For SMEs threatened by Coronavirus: you mastered the art of thriving amid uncertainty long ago

News 6 months ago, Reading time: 2 min

Anyone that starts or manages a small business knows that even during successful periods it takes every ounce of energy you have to keep everything going. Even on the good days your company is probably no more than two or three pieces of bad luck away from going under.

Now, through no fault of your own, your business faces unprecedented pressures. With Coronavirus putting the hammer to both supply and demand across pretty much every industry sector, closing our eyes, hanging on tight and waiting for the crisis to pass isn’t an option for anyone.

This will be the most challenging period the business community ever faced and there will be casualties. As a small business owner you have an advantage many across industry simply don’t. For you, launching a business was more an instinct than a choice.

Founders who put themselves through the often gut-wrenching grind of starting a business from scratch don’t do it for the sake of pride. They do it because they struggle to escape the need to create, reinvent or simply improve something.

And whether by biology or necessity, those in charge of managing a small business are far more skilled than most at handling forced reinvention.

As a founder you have to make decisions on a daily basis. Not making a decision is never an option. At larger organisations people can happily go full days, weeks and years without having to make decisions. At a small business if you don’t make a decision you don’t move forward.

As your flexible office provider, the Clockwise team intends to do whatever it can to help you get through the months to come. Though we’re increasing our numbers, with a staff across the country of fewer than 20 people we’re a small business too. But even in ‘peacetime’ Clockwise liked to think of itself as offering more than just a desk to members. We believe in partnering with our business tenants and doing whatever is needed to help them grow.

In the coming months that will have a lot to do with the mix of hard, practical information and inspirational content we plan to create and curate for our members. One example of this from last week was the excellent KPMG webinar on ‘business resilience and how to navigate COVID-19’ that we signposted members towards on Wednesday. It offered valuable lessons and takeouts on your business’ liquidity, operations, people and the short-term decisions you should be making to prepare as best you can.

That webinar is a weekly offering from KPMG and we’d recommend dialling in to this Wednesday’s session on crisis management – we’ll circulate details ahead of time.

We’re here for you, our members, and hope to keep communication, collaboration and conversation between us going throughout the coming weeks and months no matter what gets thrown at us.

It’s true that some of our member businesses might need to flex or innovate quickly, perhaps develop new services or reinvent completely based on how you can offer your customers most value but at risk of repeating myself, reinvention is something you’ve never had a problem with. It’s in your DNA.