When the clock hit midnight on the 31st December 2019, I don’t think any of us could have predicted what 2020 had in store for us. As a business, co&co wasn’t even in its infancy – in fact, it was embryonic.
I was still working full-time in-house heading up a global marketing team – but, like so many people I had made the decision that 2020 was going to by my year (LOLs) and I was going to make the leap and start up my own consultancy.
Fast forward 4 weeks, the country was in total lockdown, the world was literally shutting up shop in a lot of cases and getting ready to ride out the virus for what we thought was going to be a few weeks – maybe a month at worst. It wasn’t great, but we would get through it – oh how naïve we were.
March came and went, April came and went, May came and went… you get the picture, you were there. It seemed like the world was never going to get back to ‘normal’. It is also well-known that during times of economic downturn or uncertainty, one of the first lines on a business’s P&L to get cut – is marketing. As you can imagine I have my own view on this, and I have written a full article on why this isn’t the best thing to do which you can read here. So, you can imagine why I was having more than a little bit of a mild panic at the prospect of starting a business – 100% marketing focused – during what was to become the worst recession on record. (Nice one Jord)
As we have muddled through the rest of the year and businesses started to realise that life wasn’t going back to 2020 BC (before Covid) anytime soon, they started to accept they had to adapt – they had to evolve. For those businesses in the hospitality, travel and events sectors this was a mammoth task – I have a lot of friends who work in these industries and to say they have been battered is an understatement. But, for those companies who could pick themselves up they started to find ways to take their businesses forward – and with that realisation, came the enquiries.
Now more than ever, every penny needs to be maximised, every plan needs to be agile, every business needs to be able to adapt to whatever might be round the corner – and that is what we do.
Probably not. Would I have still done it had I known what was around the corner – I would like to say yes, but probably not. Am I forever thankful that no one can predict the future, and therefore I made my decision to start co&co based purely on the belief I had in myself and the gap in the market for what we offer – abso-fucking-lutley.
Eight months on from starting the business, and in spite of all the bad things Covid has led to, I am so thankful for so many things. First of all, the support of my family, friends and those people close to me who run their own businesses and who have given me endless amounts of advice and who I really admire. Secondly, the clients who have been on this journey with me from day one – and who had the balls to stick with their plans in spite of Covid and wanted us to be involved in their journey.
The one piece of advice I would give someone in the same position? If you can make your business work during a global plague on a scale never seen before – you can make it work anytime. No excuses. Oh, and wash your hands.