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17th March 2020

#B2B #B2C #Business

To all our wonderful clients, suppliers, colleagues and to all,

We wanted to send out a message, this global pandemic is real. Lots of folks understandably feel confused, overwhelmed and uncertain. It certainly feels surreal for me at present. First, wherever you are I hope you, your family and loved ones are safe and healthy 🙏

At Sixth Story, we’re continuing business as usual as best we can. We’re all prepped to hunker down and work from home and we’re determined to ride out this curve supporting each other, our clients and are remaining positive in whatever creative ways we can.

From this crisis lies an opportunity to grow stronger and become more resilient. For so many, things were tough before this pandemic. My heart goes out to everyone feeling the strains, stresses and anxiety. For small businesses navigating unprecedented challenges, it is a tough reality. Whilst none of us really know how the next few weeks will unfold, we’re doing a few things to ride the curve and will share as much positivity as possible. This too shall pass. To all the business owners out there, keep an eye on the long game because when we get through this, and we will, we’ll be ready to grab growth, opportunity and the future with both hands.

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Be part of the good news movement.

We’re going to carry on as usual with social media posts and telling you about the great work we’ve been collaborating with clients on (keep an eye out for our latest website launch for Shand Cycles). We’ll be featuring some of our clients in an effort to promote them, viva the small businesses out there!

https://www.shandcycles.com/

Tools for the job.

We’ve got all sorts of amazing tools to collaborate with each other from home. From Google Docs, Hangouts, Slack, Basecamp and our virtual production boards. Above all, we’re continuing our daily stand-ups every morning, and will try to still ‘hangout’ at lunch breaks to stay connected and support each other.

If you need a great, free tool to host online meetings without the need to download anything we highly recommend https://whereby.com/

The World Economic Forum also has a great post with 6 tips to nail working from home.

Building resilience.

There’s a huge amount of uncertainty for so many businesses, we know that hospitality and events based businesses, some of whom are our valued clients are already facing a downturn. It’s important now and for the future to look at ways of building resilience. One small way to start is to look at where you can help minimise any costs but most importantly conserve cash. We use many online tools such as Slack and Toggl for communication but there are free options available such as Discord and Clockify and we’ll be looking at making the switches. Every little helps.

Cash conservation is important but it’s also important to keep paying suppliers on time, especially freelancers and small businesses. Wherever possible keep people updated on the situation so we can all help each other through this and plan together.

There are practical, mental and physical health issues to consider when facing such a crisis. Financial Management magazine publishes an in-depth look at creating resilience in businesses. We hope you find that useful.

Asking for help.

It’s no unique trait that as business owners and leaders, we don’t find it easy asking for help. I will be looking into what support is available from the Government during this time. I will post and share whatever real, practical information I find and share that widely. As a small win, we have already had our business rates reduced, easing a little bit of cash flow burden.

There’s some initial information on support for small businesses during COVID-19 from gov.uk which sounds promising and recommend you check it out.

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That’s for the business. Personally I really want to feel like I’m contributing positively to the community more so than ever. I am going to pledge to do a few things to help others.

    1. I will be contacting my local food bank to find out if they are in need of anything urgently and do my best to donate. Food banks often have a Facebook page or publish in a local magazine what sorts of things they are in dire shortage of so that will be on my agenda for later today.
    2. I will keep paying my cleaner and window cleaner etc and supporting local businesses as far as possible. I think it would be a great idea for local businesses to sell gift cards so that they can keep up their sales and try to weather the storm until things go back to normal, I’ll keep an eye out.
    3. I have the Nextdoor app for my neighbourhood and will offer to pick up groceries and supplies for anyone that is high risk and can’t get out and about. Staying in touch with elderly family members and friends is also super important at this time.

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In the meantime, take good care of yourself and where possible, stay at home. I will most definitely be taking precautions as I need to be healthy and strong to look after the business, our incredible team and be there for anything that our clients need, now and in the future.

With our heartfelt love,

Sian and your team at Sixth Story