Barbara Lax Founder & CEO of Little Green House tells us about how little children can develop, grow, and learn.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Barbara Lax: Thank you, we are all fine. We took the situation very seriously and have put all the recommended measures in place. And we were very lucky too, so far.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Little Green House.
Barbara Lax: I am an engineer and passionate about science, the needs of the future generation, and the innovations that can have a positive impact on society and nature. After 10 years in research and another 10 years in a multinational company, I decided that it was time for me to create my own company, where I can work more focused on the topics that I am passionate about and have a deeper impact on society. So I created Little Green House, a group of multilingual, neuroscience-based childcare centres across Switzerland.
How does Little Green House innovate?
Barbara Lax: Our goal is that the Little Green House children will be the happy, creative, and democratic thinking citizens of tomorrow. We are working with the future every day. And we are experimental innovators. We innovate all the time, take short periods for market studies and work relatively fast on prototyping. Our secret to innovation is to make a new idea a real experience as fast as possible and continue to improve it in cooperation with our customers.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Barbara Lax: We have a stable customer base, and our services are needed more than ever. We are noticing some behavioural changes through more flexible working models, and we are adapting to the new needs.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Barbara Lax: We are in the fortunate situation that our sector has not seen a major impact. We have been staying in touch all along, even through the lockdown phase, with our teams and our families. Biggest lesson learned: staying in touch and staying connected is the most important focus in our sector.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Barbara Lax: We discovered new ways of engaging, like virtual visits, video parent evenings, zoom team sessions, and even celebrating together is possible.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Barbara Lax: We were able to benefit from Swiss government loans, which were made accessible quickly and efficiently from the start of the pandemic. These loans helped us during the initial insecure time, and we are able to pay them back already now.