1st April 2020
I think it’s fair to say that the past 4 weeks have seen us all enter into uncharted territory.
We have gone from happily going about our daily lives to having a new daily routine forced upon us. Coming out of winter, especially us horsey folk, would normally have us looking forward to what the year has in store for both ourselves and our equine companions. We are now watching each and every plan we have made be cancelled, all tumbling like dominoes in a row. We have all been through the whole range of emotions, from stoically proclaiming that we shall carry on regardless, to anger, frustration, fear and bewilderment, and perhaps now acceptance of what is being termed the “new normal”.
Last week we watched as the chancellor eventually laid out his plans that would help support the self-employed, was this to be the news we had all hoped that would allow us to breath a little easier, and hopefully take away the worry? For some of us, perhaps, but for me it simply will not work. As with a lot of new, small businesses I have worked damned hard to make a success out of my venture, putting in the long hours, learning new skills, and ploughing any income earned straight back in to the business to help it grow. This in turn means that in my first year I registered a loss, albeit not a big one, but still a loss all the same. Starting year 2 of @RebelGD in May 2019 things looked promising, in fact it even looked phenomenal compared to year 1, especially after winning the Best Dressed with Pollyanna Smith’s outfit at Blair. There was I hoping to break even or possibly turn a small profit. Alas, instead here I am frantically trying to think of ways to keep going, to survive, to keep @RebelGD alive.
In tough times that have gone before us we have heard it called diversification, but today the new buzz word for it is “pivoting”. A way of taking an existing business that is not making any money and turning it around. Put any tag on it that you will, the outcome remains the same, stand or fall.
I have spoken to plenty of small business owners recently who are all feeling the same pressures, the same challenges. One thing that sticks out to me more than anything else, we all have the ability to adapt and overcome. Whether it be taking your teaching business online, using your skills to provide a short term solution or providing slightly different garments and accessories for your clients, we are all pivoting. We are doing what it takes to STAND not fall.
So for those who think that any of us entrepreneurs are “profiteering” from the current crisis, think on this! All we are trying to do is to put food on the table, to keep our families alive. Ask yourself, would you do the same, would you pivot, diversify, think “outside the box” to keep your loved ones safe, healthy, fed?
Look at all the small businesses around you, “pivoting”.
Could you use them in preference to the big boys, could your small contribution add to the others that ensure those small businesses continue to underpin the economy rather than add to the statistics.
Now, more than ever, we need to buy local, buy British, as here is where you will not only get something that is of superb quality, but it may make all the difference to the micro businesses who may be struggling.