This is a follow up story for SkyAlliance. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hello Pat, my name is Andrew Norton-Scott and I own and run SkyAlliance Limited. SkyAlliance is a travel price comparison site for flights and hotels. Due to the current environment and the arrival of the Coronavirus, it’s been a tough few months for us, but we’ve got incredible plans ahead for the coming months. As a travel company, our target audience changes with every season. Students, mums, dads, nurses, delivery drivers, gardeners, we’ve had the lot. Our mission is to be there for everyone, no matter who you are. As long as you are above the age of 18, you are eligible to use our service as many times as you want to.
As I mentioned, the introduction of the Coronavirus impacted us severely, and we had to take a serious look at the months ahead. So I decided the best thing for the company was to cease trading so I could reflect on how we’re going to recover from the losses we had amounted due to COVID-19. Alongside the losses, we had to also take into account that we had masses of payments the company needed to fulfill each month. The financial crisis we were in need to be addressed. To cease trading and effectively pause everything was me making the best of a bad situation, and it has worked incredibly well.
Today, SkyAlliance is a completely new company. I’ve brought on 4 new Executive Directors to the team and we’ve put in contingencies financially so that should another situation arise such as a global pandemic (obviously I hope it doesn’t) we will be able to operate on through it.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, SkyAlliance was doing incredibly well. Our campaigns were showing unbelievable amounts of interest -- way more than initially planned. Since we last spoke, the company has exceeded multiple targets and even my high expectations. As I mentioned, as a company we’ve had to rethink our approach as the world we live in now as we know it, has changed. And with that in mind, we’ve had to adapt accordingly. My team and I are working tirelessly in drawing up plans for new advertising strategies we weren’t necessarily using before.
Promote your business, ask friends to help out your company by sharing or even purchasing merchandise from you. Little steps will go a long way right now and everyone can do their bit to help.
So far, we’ve got a solid plan for the months ahead. Brand new methods brand new apps, and brand new products are all part of our timeline for the foreseeable future. We have taken on new employees, our Executive Team has brought on an additional 4 members all with their own special set of skills. Although the past few months have been tough, we have had a few existing customers returning to use our new system. They have been in contact with me enquiring about the company and how it was doing, and letting me know that they plan to work with SkyAlliance to book their trips once the current travel restrictions are eased.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
As far as lessons go, I don’t think I could have taken in many more in the last year. However, they have collectively made me a better and more educated person. All with their purpose.
Out of all of the lessons I’ve had, I’d say the biggest one is that you can never have too much planning. Good planning is essential to a company's success and survival. I’ve also learned that teamwork is vital in whether the company succeeds or not. Good teamwork and communication, paired with good planning across the board are key for any operation a business may have. Big or small. Whether it’s for a campaign or something as simple as an email, having that extra insight on your operation can maximize results substantially.
About COVID-19, the implementation of contingency plans is a must for any business moving forward. SkyAlliance has had multiple contingencies put in place, as mentioned above so that we can prepare for anything for the future and work through it.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
SkyAlliance has many plans for the next 5 years. Over the next year or so the plan is to improve and expand our workforce, hit 1,500 likes on our Facebook page, hit 1,000 followers on Instagram, and to also hit a website traffic rate of 10,000 views per month. All very achievable targets, however, they all rely on how we work as a team. 6 months or less from now, SkyAlliance has plans to re-release our UK broadband comparison website to the public. Some will remember that a very small beta test was carried out on the product last year and the platform has been worked on ever since and is very nearly ready to be deployed. Unfortunately, the service will only be available to customers living in the UK. Services will include TV, Phone contracts, SIM Cards, and Home broadband packages.
To stay up to date with the release of SkyAlliance Broadband, you can sign up for our newsletter here. To help us achieve our desired targets that I mentioned earlier in this paragraph, we will be doing a lot of giveaways. Every 1-2 months SkyAlliance will be holding competitions on our social pages for our followers to take part in. Prizes will include return trips all across the world, details will be provided in our giveaway posts as they happen. So please, don’t hesitate to take part as anyone is welcome. The reason for these giveaways is to help get the travel industry back on track and to help grow confidence in people again. We give away free trips to reward our customers for having belief and also faith in our operation -- and the more prizes we giveaway, the higher the chance we can say our thanks to as many individuals as possible.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
To all entrepreneurs that may be struggling or even looking to start a business during these unprecedented times, keep your head held high. COVID-19 has struck a huge hole in the business world and we all have been affected terribly. We’re all in this together.
Yes, the economy has been hit hard but there’s always a healing process no matter what field you’re business operates in. Promote your business, ask friends to help out your company by sharing or even purchasing merchandise from you. Little steps will go a long way right now and everyone can do their bit to help. So please, don’t lose the energy and drive that has got you this far. You’re in this position for a reason. It’s now up to you to make sure it wasn’t all in vain, like myself.
Think about the amazing success story you will get to tell your grandkids if you make it through this. A saying comes to mind; improvise, adapt, overcome. Apply those 3 words to your business and I can assure you that you will be happy that you did. It’s a test of will, and for you to even have your own company (big or small) tells me that you are the right and only person capable of guiding your business through this difficult time.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
As of right now, we’re not looking to hire anybody at this time. But we will be looking to expand soon, so please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m always available via email so if you are interested in a role with SkyAlliance, email me at [email protected] and I will discuss further details with you there.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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