Last year, we asked the team what each of us most wanted to achieve in adulthood. "We'd love to make the news" came the collective reply of all six creative thinkers, as we sat at our desks pondering our next big move. No, not really, but it does make for a fairly cool introduction to a blog post where we can officially say - that's exactly what we've gone and done!
ALERT: Read our one-page feature in 'Business in the News', right here.
Yes, really. Just when we thought 2020 might genuinely be one of our toughest years, Ouma defied the odds. Battling through a global pandemic, amongst the thousands of British businesses facing the same challenge, we rose to the top, and we're proud (and a little excited!) to say we made it through. If you're reading this today, feeling every ache of the exhaustion that last year brought, give yourself a pat on the back for making it through, too!
It was tough right?
Like never before, at least not in our time, we came face to face with unprecedent challenges we might never have predicted. Suddenly, doors slammed shut to our favourite restaurants and cafes and entertainment venues cancelled shows in quick tandem fashion. Gyms, leisure centres and non-essential retailers were just a collective handful of businesses impacted by the restrictions of COVID-19. Hearts broke, as wedding venues cancelled planned ceremonies and reception parties, whilst bars and pubs across the country, packed away the glasses for months of no footfall.
At Ouma, we sat in the midst of it all as many, almost all, of our clients fell into the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, but we did not sit on the side lines. Instead, we made it our mission to support local and national business by being an anchor they could rely on. Combining our expertise in social media and marketing, with the passion that fuels the businesses we're proud to be partnered with - we did some pretty incredible things. We're proud to have shared in the journey of our most loyal clients as they braved the storm of COVID-19 to triumph to the top.
Quick thinking and fast-acting, together we created and innovated ways for continued business. We reinvented the usual operations and came to the boardroom with ideas aplenty. Whilst Baseline provided members with loan gym equipment, home work-out solutions and a heap of too-good-to-eat recipes, The Oldwalls Collection launched their very own distilled gin and relieved the worries of anxious couples through beautiful and memorable email campaigns. Seren Support completely amplified their internal communications, making well-being the company focus for their front line workers, whilst Timba Hair provided home styling tips for all those who just couldn't visit the salon, and Miles Hire rushed to offer a safe click-and-collect service that allowed essential works to continue.
Of course, this is just a small handful of the clients who 're-invented the wheel'. The ones who were brave enough to think outside the box and bring the most engaging and wonderful ideas to fruition, and we feel honoured we were trusted to support each of them. Whilst we initially worried the pandemic would see us lose custom, we were awakened to our true purpose - businesses needed us more than ever, and we've never been more grateful.
In just three months, the demand for our services saw us double our team as we welcomed in Becky (our quirky and talented Social Media Exec), Holly (our fun and vibrant Account Manager), and last but not least, Katie (a truly exceptional wizard in Graphic Design!). From three to six, we're bigger and better than ever with plans to continue growing and nurturing the team that sits at the core of everything we do. As 2021 approached us and we pulled the curtains on an often turbulent and unpredictable year, we tallied up the figures to reveal an incredible 800% increase in turnover. What could have been our worst year, genuinely turned out to be our best and it was only made possible through the hard work and commitment of our team, and most importantly, the support and loyalty demonstrated by our clients.
We were thrilled to be mentioned in Business in the News as they documented our growth and success throughout 2020, but we're even more thrilled to be sharing in the success of all the businesses we support, too. Almost like completing a real-life game of Jumanji, you made it through in epic fashion... and this level? Well, it's complete for now.
So here we all are, moving on to bigger and better ventures! The biggest thanks from us to you, for being our support as much as we are yours, our success story is most definitely one we share.