This year animation company salamandra.uk is celebrating 7 years of success, with an expanding team and a look back at their biggest achievements.
Animation studio CEO, Christine MacKay, reveals the secret to surviving difficult times is to focus on staying agile and flexible whilst on your business journey. Now in their 7th year, salamandra.uk is not just surviving these turbulent times, but having hired 5 new staff this financial year, they are continuing to thrive and visually delight on all platforms.
It’s no secret that the past year has been difficult, specifically for SME’s. “Covid-19 will cost SMEs an estimated £126.6 billion – double what owners predicted it would cost them when asked a year ago. With six million SMEs in the UK – accounting for over 99% of all businesses, 33% of employment and 21% of all turnover – this £126.6 billion hole in the books of small businesses is a huge blow to the economy.” – Simply Business, 2021.
Businesses have had to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and take each day as it comes, says CEO Christine MacKay:
“There has been no room or time to remain stationary. It’s only through flexible thinking alongside continual and rapid development that companies have managed to stay afloat. We are more than ecstatic to be celebrating our 7th birthday knowing that through the agility of my clients and team and the sheer luck of being in the industry we are in has allowed us to continue thriving and innovating in the creative sphere”.Christine MacKay, CEO, salamandra.uk
The pandemic is not the first uphill battle Christine MacKay has seen within the 7 years of salamandra.uk.
Christine started the first agency iteration of salamandra after having driven from London to South Africa in an 18-year-old Kombi, during the last recession, and settling in Johannesburg. Having identified that brands were using different agencies for PR and Marketing services, which ended up in a disparate set of messages and directions for their brand, Christine wanted to offer a joined-up PR and Advertising/Marketing agency to ensure synchronised and unified communications and to save the client’s money. At the time, the salamandra agency was one of the first to do this successful combination.
By the time Christine came back to the UK, she had fallen in love with animation, whilst working in New Zealand, as an impressive medium for B2B visual communications, so started the second iteration as salamandra.uk, focusing on this medium and offering her team as visual problem solvers.
This was no easy feat. On return to the UK, Christine had the challenge of both finding the talent she needed, building up her network and even finding affordable office space. At the start of the company, Christine and her first employees of the company worked from her dining room table, in Windsor.
Fast forward seven years and Christine now owns 2 thriving animations studios in Eton and Dundee. Despite working remotely, Christine ensured that the company systems of communications, project management and collaborative working not only continued but improved and have become more productive now more than ever before and has recently grown the staff numbers by 66%.
Sensing a dip in morale during the lockdown, Christine took a risk and announced that she was ‘paying it forward’ and awarded everyone in the company a 15% wage increase last October supported by her motto that “If the company does well, you do well”.
“If I was to travel back in time and give myself some advice it would be to refine your USP sooner and stay flexible and agile. It’s the only way to survive adverse times and allows you to strive for continuous development”.
Visit Salamandra.uk on their website at: www.salamandra.uk/