Savvy on Lockdown

by Lisa Gill

Savvy on Lockdown

Tonight I thought it was about time we gave you an insight to what went on with Savvy on lockdown. A real behind the scenes look at what we were up to, how things panned out at Savvy HQ. This is how we as a team managed through this period.

The first point it really hit home that this was real was going to affect us as a country, a company and a family was probably end of Feb, way back when we were planning for Crufts.

Crufts: on or off?

Having been happily designing brochures, planning rotas, booking accommodation, getting tickets, generally planning for the epic set-up and pack-up that comes with Crufts, we suddenly realised that it may not go totally smoothly as planned. Savvy had Crufts weekend to plan for, but we were also exhibiting the week after at another convention at the NEC too so we had 2 massive events at stake.

When I arrived at the NEC for set up, the rumours started that some of the really big name vendors with the huge stands had started set up and then stopped again. Their contractors having apparently been called home due to COVID. This really brought it home to me. Arriving the next day with some of our totally amazing Savvy groomers on hand at the stand to help out, we had a fabulous day (a fabulous 4 days in fact). But, the hand sanitser, the gloves, the masks, were all a scary first at that point. Pretty normal now with the new normal!

Level headed Brummies!

Lou and I stayed locally in an apartment overnight. The Tesco next door had normal amounts of toilet roll, but my facebook feed was full of empty shelves back in Bucks. I have to admit it was really hard not to buy a few extra packets seeing all our local supermarkets on the news feed! I’m from Birmingham originally and I can only say the Brummies were not ones to panic, not at that point anyway!

I arrived home on Sunday night, then things started to escalate really fast. By Tuesday, the show I should have been attending at the NEC over the following weekend had been shelved. Ben is asthmatic, so he and I moved fast to be ready to run Savvy on lockdown. We then started to wonder about how this would affect Savvy as a company and our lovely Savvy groomers?

What could we do with Savvy on Lockdown?

No one knew what would happen and the only thing we were sure of was that this was the time to think outside of the box. A time to work out what our groomers really were going to be in need of during this horrendous time.

Every one of our groomers own their own businesses, and worries. Have bills to pay, many staff to care for, clients that would need them and need help and info. All at a time of massive uncertainty. I knew lots of them would be living alone and would have all sorts of issues to contend with not least of all their businesses. We could stick our heads in the sand, pretend it wasn’t happening and carry on as normal or adapt and do what we could do with Savvy on lockdown to help our clients.

Coffee mornings, PE with Joe and meeting our lovely groomers virtually kept Savvy going on Lockdown.

You know the rest. In the end, it was a crazy busy period. Lou and I met so many lovely people, really got to know our groomers with hosting daily coffee mornings to keep morale high. Ben and his team did a truly amazing job supporting our current groomers with new features to ease their stress. We donated free SMS to help carry the financial load and daily webinars to make sure our groomers had something to get their teeth into if they needed it.

It surprised us a bit just how popular our plans would be. We welcomed loads of new groomers on board and helped them to do something hugely constructive with their businesses and time despite all the hurdles.

Our growing Savvy team, even whilst on Lockdown!

Ben and I welcomed 3 new members to team Savvy – Amy (one of our fabulous groomers and a long time Savvy ambassador), and Ian and Becky, my niece and nephew, reinforcing Savvy’s family values. More people there to support our groomers, but also more help for Ben and I which is wonderful!

Home schooling / work experience!

Our son James (one of our 3 children) has had a crazy summer too, being GCSE year and having no GCSE’s to do so he has made a head start on is A-Level computing studies and shadowed Ben whilst he works from home all summer on Savvy. He has learned incredible amounts and is being a really big help to Dad over this busy period. Our girls have adapted well to home schooling. They have been fab considering it can’t always be that much fun effectively living and schooling at the HQ of a software company!

What now?

After implementing loads of new lockdown features, Savvy has moved into a period of behind the scenes work, getting everything ready and gearing us up for the next big push forward. Now is the perfect time for some consolidation. We are making sure that now more than ever the foundations are strong and code is perfect and ready to build on!

As the world tentatively sticks its toe out of the front door, we too have now started to leave the temporary Savvy HQ of home. One child is back in school, the other two still here studying or helping Dad. All members of the Savvy Dev team and Customer Service team are still working from home. We are so grateful we are able to still look after our Savvy team, as well as our Savvy groomers from wherever we are, with no issues.

Counting my blessings…

A lot more bread baking, children that have learned ironing, sewing, cleaning and how to develop top notch software seems to be the outcome of lockdown for us here. We now have an 8m tumble track for our cheerleading mad daughters in the garden (it only just fits in). We’ve had 4 lockdown birthdays, made way too many cakes.

I know, that at such a terrible time for so many, we need to be thankful for all the good stuff. I will always treasure the memory of the summer I had the kids around unexpectedly for 6 months, whilst trying to run 2 businesses. In my other life as a wedding photographer, I had to rearrange weddings for so many brides and grooms, it was heartbreaking. But, I also have been gifted my first summer off with my children in 10 years.

Lockdown Legacy!

So some very special family time, a huge number of amazing new Savvy groomers welcomed into the Savvy family. About 30 webinars, the same number of short videos, a you tube channel, 3 new team members and 5 new lockdown features is our lockdown legacy.

Plus, I’ve made what looked like a broom cupboard during our lockdown coffee mornings a nice little work from home space too!

No one could expect it, and it’s almost impossible to be really prepared for it, but we were definitely one of the fortunate ones and can count our blessings through such a tough time.

Oh and boy did I brush and brush and brush and brush Darcey our Cockapoo! You guys had me running scared. I can definitely say with confidence that I brushed Darcey’s hair more than my own, over the 3 months we were locked in!

In all seriousness, hoping all our readers continue to stay safe. Thank you all so much for your support and patience throughout this time. We love you guys!!

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