If you would have told me 2 years ago, that my husband and I would have launched a business during a global lockdown and pandemic, I would have laughed. But yes, that is exactly what my husband and I did, and at the time, it was a matter of survival.
My bread-and-butter businesses were severely impacted (weddings, events, media), with contracts being cancelled left right and centre, longer payment terms being requested and so forth. My husband’s full-time job as head of IT for a small financial advisory firm was already treading on rocky waters, with wages being delayed and drip fed. We both had the hindsight to see ahead and understand that we needed to have a plan in place to ride out the storm.
As a part entrepreneurial family at the time, we had savings, but we were often pumping revenue back into the businesses I ran, so it was not as though we had a big pile of money just sat in the bank ready to see us through a global pandemic, of which is still impacting many businesses to this very day.
Instead, we started with immediately reducing any surplus or non-critical financial outgoings for my businesses, I spoke to my freelancers and agreed on a temporary reduced workload, which saved me some money and I had a massive clear out and sold things we did not need or served no purpose. I then looked at alternative revenue streams for my existing businesses and started to market those.
It was clear that my husbands’ job was going nowhere fast and that the company was headed for closure, but it was also evident that my husband had a highly sought-after skill, and knowledge of a service-based industry that was not really being tapped into, or at least, had very little competition. And so, it was over a much-needed stiff drink and a lot of brain storming, that we conceptualised ‘Hurst First WIFI & AV Solutions’. More than ever, people needed speedy access to the net, as they worked, studied, and kept in touch with family and friendly online. Hurst First Wi-Fi and AV Solutions is company specialising in providing fast and reliable WIFI to residents, homeowners, and offices, in addition to high end AV/Sound solutions. With my marketing and business acumen, and my husband’s expertise, we quickly turned around a full brand identity and logo within a few days, with the kind help of one of our dear friends, I set up all the key social media channels, created branded marketing collateral and started the process of developing website content.
My husband had the market knowledge already, access to products/solutions, we were legal and licensed through my existing company setup and we were ready to go. My husband managed to obtain a permit to work during lockdown, as he was providing a critical service.
We then sent out emails, WhatsApp’s, and messages to our entire network, announcing our launch, and announced our services during free advertising days on Facebook community groups, and from that very day, we have book booked out since. It has not been easy, and my husband has been working an average of 80-100 hours a week, there has been trial and error, a process of hiring the right individuals as we grow and now, we are at the phase of needing to scale, however, we have learned so much during the process and are officially an full time entrepreneurial family.
My key take-aways and top tips for starting a business during a pandemic are:
Are you considering launching a business during COVID? Need an expert ear and a critical eye from someone who has done it themselves? Contact me today for a free 10-minute discovery call and let’s talk.
© 2021 Rhiannon Downie-Hurst - Branding & Website by Veda Branding
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