The Adaptables: Featuring Stagekings.

Nov 04 2020 | Alice Wong, PayPal Editorial Staff

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 20-minute episode, you’ll get to hear Jeremy’s and Stagekings’ inspiring journey of how they pivoted in the pandemic.

The Adaptables Episode Summary: Stageking's 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 e-commerce 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 realized 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 overanalyze ideas. “If you think you have a good idea and you have the money, don’t overanalyze. Just go do it.”
If you found Stagekings’ story as inspiring as we did,
tune in for more Adaptables episodes featuring small business owners who have not only adapted to survive, but to thrive.
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More recommended resources:
Step-by-step guide: How to create a QR code to accept touch-free payments.
6 ways the pandemic is changing consumer shopping habits.
Webinar: How to quickly take your business online with Ecwid.

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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