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  • Writer's picturewhittinghammarketing

Forget "Rethink. Reskill. Reboot". How about ADAPT OR DIE!

As we continue to live through these (here comes the catchphrase) unprecedented times it's becoming increasingly clear that nobody knows what's coming next, and nobody has a grasp on this pandemic. For business owners like us and our clients this means more weeks and months of uncertainty, and sadly for many it has already meant the end of their livelihoods.

Poor Fatima! The tone-deaf retrain ad campaign.

The government in its infinite wisdom recently launched its "Rethink. Reskill. Reboot" campaign to encourage those struggling or out of work to retrain and learn new in-demand skills in order to survive financially.

This shockingly bad campaign was not received well by Twitter users, especially by the many millions working in the creative & arts sector whom the ads so clearly targeted.

Now, although we feel deeply sorry for Fatima the young ballerina and do not support the abysmal message of giving up on ones artistic dreams in order to work in Cyber, we do actually believe that hidden under the surface of this marketing disaster is a message that many small business owners should heed - Adapt or Die.

Business owners are renowned for their abilities to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to overcome day-to-day issues. But the truth is very few of us have ever dealt with a situation like the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and as such this seems to have dented our ability to see straight and prioritise.

As a company Whittingham Marketing has unfortunately lost several clients during the last few months whose businesses have been forced to cease trading. From tradesman to travel agents there isn't an industry in the world that hasn't been affected and with no end in sight we feel the focus of the self employed & business owners now needs to change from 'getting back to normal' to surviving at any cost!

A message we can all get behind!

The pride and satisfaction small business owners get from putting food on the table for their families has taken a knock. Many are now simply struggling to keep the lights on, let alone enjoy that mythical thing called profit! And this is where we feel that the governments message is not strong enough.

Rather than focusing on how quickly you can get your business back to normal we encourage you instead to look for ways to adapt to this new normal! And this may mean changing your primary income source altogether!

We strongly encourage small business owners to shed the ego that comes with being an owner, director or boss and instead focus on adapting your working life to this new normal and doing whatever you have to work-wise in order to financially survive the next 12-18 months.

We have heard from clients who only a year ago were running successful bars, or fitting boilers as a sole trader, who are now delivering for Amazon during the day, or JustEat in the evenings, or they've taken a part time job alongside anything else to keep some steady money coming in at the end of each month. These people have not failed. They have not given up. They have adapted and as a result they will survive!

It is this message that the government should be putting out, not one of giving up on your dreams altogether (especially to work in cyber!) but instead adapting to the current climate and making the changes you need in order to ensure that when this finally comes to an end you can get back on track or start over without having been totally crushed by economic changes and your own failure to adapt.

We are eternally grateful that we have kept over 90% of our clients throughout this economic crisis but we, just like everyone else, have felt a big dent in our companies success and although we are not there yet you better believe we have the Deliveroo application form on standby for if times get really tough!

This is no time for ego. This is no time for stubbornness. This is a time for adaptation. This is a time for survival.

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