Case study

ESB Training demonstrated how collaboration and flexibility were key to surviving the pandemic

Despite being impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic like so many businesses, ESB Training continued to move forward by successfully pivoting its services. The Windsor-based training and coaching consultancy is proving a flexible approach and the right support can help small businesses overcome unexpected challenges and become more resilient.

Since it was established in 1997 by Rosie Nice, ESB Training has gone from strength to strength, delivering high quality leadership and coaching programmes to SMEs and large corporate clients across a wide range of industries.

Looking to take her business to the next stage, Rosie contacted the Berkshire Growth Hub.

Rosie explains: “The Berkshire Growth Hub offers a great service. I was assigned a business adviser who really took the time to understand my business and provide valuable advice. They really helped me think more strategically and be more proactive, which I believe has really stood me in good stead for dealing with the challenges of the current pandemic and quickly pivoting my business.

When the pandemic hit and a national lockdown was introduced in March 2020, ESB Training like many other businesses was immediately impacted. With the primary function of the company being face-to-face training and coaching, the lockdown and social distancing rules meant everything was cancelled almost overnight and they couldn’t deliver their services in person.

After the initial panic, Rosie and the team paused to explore their options and the opportunity to deliver virtual workshops. Within a few weeks, they were able to pivot to virtual delivery. They decided to break everything down into 90-minute workshops as people’s attention span is shorter online than in the physical space. They adapted their training programmes and looked at how the interactive activities could be delivered in a virtual format.

“Collaboration and flexibility have been the key to our recovery,” explains Rosie. “We stuck to our core expertise – leadership and management training – but looked at new ways to deliver our services and achieve our goals. It was daunting, but we took a leap of faith and learnt what worked and what didn’t. Ultimately, I think we have come out stronger for it.

“Initially, we worked with one client to pioneer our first virtual training workshops. Our client didn’t want their staff to miss out on their training, so we worked together to make it work. This helped us realise the possibilities of online delivery and we were able to learn from each other. Being able to continue the programmes meant that people weren’t isolated and could continue their training.”

Pivoting the business paid off and ESB Training is now bouncing back thanks to its flexible approach.

“I think the pandemic has changed our business. I think we’ll always offer a mix of face-to-face and virtual workshops for some of our longer training courses. Post-pandemic I would see us offering a blend of virtual and physical training as there is a need and advantages of both. Going forward I think we will be stronger and more resilient as a result.”


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