It’s no surprise that in the current climate the Academy – like many businesses – is having a hard time. Normally during the winter, we rely heavily on our residential programmes which, for obvious reasons, are not taking place right now. And we’ve lost some of our customer base in the shift to online.
This is a dangerous zone for any business to be in.
Despite this, I recently decided to take on not one but two new hires: an Office Manager and a Corporate Sales Assistant.
Why, when I’m worried about the current market, am I investing in these new roles?
Simple. It’s for the same reason that I’ve continued investing in Marketing over the last year.
When the markets are down, many businesspeople tend to pull their horns in and make economies, waiting for the storm to pass.
But if I had done that during the pandemic, my business would have died.
To me, saying you’re not going to invest in marketing is like saying you don’t want to talk to your prospects and target markets. Why on earth would I choose this path when I need those conversations more than ever right now?
I make the choice to bite the bullet and push forward because if you have a long-term goal you can weather temporary storms.
You can support passing risk and danger, because you work those elements into your plan.
You can call your suppliers and tell them you need longer payment terms.
You can look at your personal salary and work with less.
You can look at overheads and work out which ones aren’t priorities or where there are economies to be made (we’ve just saved some 75% on our phone bill!)
You can, in short, think about the long-term game. This isn’t the case if you’re in business for a quick fix!
It’s not about failing; it’s about looking at the horizon and reminding yourself any business has ups and downs.
There’s a second reason for the two hires I’ve made though, and it’s actually (in some ways) an economy.
I recognise, and have discussed in previous blog posts, my strengths and weaknesses. One of the things that is a “development area” for me, is administration.
Let’s be honest. I hate it!
Despite trying loads of different methods, using a virtual assistant, getting amazing coaches and staff in to handle everything from training to our online platform, I’ve never really got my admin under control.
So far, our Office Manager has been with us for 5 weeks and the difference she has made to my workload and the organisation is second to none!
I’m so pleased with my decision – I knew using a recruitment agency would be a significant cost but offset against the time I spent mismanaging my admin, it actually probably works out as a net saving for me, because it frees me up to concentrate on more lucrative sales and growth areas of the business.
To run a business successfully, you need to understand your weaknesses – now I’ve done that, I have the time to play to my strengths!
I’m looking forward to our Corporate Sales Assistant joining our team at the beginning of April, and the significant impact I expect this to have on our revenue potential, will make it so worthwhile.
Of course, you can’t just spend and spend and spend without having to make cuts elsewhere… So, what economies am I making?
Well. I’ve made the decision to not take a salary for the next 3 months.
This might sound drastic, and in a way, it is. I live on one income only with two hungry teenagers at home but – again – I’m taking a long-term view. I’ve been running this company for 12 years and intend to for at least another 10.
Is not taking a salary for 3 months a big deal now? YES! But over the lifespan of my company, it all pans out.
I am determined to make this business work and grow and will do whatever it takes to make that. So, bonjour to two new salaries and au revoir to one (in the short term at least!).