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The Adaptables: Featuring Stagekings

In this Adaptables episode, we speak to Jeremy Fleming, managing director at Stagekings, a theatrical set building company from Sydney’s south.

While Jeremy and gang usually provide themed stages and structures for the Music and Arts Festivals, Sporting and Corporate Events and Brand Activations, the outbreak of COVID-19 brought his entire industry to a halt. In this episode, learn more about Jeremy’s and Stagekings’ inspiring journey of how they pivoted in the pandemic.

Stagekings' advice on adapting quickly

Get online. “Pivoting was quite a big change. We had to quickly move from a B2B company to a B2C supplier. We had to quickly add on an ecommerce site and at that stage we had to add on payment options, which we added PayPal.”

Be open. Right when COVID hit and Jeremy needed to have the tough conversations with his staff and figure out ways to reduce overhead, he realised he also needed to communicate with his customers. So, he wrote an open letter for the world to see. “It was kind of the only way I knew to reach people. We’ve always done social posts, but we’ve never had a huge following. People really connected with that and understood the personal level of that. Within a few days, it had been seen by 250,000 people. It was quite astounding. That’s actually what launched us into the home office furniture business.”

Adapt with your consumers. “There’s going to be a lot more people who are working from home now and they’re going to need desks. I called Mic, a friend who’s also an amazing designer, right away on a Friday night. By Monday, he came in with designs for regular desks and stand-up desks.

Continue to pivot. “Our new model is only 12 weeks old, but we’ve still had to continuously change and modify.”

Work with trusted brands. “We decided to go with PayPal as our digital payments platform. It’s been an amazing 12 weeks. In 12 weeks, we’ve now sold 10,000 pieces of furniture, which just blows all of our minds.”

Give back where you can. “We said that to make this work, we have to give back to the industry. For every piece of furniture we sell, we donate $10. We've donated over $40,000 back to workers in the entertainment industry. There are a lot of people hurting.”

Don’t overanalyse ideas. “If you think you have a good idea and you have the money, don’t overanalyse. Just go do it.”

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