This post marks a milestone and today, I’m celebrating. This is for many reasons, but not least is the fact it’s my three-year business anniversary.
In the current climate, a celebration of any kind seems inappropriate. After all, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic that’s a major threat to both public health and the economy. Since social distancing measures were introduced three weeks ago, I’ve left the house no more than three or four times for essentials. And while I’ve experienced an inevitable dip in enquiries, I’m lucky that for the most part, my business, which is built around remote working, is able to continue with little disruption.
Seeds of doubt can sow surprises
Because it’s difficult to focus on anything but the fundamentals right now, of course I’ve debated whether today’s date should hold any significance. But getting to this point hasn’t been easy. In less satisfying roles over the years I found myself wondering if self-employment was an answer, and was dismayed not to enjoy it as much as I’d hoped for around the first 18 months. But I’m nothing if not determined. I’ve worked to build a business that suits my clients, but I’ve also shaped things to focus on what works for myself – an important step that benefits clients who get the best results because they get the best of me.
With around half of UK SMEs failing within two years of forming, I’m rightly proud to have so far grown year on year, and while I’m well aware of the personal and professional challenge presented by Covid-19 for myself and my clients, I’m in a strong position and will plough that determination into helping us all reach the next milestone.
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, I’m also incredibly proud to have supported clients to meet this unprecedented challenge both practically and with positivity. As well as adapting to a new way of working, our priority has been in producing content that’s of genuine benefit, and only when necessary. We’re all taking care not to make arbitrary contact with stakeholders, many of whom are experiencing acute social issues; with so much information flying about, I’m particularly conscious of the communications mistakes being made by brands of all kinds, adding to the overwhelm.
Less haste, more thought
Especially in a crisis such as Covid-19, the communications approach should be measured and considered. Swift decisions are needed, and in such a fast-developing situation, planning time is limited, but careful thought is more necessary than ever. Stop thinking about what you want to say, and consider instead what your audience needs to hear, as well as how quickly they really need to hear it. If you aren’t in a position to add value right now, there’s no harm in hanging back. Inboxes will appreciate it.
Crises are often the tests that help demonstrate the worth of the craft carried out by professional communicators to those who usually view it as a luxury. And no matter what the future holds for my business, I’m supported by some fantastic people who are open to even more innovation and greater collaboration over the coming days and weeks. I have a great deal to be grateful for, not least being busy enough over the past three years to neglect this blog. But more crucially, I’m safe and well, as are my family.
So while we may not feel in the mood to celebrate – it’s so important that we take the time to recognise the things we’re thankful for. And over the coming year, as I mark another of life’s milestones, I’d like to put a little more love into myself and those around me, as well as my business.
Thanks for your support over the past three years; stay home, and stay safe.