How COVID-19 made Venntro the business it is today (Part 1) - The business of love in lockdown
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
With the UK now fully out of lockdown and government pressure cascading to encourage businesses and employees to return to the office, I wanted to reflect on how the Covid-19 lockdown impacted our business and why we plan to remain a 100% remote-first business.
Like all other businesses, at the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, we closely monitored the guidelines being set by the government. When the news came in on the raining Monday evening that the UK would be going into a full lockdown, our dedicated team rushed into the office to collect the last of their belongings. They wanted to ensure they could work as normal from home. Venntro remained fully operational throughout this time and the months to follow were of our most productive.
With employees spread across the world and working remotely we did everything we could to stay connected. As a priority, we distributed the kit that each individual needed so they could continue to carry out their roles effectively. To ensure we maintained our Venntro culture we hosted regular meet ups over video conferencing software, including quizzes, drinks and socials - we even had a furry friend make a guest appearance.
Operationally we scheduled morning, afternoon and daily team meetings via Google Hangouts and Slack. This meant we were always connected as a team to continue servicing our White Label Dating partners with no impact to them whatsoever. Whilst we didn't enforce the daily meeting for the Product team (who were more familiar with remote working) it proved to be a great way of helping other teams feel connected and have someone to talk to during the darker, lonelier days of the pandemic.
Ross recently mentioned, in this post about how, in 2018, we began to transform operational processes across the business. Although improvements were well underway, the imminent need to now conduct all meetings over video conferencing software increased the urgency of us needing to optimise our processes.
Venntro thrived during a tough time for many businesses
The global pandemic created a very tough time for many B2C and B2B businesses, but as a business whose services were 100% online and carried out the ever-growing necessary purpose of keeping society connected, whether this be in a romantic, or friendship, capacity - we were thrilled to see our WLD platform remain stable with both registrations and conversion (upgrade) rates growing. This came as a result of more people being at home and online.
Putting aside a short drop in conversion in early March when the pandemic became increasingly talked about across the media - the WLD platform presented some very impressive results. Naturally, during March, people’s search trends would have gone elsewhere in the heat of the moment and dating may not have been, rightfully, on their mind - that’s just a reality.
What came next
The unprecedented times created some uncertainty for all business, including Venntro. However, as days in lockdown turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months - things were going ok. Better than ok - in terms of platform performance, things were going great.
Our team were coping with our new norm (remote working) and as the dating industry surged things went from good to better.
In part 2 of this blog I will share more about what made Venntro what it is today - how we fully adapted to a fully remote workforce, the changes that happened within our leadership team and how we plan to remain fully remote.
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