Can I ask you a personal question?

Do you pivot? I hate the term. I am not entirely sure why, but it sounds like you are doing something you shouldn’t. Anyway, it is the term commonly used for businesses adapting to the new Covid and post Covid trading environment. Many are now doing better than they did before. Well, they do say that necessity is the mother of invention. Or maybe it is just that circumstances have forced you into doing what you had been thinking of doing for a while but just couldn’t find the motivation.

A couple of weeks ago I told the Tale of Two Women who are using the internet to take their Inverness businesses much farther afield. This week I got an email from an old friend who has done just the same.

The email is from Ruby Mackay, nee Chalmer aka Ruby Rendall. Ruby is originally from Orkney and has been involved in music all her life, fronting local bands, having her own bands, recording her own material, and also presenting on Radio Scotland. For the last few years, she has also been running a successful music school in Aberdeenshire.

I think it is best if I let her explain her own experiences in her own words:

“Hi Alan

Great to get your News file through as it totally relates to us here.

When COVID struck, the Chalmers Mackay Music School had to restructure its whole strategy of operation otherwise we would have been just another statistic and a business going down the tube.

With 23 tutors unable to come to our buildings and teach, things had to be done and quickly.  We developed a new teaching formula online for each instrument – even voice. Before lockdown we made sure all the tutors had the necessary equipment (taken from the school) to operate at their homes. We never missed a beat (sorry but inuendo intended). Ok we had dropout from youngsters scared to use the Net but they’re starting to drift back as they become accustomed to their school now using the Online too.

Defeatism is not in my vocabulary.

We have started to see new students coming in now that we are offering teaching online. I taught a lesson to someone in Northern Ireland recently. Someone in London is now looking for lessons. One of our other Tutors has a pupil in Spain.

If you are wondering how we publicised our new online service, we have used our social media presence to attract new pupils.

Feel free to use my schpeel to encourage the online. It works! Maybe there’s someone out there looking for lessons even!”. 

I think Ruby’s story really resonated with me because we are doing just the same. We are using social media to get “out there”. We have a new website. We use Zoom for meetings anywhere in the UK and beyond. We encourage our clients to use online bookkeeping software so that we can login to help them or to extract the information that we need for their accounts. Just waiting for my first client in Australia. You never know.

If you want to get in touch with Ruby, to talk about what she’s doing, or to arrange online music lessons, here are her contact details:

Chalmers Mackay Music School

Email :

Tel 01467629637

Mobile 07747791830



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