19 Jun Against the odds: How Whiskey and Wealth Club has transformed during lockdown
The impact of Coronavirus pandemic has created an extremely challenging environment for businesses across the country. Many have had to transition and change the very way they operate to ensure continuity amidst this crisis. For Whiskey and Wealth Club, the pandemic threatened to break up our closely-knit team with the closure of our office, to allow for home working to adhere to the government’s plans to curb the threat of the virus.
Whiskey and Wealth Club: into the unknown
Being a sales-based business, we thrive off working with each other in the office, pushing and motivating ourselves and colleagues to ensure the best results.
The Whiskey & Wealth Club office, located in the heart of Richmond, recently underwent a significant refurbishment to serve our rapidly growing business. We’d invested in space for up to 40 members of staff across two floors, with our own bar and cigar room for our team and clients to relax and enjoy our collection of over 200 whiskies (we are in the whiskey business after all!).
Having to transition to a virtual sales floor was somewhat alien at first. I for one have worked in sales environments since my teens. Taking our operation online was a strange step at first. Personally, I felt as though we may not be able to operate as smoothly as we had done, nor would we be able to replicate our high levels of success.
The steps we have taken, and the hard work of our team has meant that our success has not diminished during this testing time. We’ve established a virtual sales floor which includes a live stream of all the team to keep everyone together and still allow everyone to thrive off their peers. Luckily in the digital age we have the capabilities to make a transition to a remote working operation with relative ease, without causing significant disruption.
Adapting to the new state of play
Making this transition was a step into the unknown, particular with 2020 being such a significant year for the development and growth of the business. Last year was our most successful to date. We launched into the Scotch whisky market and saw revenues of €10m.
This year we’re planning to go above and beyond this by increasing Whiskey Wealth Club‘s revenue to €24m and expanding into further international markets, that is until the pandemic hit. At first, we weren’t sure how this crisis would affect our business, but we’ve been agile and have been able to change the way we operate, whilst still being on hitting and even exceeding our revenue expectations for the year.
Investors are increasingly viewing whiskey as a safe investment amidst the turmoil facing global markets and are choosing Whiskey Wealth Club to secure these. During the pandemic, we recorded three of our most successful months to date, despite the significant changes to our operations. During lockdown, investors through Whiskey and Wealth Club invested £3.5m in cask whiskey. I expect this to continue further as investors increasingly look to secure their wealth with asset backed investments amidst the market volatility which the global economy is currently experiencing.
In my role as CEO, I’m responsible for driving our businesses success, direction and optimising team performance. I initiated our virtual sales floor to get us up and running when working from home and keeping our operations ticking over. Naturally, once this transition was facilitated; the next step was keeping morale up. In any organisation, motivating the team is also essential. We are no exception, especially since we’re currently not as closely knit as we’d like to be.
To keep the Whiskey and Wealth Club team spirit going we make sure that we have team meetings each morning and that individual check ins are still taking place as well as weekly team drinks on Fridays and making myself available to anyone at any time should they need anything. I found this regular contact keeps both the team working together, but also makes our individuals feel valued, after all the success of the business rests on their shoulders.
I’ve also emphasised the fact that there are still development opportunities for the team. We operate a performance-based clear progression system that rewards excellent performance. Despite the testing nature of the current environment, development and progression of our team is still pivotal and is proving to be a decisive factor in driving our success and motivating the team.
The pandemic has provided our young and vibrant business with a stern test, affecting us to our very core. However, despite the scale of this pandemic coupled with the company being in its early years, we’ve built a vibrant, flexible and resilient company with a committed and strong team as its backbone that is succeeding in these testing times.
When the time comes and when it’s safe to do so, I for one am raring to return to the Whiskey and Wealth Club office with the rest of the team. The buzz of the office and bouncing off others Is something that drives and motivates me and is something I miss. Let’s face it, virtual drinks just aren’t the same as the real thing.