This is a question I have been asked and I’m sure we have all been asked at least once. My usual answer is: I’m sure I can find a job doing something. I’m not a business expert but I have learned a few things over the years and I’m now in my 50s I still am happy to learn new things. Never too old to learn and happy to learn from the younger or older generation. If you feel this is patronising or beneath you feel free to move on but this is purely out of some of the questions on various facebook dj pages.
So that time has finally got here and what am I doing now I can’t work anymore and unlikely to work for a few months? Yes I appreciate that this is a ‘one off’ and ‘unprecedented’ as we keep getting told and everyone will be shouting at me that its a once in a lifetime…. Before we get into this let me take you back about 12 (ish) years. I was working for an events company as events manager and had been for a few years. We supplied inflatables, rodeo bulls, surf simulators and props for mainly corporate events. The kind of events that companies ring up telling us they want to spend 2,3,4 grand on some entertainment for a summer party….that’s after a similar budget on their xmas party…All sounds good and things were going well. This was in the days before social media and most of the work came from websites and good old fashioned advertising. So life was good and busy and obviously being a well and professionally run business…right? What could possibly go wrong? Remember I said back in the days before social media and it took a lot of work to get a professional website at the top of google…yep this company had it all and it was going well…until the website got hacked and it disappeared from google overnight. This was the later part of the year so the big december bookings were fairly busy but normally january was manic (remember this was the days corporate businesses had money to throw away) so because of this all the january bookings didn’t come in (except for a couple of returning customers and december wasn’t as busy as it should have been.
I wont get into the details (mainly because I don’t know them) and yes now in 2020 its unlikely this could happen as times change but the point is this did happen and it was the beginning of the end of this company. So back to 2020 and May… here we are again and what would you do if you couldn’t work? I admit it’s not a regular occurrence but back about 12 years (ish) ago it proved fatal for a, what I thought, was a very successful events company. Al them years ago I was getting paid my basic salary each week so instead of just sitting back and waiting for my boss to sort his business out as I’m getting paid I thought I’d do something productive.
This was the days of the ‘t’internet’ so I was on a few various business sites and I took some business advice on marketing and…er …business. Marketing was good as I started up All Events UK just after and I did very well and still am doing very well. But for business I learnt a lot and the whole situation back the taught me that it’s easy to lose everything in the blink of an eye…much like right now. One of the first things I did learn was to have something in reserve as so many people in the first week of this pandemic were worrying. Some were even saying they cant pay their staff which in the first week I find shocking. If you turn it round (something else I learned 12 years ago) and put yourself as a member of staff and your boss said after a week he couldn’t pay you because he had not put anything by for any problems, how would you feel? Forget the pandemic but having nothing in reserve would be worrying if equipment/vehicles go wrong and they cant afford to get repairs/replace.
If times are that difficult maybe it’s a time to re-evaluate your business model. I’ve seen on social media questions about car insurance,car tax,breakdown and music subscriptions. This will be personal to everyone’s lifestyle and should be evaluated to your own personal needs. If you don’t need the vehicle if its purely for business use then if you can take it off the road you can save some money. I personally am not expecting to go back to discos until nearer xmas so I have a few months and if a vehicle wont get used take it off the road and save some money. Personally for me I use the time off to catch up on life and my general marketing. All them years ago (about 12 !!) I got so much useful free information and so much I have learned that I put to good use over the years. There is so much free information out there from experts on you tube to social media and the important thing is to take out the parts relevant to your own business and work on them.
Andy Stapleton, May 2020
“Many thanks for putting this together Andy, it’s really appreciated. We at SEDA would really welcome our members’ contributions, so do get in touch with your ideas. Cheers, Brian”