Anita Pace – Managing Director

I wonder how many times we’ve heard the word ‘unprecedented’ in the last couple of weeks. Too many.  Sad, scary and humbling times.

We’re all adjusting to our new ‘normal’ and learning things about each other and ourselves in these extraordinary circumstances.

So what have I learned so far:

1. First and foremost look after your team.

Furloughing some of the team was hard.  Some of us are still busy working but it was clear that we had to take action quickly to protect jobs and ensure we all come out of this in a good place.  So we did.

2. The Pace team is as awesome as ever.

No one in the team questioned why or challenged the decision.  Everyone could see why we were doing it and could see the bigger picture.  Totally selfless and all team players.  Thank you to you all.

3. Cash is indeed king but we should try and do the right thing. 

Being a small business is hard at the best of times and we’re all facing the same challenges. We’re paying our suppliers and I hope that our clients will do the same – thank you to those who have. Maybe some can’t pay in full but an attempt to pay something will always be welcomed. Try and be flexible and have sensible dialogue rather than a sudden communication vaccuum (I’ve heard shocking stories about how large established companies have just suddenly refused to pay their suppliers followed by deafening silence).

4. Relationships matter now more than ever. 

Whether you need to ask for a pause in a contract or a payment deferral, it’s much easier to have those conversations with people you have built a relationship with. And don’t hide behind an email – pick up the phone or jump on a video call. Your relationship will be stronger than ever on the ‘other side’.

5. There are a lot of fake brands out there. 

We know Virgin Atlantic made a big faux pas in hastily asking its people to take 8 weeks on unpaid leave…when it has always claimed its brand is all about its people.  But how many other brands / CEO ‘messages to the nation’ have we seen claiming to ‘care about us’.  Really?  Where was this sentiment before?  Sychophantic and disingenuous bullshit I’d suggest.

6. Avoid jumping on the Covid 19 bandwagon. 

Stop using it as a reason to do things or to be seen to be ‘doing good’ if it’s not genuine – people will see straight through it.  Instead focus on adding real value where you can.

7. Marketing should be an investment but is more often seen as a cost.

If you have liquidity, now is the time to invest in your brand so that you will have critical competitive advantage on the ‘other side’.

8. Remember to laugh.

The countless memes and videos being shared are a welcome distraction – who knew there were so many funny people out there!

9. Home schooling is getting easier and more manageable.

Week one was overwhelming as teachers compensated for not being in front of the children and thought it was a good idea to send work constantly and parents’ What’s App groups went beserk.

10. Being forced to slow down is brilliant.

I’m noticing so much more as the clock doesn’t seem to tick so quickly. The birds are louder; the tree blossom is so much prettier; my thinking time when walking Tilly is more productive (and she’s enjoying longer walks rather than a rushed dash). And I’m noticing things about my two children that I never did before…and I’m appreciating them so much more.

So…my conclusion is that I’m okay with my new normal, at least for now (it is only week two after all!). I am counting my blessings and thankful for what I have.  I’m acutely aware of how serious this is and extremely grateful to those on the front line – thank you to you all.