A Norwich business owner who has lost each of her 110 clients to lockdown has spoken of her business’s miraculous rebound – which will see it double in size over the next year.
Wendy Norman founded LiveLink Resource out of her bedroom in Norwich ten years ago, with the aim of providing a virtual receptionist service.
Having grown over a decade to 17 employees – some of them 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 health specialists: chiropodists, chiropodists, osteopaths, as well as some hospitality companies, and I knew I was taking a risk. to lose them all, I thought I was going to lose my house and everything I worked for.
“Over the years, I’ve learned how quickly you have to adapt in this industry, so I came up with a plan to suspend our customers’ subscriptions and pay their overheads until they can come back. And they did, along with many others which meant I went from five locked-out staff to 17 – and hiring seven more.
You can also watch:
“We have people working all over the world – as long as they have the right attitude and are part of the team, I would consider them. We see ourselves as a premium offering and I am very specific in who I hire – we work with very specialized clients and if we make their appointments, the person at the end of the line has to take that into account. “
Through her work with private healthcare companies, Ms Norman saw the public mood swings as the pandemic continued.
“We really took a step towards March of this year because people were starting to take their first hits. The fear factor was gone and the phones just started ringing. We have, however, seen an increase in the number of people making appointments, but not showing up – perhaps because there is still a level of anxiety, ”she said.
And thanks to this boom in demand, Ms Norman expects her business to reach nearly £ 1million in the next twelve months.
“I never would have thought that ten years ago, starting with a simple phone in my room, I would talk about making £ 1million with so many wonderful customers,” she said.