When the market crashes the first instinct for many business leaders is to freeze hiring, cut costs and scale back, quickly. For the last fortnight, this was my reaction too, mixed with panic, anxiety and deep sadness.
Naturally, my business partner and I got our heads together and reviewed our P&L immediately. As first-time business owners we are scrupulous with our financials anyway but we looked at all the ways we could cut back spending in anticipation for a big loss on our revenue forecast.
Although I have never lived through a global pandemic before, I have worked through economic downturns or changes in market conditions that has impacted my customers and my position, and as the last few weeks have progressed I remembered, once the panic stops, the clarity for strategy begins. We have made the decision to use this time to invest, not only with cash (where possible) but also our time that we have suddenly found ourselves rich with.
Our first year of business was epic, and we are unfathomably grateful for that. We have a fantastic team we are lucky enough to have working with us. It has enabled us to be in a relatively stable position for a crisis that no one could have predicted.
Of course, we still need to be stringent, we don’t have investment and our runway will not last forever, so we have cut back, and cut back some more, and changed our views on what is essential spending. But we have also looked at how much we can afford to invest in some of the things we just haven’t had the time to focus on in the last 12 months. Things that will put us in prime position when the market recovers, that will help us to serve our clients and candidates better and make us a more efficiently run business. Speculate to accumulate right?
We are upgrading our technology, we are building a new website, we are planning our growth strategy. We would certainly be hiring if we could but we are still a very small business so that has been put on hold for now, but we finally we have time on our side to allow us to focus on the things that are important to our growth in the long term, not just sales in the short term.
I won't lie, it does feel scary, but we are choosing to remain positive and confident that we will survive, and we will prosper. Investing in our future is our way of saying 'do one' Coronavirus, you will not beat us