Following the announcement that non-essential retailers can now open, most businesses across the UK are now gradually starting to operate again – whether this be online or in person. As lockdown restrictions begin to lift further, we hear from some of the regions brightest business minds on their own journey through lockdown and what advice they would give businesses transitioning into the new normal.
First up in the Gear up to Grow series, we hear from Jayne Moore, Founder of Jayne Moore Media who shares her experience of managing a small business through lockdown and why it’s important to seize opportunities and push forward.
As a small employer, I think we are all a little frazzled, so my first piece of advice is to be kind – to yourself and your team. As we emerge from the safety of the sofa, we may not all be as quick to bounce back and embrace this ‘new normal’ – don’t dismiss how scared everyone is of this crazy virus, and don’t underestimate the stress everyone has been under during lockdown.
The first thing I did with my team is to work together to create a bounce-back plan – collaboration and communication are key to this new way of remote working – and I was aware that our main power is in our collective brilliance, so remote working makes that all the more challenging.
I have found this time of reset and reflection really powerful in giving me space to plot the future direction for myself and the business, allowing us both growth potential. I’m also keen to diversify, lockdown made me realise my own vulnerability – so we are pushing forward with a new focus and a diversification mission. I have launched three businesses in my time and in each occasion it has been in the teeth of a recession, so it keeps me keen and focused on not wasting energy, time or money on things that are not going to fly. Mistakes are how we grow and learn, don’t beat yourself up, take the lesson and move on.
It is important to know what you want to achieve with your life and your business and have clearly focused and articulated aims and objectives for both your personal plan and your business plan. Once you write it down it will begin to realise, and when you start to drive forward you will be on the right foot with the map in your hands and the knowledge to get you where you want to be.
I also think good advice is to only work on stuff you love. I know it sounds a bit trite, but I have to love who I work with – not in the romantic sense of course – but people that I work with become some of my best mates because we share similar values. Do not compromise your values. A wise lady once said to me that “money is only an energy, it only has the power we give to it”, and I have stood by that in making decisions in business and in life.
That said, I also say that people will pay you what you believe you are worth – so it’s ok to be profit making as it will help you deliver on your personal missions, as well as create wealth for others around you.
Despite all but two of my clients pausing our retainer in April – we are all back from furlough, with new projects to focus on and our clients beginning to wake up – there is a lot to be excited about for in this new normal. To-date we have had no grant support, yet – (here’s hoping for discretionary grant) and my pandemic insurance was not worth the paper it was printed on – meaning that we have serious losses during lockdown, however, I am rested and recharged, I have my health and my family, who I still love after 12 weeks in the same house! I consider myself to be so fortunate to have an amazing team, who are happy and healthy, if a little frazzled around the edges, and who are chuffed to bits to be back working again for the clients we love and a few new faces we have just started dating.
I am sure we have a long road ahead to recover, but it is up to us to seize the opportunity and push forward. As a city we have only known recession in my working lifetime, but we are a resilient group of talented scousers (and James). I for one have done it before, and I intend to do it again, hands in the bucket if you are with me?
You can connect with Jayne Moore Media over on their website, Twitter, Facebook & blog
Looking for help to grow or adapt your business? For more information about the support available through The Women’s Organisation to help you and your business, please contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re based in the Liverpool City Region.