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#3 Adapting to COVID-19: Vancouver Better Office

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Barbara Smyth, founder of Vancouver Better Office had to rethink her business to continue operating during and after COVID-19.

What services/products does your company offer? Who are the customers of your company?

We offer interior design and construction services specializing in office arrangements. Our clients are private companies.

How are you feeling as an entrepreneur during the COVID-19 crisis?

At first, I thought it was the end of everything. But now, I think it’s almost a complete stop that will allow me to reinvent myself.

Did you have to adapt your business model?

Yes. Because of COVID-19, people work more from home. So, I hope to add the residential office sector to the commercial office sector. 

Have any business opportunities risen because of COVID-19?

Yes, the ability to modify commercial office designs to accommodate for COVID-19 and the addition of home offices. 

What steps has your company taken in response to COVID-19 to continue offering its services/products?

We work from home, I have updated the website, and I have studied all the products, furniture, and technological and occupational therapy equipment to be able to advise my future clients. I have also researched to find resources for local services and materials. Furthermore, I am also working in the management of the company. 

What are the impacts (positive or negative) of the crisis on your business? 

The crisis has allowed me to take time to review things, discover new resources, and relax. 

Do you have a post-covid plan?

I plan to do some marketing for my company.

What are the lessons you will learn from this situation in terms of managing your business?

The crisis has shown me that nothing is forever and that you have to know how to adapt. 

Do you foresee a temporary or permanent shutdown of your business if the situation doesn’t improve?

I am considering a temporary shutdown of activities. I also believe I can do consulting using a video conferencing system.


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