What we learnt from losing 50% of our clients in a week.
The title of this blog post may seem bold. There aren't many companies that would openly admit to losing 50% of their business in a week, let alone write publicly about it.
However, the fact remains that this is what has happened to us. Due to the current global situation and the continued threat of Coronavirus Covid-19 many businesses are losing customers. In the last week we have had many painful conversations with friends & clients who are scared about the greater effects this virus will have on their businesses and their lives. Understandably saving money has become a top priority for many business owners and we have, unfortunately, felt the brunt of the knock on effect.
For the record, the title of this post is slightly misleading. To date we have lost over 50% of our clients, however it took slightly longer than 7 days. It took 9.
We also haven't strictly lost our clients, but we have suspended any existing packages when requested, and thankfully all those who've done so have promised they will reactivate their packages again as soon as possible. What remains however is a strikingly thinner version of our company than we had 5 or 6 weeks ago.
The conversations we've had with our clients over the past week, some of whom have been with us since day one, are nothing short of agonising. But we do not feel pain because we are worried for our own business. We feel pain because we are worried about others, and not only their businesses, but their families, their livelihoods and their safety. For the first time ever over the past week we have heard our customers choke back tears whilst they explain how worried they are that this pandemic will cost them everything they've worked so hard to build.
We have helped as many as possible. We are continuing to work daily via video chat and messaging platforms to offer advice and support, free of charge, to as many people as possible. Those clients who have been able to stay on board with us - we are extremely grateful to each and every one of them - have received completely revamped marketing strategies. No longer are we pushing products or services to their audiences, instead focus has shifted to ensuring their companies are remembered for offering aid wherever possible, donating funds or supplies and generally offering help and support to the greater communities that these business owners are a part of. It's times like this when, as hard as it may be, we have to accept there are bigger things going on than us and our own problems.
As well as the marketing side of our business, The Whittingham Group have worked hard with its members to see what we can offer. Infinite Plumbing & Heating for example, who found themselves in the unique position of being allowed to continue semi-normally throughout this 'lockdown', have kindly offered up there vans & drivers to any individuals needing groceries or medicines collected or delivered free of charge. They have also contacted local hospitals and surgeries to see if they can be of any assistance in moving medical supplies & resources around the country. The selflessness of our clients & co-owned businesses has been nothing short of incredible.
The biggest takeaway from all this however is that when the chips are down, when everyone finally realises we're all in the same boat, it is then that we need to pull together to support one another. Offer advice and help wherever possible. Donate our time, money or other resources if possible. Appreciate everything we still have regardless of what we have lost.
We have been extremely happy with how much we have seen communities, business owners, workers & individuals pull together and help each other during these deeply unsettling times.
Whilst there is still a growing sense of fear and uncertainty we feel it is important to remember that this too shall pass, and whatever it leaves behind we will work hard to rebuild. We look forward to welcoming back our clients when the time is right for them and working hard to ensure their businesses get back to thriving at the earliest possible opportunity.
In the mean time if you or your business needs any help, advice or support, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will do whatever we can.
This too shall pass. Stay home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.