Have you survived the lockdown or have you thrived?

By : Forum Moderator
Published 26th June 2020 |
Read latest comment - 3rd July 2020

I am really happy to say that my business has gone from strength to strength. I've now got a team of freelancers that help me and it's been a great time to grow.

Not what you expect to hear?

I think there's been a mix, not everyone has struggled. Clearly that's sector related, but businesses that were already online had a distinct advantage.

And ecommerce isn't going anywhere. Apparently Facebook saw a 50% increase in use, that's an incredible amount. And those people that changed to shopping online are likely to continue.

The smart businesses that weren't online got themselves on there sharpish and it's paid off. Even those who couldn't trade fully or at all have kept themselves visible, and if they haven't then they'll be forgotten.

I'm not saying it's going to be an easy time ahead, and if you've had a hard time in the lockdown I do feel for you. But don't give up. There's ways through and I want to tell people that my business has been a success as it's good to know there's still money out there.

They do say if you can not only survive but thrive when the economy is struggling then your business can get through anything.

The lockdown is easing, and there's hope in the air. What has your experience been like?

Comments

For me personally it's been a mixed bag. With 2 businesses, one has done really well (MLS) and one has slowed, so equalled each other out. But things are definitely picking up again, so I count myself really lucky and my team have remained working throughout.

Working closely with other business owners, particularly on our Trusted Trader business, we've seen the direct impact, with many businesses on the verge of bankruptcy, unable to trade. Some had shelled out tens of thousands in materials for scheduled work they unable to start, or customers had cancelled.

Online businesses are always going to be more resilient, but online businesses don't build houses, fit boilers or replace fuse boxes. So it's been a terrible time for many businesses.

Lots of business owners have been stressed over having to furlough employees, taking it personally and feeling guilty, even though it has meant the difference between hanging on or bankruptcy. 

Government aid such as furlough payments or grants have been well received, but if you are paying rent on a building yard and machinery or vehicles, £10k won't go far with no revenue coming in.

But there has also been lots of stories of business owners diversifying and adapting. Window blinds companies repurposing things like shower curtains and turning into temp transparent screens, to proper purpose-built corona proof glass partitions. Then we have had carpet cleaners and domestic cleaners moving into covid sanitising, using proper chemicals and PPE, and keeping carehomes safe.

It's been a devastating time for a lot of companies, small and large. There have definitely been seismic and positive changes to peoples attitude to technology, and flexible working. But sometimes watching the news, there is an assumption everyone can work from home and their business is online. 

We're about to enter a period of unemployment that people under the age of 50 have never seen, which shows there have been a lot more losers than winners during this terrible time 


Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
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