Editor Leanne Fawcett shares her experiences of keeping LEC going during the toughest health crisis the world has faced for decades…
Anyone who has ever run a business knows how tough it is. The highs and lows, the blood, sweat and tears that come with trying to make it work. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and, well, plans for growth instead become a battle for survival.
Like so many businesses that I have spoken to since March of 2020, my company, LEC, was significantly impacted by a virus that none of us expected to be quite so deadly.
Prior to 2020, I’d operated a successful micro-company with healthy turnover, annual profits and a sizeable client portfolio which it’s fair to say did really punch above its weight.
So, from the end of 2019 into the first weeks of 2020, my focus was on planning, looking ahead to what I expected to be a very busy year and most likely our most financially successful 12 months to date.
There was no suggestion of what was to come – I was excited (I love running my own business) and very much looking forward to the opportunities which should have come my way.
But then people started talking about coronavirus and all of a sudden things changed.
I can clearly remember the day we were plunged into the first of three national lockdowns like it was yesterday – probably because not only was it such an unprecedented set of circumstances, but it was also the first sign that what was to come would push my business to its limits – the loss of over £5,000 of committed projects just like that.
Of course, it was completely understandable. Clients had to safeguard their own businesses and protect their employees, so it was no surprise that communications and marketing wasn’t a priority.
Thankfully, we had enough work in the pipeline to see us through April and May and I can remember thinking, let’s keep everything crossed that by start of June we’re through the worst of it.
Of course, that wasn’t to be, and what followed was the hardest three months I’ve faced since launching LEC in 2012. The company’s turnover for June, July and August was lower than a single bad month under normal circumstances, but still, I remained hopeful that I could weather the storm. And what a storm it was!
Thankfully, as I write this, we are not only busy, but busier than we have been for a long time. Businesses are more confident and are spending money to boost their own profile, which, alongside the many funding programmes available to support company investment in marketing and design, means we are snowed under with work.
After making an unavoidable loss in 2020, we’re once again recording profits and while there’s a very long way to go to overcome the challenges of last year, I do feel confident that LEC is back on the right track.
And hopefully stronger for it!