Continuing our support for businesses in Majorca, we are talking to a spectrum of business people to see how they are coping. Next up, Darryl Lopez.
Q: What is your business?
A: I manage an insurance agency that works with AXA exclusively.
Q: Were you able to operate during lockdown?
A: Insurance is considered an essential activity, and luckily for us our business did not stop, we adapted quite easily to working remotely so I turned my little apartment into my temporary office. So yes, we have been operating during the lockdown, although we stopped all commercial activity and focused in our existing clients, people were quite scared especially at the beginning, so we contacted each one of our clients to know how they were doing, we had lots of questions regarding the insurance covers (car, health, life insurance ) which by the way, were not affected by the State of Alarm, and we also provided flexible solutions to our clients with businesses, such as making monthly payments with no extra costs for their policies (which usually, wouldn’t be possible).
Q: How did you change your business during this time to cope?
A: As our activity was significantly reduced especially in March and April, I decided to focus my business and myself in two routes: training and branding. I hired my first employee on March 2nd, a few days before the State of Alarm, so this was a great time to provide her with lots of training courses as the main objective of hiring a new employee in my agency, was to be able to offer our clients with better and more communicative service in order to improve their experience with us. I have also completed many courses with lots of information and knowledge, not only from my industry, but also for marketing, or business related contents. On the other hand, I started a branding process with a professional agency, this process takes about four months to complete, and it goes from analysing my business, my clients and the way we interact with them, then creating a strategy to establish and consolidate our corporate brand with a clear objective: build up a reference insurance agency that identifies with four main values: communicative, decisive, close and optimistic for both the English speaking market in Majorca, and local people. This has been an exciting and interesting process, still working on it, so we will present our new brand once we have finished this project.
Q: Did you get or are you getting any help from the government?
A: No help from the government, but we did not ask either, as luckily we hadn’t stopped working.
Q: Now you are out of lockdown, how do you see your business recovering?
A: Our business started to recover in mid-May when the restriction measures calmed down. We are receiving more calls and emails from clients asking for health and life insurance specially (as an interesting fact, life insurance search in Google has increased in April by 50%), certain businesses are now open so they need insurance cover, and of course, we keep supporting our existing clients (claims, renewals, administration, etc. ). I think we all want that ‘normality’ back in our life, and we notice this with our clients, however, our commercial activity hasn’t fully recovered yet compared to previous years. But we remain optimistic for the upcoming months.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Our plans for the future are to create value to our clients providing a close and communicative service, with a structured brand strategy.
Q: Do you have any advice for any other businesses who are going through the same thing?
A: I really believe in creating relationships with other business people, through networking. My best advice for everyone who has a business is to find different ways to network and generate close and trusted relationships, help other business people and they will help you. I participate in different networking initiatives and this has been of great help during the lockdown, not only for making business, but to have the opportunity to talk to other people that are going through similar situations, I guess it is just easier if you are not alone. (email@example.com)