“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.”– Robert Frost
So here we are three months in since Covid-19 hit the proverbial fan! I thought I would give a bit of insight into how my accountancy business and staff team navigated through these crazy times.
My character and personality tend to being more of a doer, blended with an optimistic outlook on life. Having said that, I knew it would be difficult at times going through this unknown territory, I stayed positive and looked to the future.
We all understand the current climate is hard for everyone and not knowing how things are going to survive adds to these already stressful times. So, advising clients to look at their financial situation and work out what they needed to do to survive for the next few months was our start point.
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”– Robert H Schuller
Initially when “lockdown” began me, and many others weren’t exactly clear what was deemed as “essential businesses” that could remain open. After reading up the many various views on this I decided to talk with staff and see how they felt about it all.
We decided that as we were an “essential business” we would remain open, ride the storm, and sit tight.
Staying calm amid the business storm
We focused on staying grounded and sensible: Firstly I spoke to staff about the recommended “2 metres apart” advice/rule ( bit awkward at break time when everyone wanted to be in the kitchen- but we managed). I also asked staff if they had any concerns, for example, did they need to self-isolate. Reassurance and support for my team, was as important as it was for my clients.
Here’s a flavour of what those three months involved
- All clients were contacted and told we remained open for business
- Technology became a better friend, and sometimes a pain in the proverbial
- Clients could still drop off paperwork, but we would meet them at the door instead of them physically coming into our offices
- Zoom calls and similar were arranged with clients instead of face to face meetings- feedback regarding this has been 100% positive
- Clients were given extended credit terms
- My focus was on translating government financial support headlines into meaning
- Sharing content through blogs and videos
- Live broadcasts, Q&As, I am still waiting for Hollywood to call
Following a few sensible tweaks in my business I managed to not only stay afloat but even grow somewhat. A good example of: The law of unintended consequences
Takeaways- (not the edible kind)
- Look at the bigger picture where possible i.e. is there a way forward to keep your business going?
- Do you want to keep going?
- Communication, responsiveness and being accessible count for a lot
- Discuss with your accountant if there is any support available e.g. grants
- Remember stress is not good so find a suitable outlet for yourselves (not the bottom of a bottle sort)
- Calm and purpose make for better health, and decision making.
Finally, no matter what the world will still keep turning and the sun will still rise in the morning- clichéd, but like all clichés, true.
Mahmood Reza, Pro-Active Resolutions