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Overcoming business obstacles at the starting line

Overcoming business obstacles at the starting line
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Overcoming business obstacles at the starting line
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Even with the most rigorous plan in mind, launching a business is never easy in the early stages. Now add a global pandemic, and business survival may seem almost impossible before it has even begun. Our Milton Keynes Business Centre customer, Martin Ruff of RuffCutz, however, has successfully managed to navigate his newly launched barber-shop business through a rocky start.  

Trading in a busy location

Having moved to our Milton Keynes Business Centre on 6th January 2020, barber Martin Ruff of RuffCutz had only been with Capital Space for a few short weeks before the coronavirus outbreak. Having heard about the centre via one of his customers, Martin decided to base his business in a central location, where existing Capital Space clients would have a convenient place to get their haircuts.

“I was based in a town for twenty years and needed a change – I knew it would be handy for me and those working close by.” says Martin.

The impact of Covid-19

“Coronavirus had a massive impact on my business, as I had to close for 16 weeks,” comments Martin, “I had only been trading for nine weeks, so it was all very hard to take in.” Thanks to a business-recovery grant from the council, Martin was able to keep RuffCutz going, before opening the business back up on the 4th July.

“Capital Space has been absolutely brilliant throughout,” says Martin, thanking the team and tenants for their friendly welcome. When asked about lessons he’s learned from Covid-19, Martin emphasises how wary people remain about the virus, and how important it is to abide by social-distancing measures as a hair-cutting business. “You have to be spot-on with all the PPE and cleansing procedures,” he says, having implemented all necessary guidelines at RuffCutz to keep customers and staff safe. 

Moving on from coronavirus setbacks

Returning to the Milton Keynes Business Centre this summer, Martin was pleased to discover the new safety measures in place, such as sanitising stations and signage.

“The Capital Space team have done a wonderful job implementing the measures all over the building – my customers feel really safe and happy upon arrival.”

Looking forward to the next five years of business, Martin is considering the changes that will occur within his industry – and he doesn’t just mean changing hairstyle trends. A shift in operations from a walk-in system to an appointment-only shop has meant that RuffCutz no longer struggles with queues and has an efficient booking system – a change that may be here to stay.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on business owners, especially those running SMEs navigating unchartered territory. In experiencing the consequences of a pandemic within his first few weeks of business at Milton Keynes Business Centre, Martin has been thrown in at the deep end of crisis management. With some new approaches to working that may be carried forward, Martin and the RuffCutz team are well prepared for whatever changes lie ahead.

To find out how Capital Space  virtual offices or business premises
could benefit your growing business,
call 0800 107 3667