End of 2020

by | Jan 4, 2021

2020 – A year never to be forgotten

In some way, all of us have been affected by the pandemic, some tragically and I don’t want to make light of the toll that 2020 has had on many.

After a tumultuous 9 months, I’ve taken a bit of time to reflect on business and personal perspectives over 2020 and my future goals. I hope some of this strikes a chord – if not forgive or ignore my musings.

In business terms, there are 3 key areas that the challenging circumstances has given me pause to assess – 1. Business Resilience 2. Business Flexibility 3. Business Connectivity and Relevance

  1. Business Resilience:
    • Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I now glad that I have very small business overheads. Thankful that I don’t have rented office space, nor salaried staff. 
    • My future business plan was along the lines of long-term renting business space and potentially employing admin support. I am now clear that, to be business resilient, I need to continue to be streamline, that is fighting fit to be flexible alter course if business perspectives change. 
    • My future plans will be to look to buy any business support as and when I need it and if rent premises for very short periods, if required.
  1. Business Flexibility
  • I don’t think I would have placed some on my courses online if I had not had the major prompt that came with pandemic lockdown. It certainly pays to think differently, my online course delivery has become the norm.
  • I have no doubt that there will be a blended online and face to face approach, in the future. I look forward to it but I now have flexibility to work online and that’s a positive thing.
  • Linked to that is, along with others, I have had to embrace modern approaches – zooms/teams and the like. My future replacement of computer equipment plans, will have to take that into account.
  1. Business Connectivity and Relevance
  • To be absolutely frank, I was bemused in the first few weeks of the initial lockdown in March and the immediate business changes for me; work just stopped overnight. After a short period of novelty time, that quickly turned into worrying time and questioning of where was my business going? Would I stay relevant in the mind of potential clients and in my profession as the pandemic dragged on? 
  • I made a conscious decision to up my game on LinkedIn, to properly engage with connections and posts; to use it as a forum to profile short thought pieces and more – some linked to my comms speciality but also on wider topics. The intent was not to hard sell my services but to engage and ensure that I stayed relevant.  Judging by the feedback from connections, it worked. Then from the end of September, business started to re-open significantly for me.  Thankfully, I was still in the minds of my clients old and potentially new.  I kept a positive approach and I think I came across as knowing my stuff, I also genuinely wanted to engage and support others who were perhaps struggling; that has brought huge personal satisfaction.
  • My various connections also worked as my own morale support team. I have developed some great online networks– Cobra Digital Hub being one – Cats Pjs another. Both an opportunity to share trials, tribulations and talk about solutions. 

So, to sum up this business reflection: I will not now be looking to employ staff and look at long term business premises rental: I will continue with an online offer and look to embrace more modern methods (as well as some face-to-face stuff – I have missed that): I will continue to use LinkedIn to engage with my connections and will continue with online networking (but I am looking forward to having a drink in the flesh with some of those connections and now friends).

And a final bit on personal life reflection:  Family mutual support in difficult times is vital and needed (but I miss regular hugging my grown-up kids); I now appreciate the great outdoors even more (mountaineering and hiking): new hobbies can be a real buzz – for me that’s been open canoeing. 

Peace and fulfilment for us all in 2021.  It’s going to be different and no doubt challenging but there is much to be positive about.