobs, we’ve managed to keep the virus out of our office and none of us have lost anyone close to us. For this we are very grateful. But the Groundhog Day phenomena is getting to us.
Life is very different to a year ago when we were busy organising trophies for Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National as well as numerous other luxury gifts and trophies for spring sporting events and summer corporate events. We miss our customers, we miss our suppliers, we miss working together in the office, we miss the banter, we miss the kitchen chats, we miss having lunches together and we miss going out after work. We hate keeping our distance, we hate our Perspex screens, we hate the hand sanitiser stations and we hate wiping everything down all the time, we hate zoom calls and we hate how difficult overseas deliveries have become. But we are persevering and working hard to maintain our high levels of customer service to keep orders going out and our customers happy.
Like many other companies we are mainly working from home with a skeletal staff in the office on a daily basis; some staff are full time at home, others are in for one or two days a week with the stock department in every day on shorter hours to wrap and pack and send out daily orders. Like most other companies we have a multitude of groups set up on email, Whattsapp, Facebook Messenger and other channels. Our Marketing and Social Media plans and website updates are worked on from home after a weekly Tuesday morning marketing zoom, two financial zoom meetings a week keep everyone up to date with weekly sales targets and monthly budgets and we meet monthly for new product updates. We write loads of emails instead of having quick five minute chats in the office which we don’t find nearly as effective as face to face. And for many staff this is done at the same as juggling home schooling or constantly providing food for our hungry families. We try to avoid talk of virus, vaccines, symptons and tests if we can but these words seem to have become part of our daily vocabulary.
What we really want is to be in a room together to get our creative juices flowing to talk about new and exclusive luxury products and bespoke designs. We have so much to shout about this year - our new Inkerman 2021 City Skyline Glassware Collection, new designs of trophies and our busy trophy replica service, a new range of luxury leather products, the launch of our new stationery, possibly extending our new City Skyline designs to China and Stationery, new marketing ideas, new associations with charities and shops, not to mention the next 25 years.
We will crack on and look forward to better times ...