9th April 2020
The longer days, spring in the air, I’m quite looking forward to Easter weekend. I’ve loved seeing all the beautiful trees and plants in my garden slowly budding and changing every day. It’s been an incredible time and an opportunity to slow down and refocus. I hope that all our clients, friends, families, colleagues and all have enjoyed something similar from the safety of home.
Myself and the team at Sixth Story have been business as usual. Our morning Google Hangout is something I really look forward to every day. With our virtual whiteboard, making better use of all the communication and management tools at our disposal, things are right on track. I’ve made it a point to keep the team apprised of the Government support we’ve been seeking, how we’re conserving cash and trying to improve liquidity. At such uncertain times it’s important to be open, stay connected and keep going. We’re stronger together.
Work-wise, we’ve got several web projects in build and continuing design for several corporate clients. We can’t wait to show you some of the projects we’ve been working on. Of course we’ve slowed down a bit but it’s been fantastic to take stock and review how we’re working, take a little extra time here and there and to come up with some pretty snazzy things. If you follow us on social, we’ve been putting a spotlight on some of our clients’ businesses who we think absolutely deserve a shout out.
I couldn’t do a blog without mentioning C Rona – we’re living through history. 97% of us (small businesses) have been impacted by Coronavirus globally. Small businesses are responsible for a massive proportion of employment and it’s incredible to see the Government, Bank of England and the likes are looking at solutions, ways to give access to funding and secure jobs. It’s seriously encouraging. People are trying to get help to the right places, it won’t be perfect but it’s there. I for one am incredibly grateful for the country we live in. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, having lived through hyperinflation I have seen worse financially, worse on the supermarket shelves and I can tell you that there’s not a single bean that will be given to Zimbabwean families or businesses. I am counting my lucky eggs for this incredible country and wish well to our Prime Minister for a speedy recovery.
Whilst we’re all battening down the hatches, looking after cash and going after liquidity is obviously a good thing, we’re also finding creative ways to stay connected. More connected with our team, our clients and that connectivity will help us put this puzzle back together when we come through the other side. There are going to be so many businesses that will be forced to think about their business models going forward, I for one want to put some serious time in thinking how we can use our digital skills and knowledge to be there to support those businesses in the transformations to come.
These are testing times for us individually, for our teams, for our families and every challenge we face always seems to be the biggest one we’ve ever faced. More than once we’ve had to look over that cliff and we’re still here. We’ve found a way before and with the right focus we can do this. I wish for all of us strength, perseverance and a bit of luck won’t go amiss. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom if we really hunt for the eggs.
The likes of Goldman Sachs and the investment community are expecting a regain of global economics. In the US there was a bubble in the housing sector building, the debt on balance sheets was growing and there was a massive downturn; the systemic impact on the financial sector was because the mechanisms weren’t in place to deal with the crash. You might remember how long the quantitative easing took to start. With coronavirus, there’s been a shutdown of over 90% of commerce and it’s forced the mechanisms in place to kick in, demand will rebound quite quickly when we get past this, the speed and scale of support being made available is immense so it’s not going to take as long to rebuild unlike the big credit crunch crash.
I know my investments, stocks and shares have taken a massive hit but there are strong rallies on the markets that show optimism. There’s nothing to compare this to with bear markets of the past. This is an event, one event and with oil prices low and interest rates low, in that sense it’ll be a sharper down turn but hopefully a quicker recovery. I’m not an analyst but listening to a host of experts, those are the eggs I’ve taken from it. Optimism.
Of course there’s a lot of uncertainty around how long the lockdown will last and what the exit strategy will be. Other countries are making encouraging progress and there are red zones where rates of infection are starting to slow, it’s good news. There will be an end and with the time that’s been bought to ramp up care, testing and equipment, normality isn’t a million miles away. And on a business front, we will all be more willing to embrace change, work differently and have a higher sense of community on the other side of this. With the end of this we will have new beginnings.
I hope that this Easter you can take some time off, enjoy the moment of slowing down and reflecting and give your mind a rest from the turmoil. Come back refreshed and ready to tackle the remainder of the challenges ahead of us with a fresh focus on rebuilding. That’s the basket I’m putting all my Easter eggs in.
Happy Easter to one and all,
From Sian and your creative team at Sixth Story