When the Oxford English Dictionary can’t just pinpoint one word of the year you know there is something amiss! They’ve included words including unprecedented, covidiot, zoom-bombing, lockdown and circuit breaker. These words along with self-isolating and social-distancing wouldn’t have been uttered at all in 2019 would they?
This time last year we had had a bumper year working with more clients than ever before and we were very excited planning our 10th business birthday, which falls in February. We were full of optimism and excitement and couldn’t wait to see what the year had in store…..little did we know! As we always do at this time of year, we’ve decided to put together a bit of a roundup of what we’ve been up to in the last 12 months, what we’ve learnt and what our plans are for the coming year are.
On the 8th of February we travelled into London with our lucky (some might say long suffering) husbands and celebrated our 10 years in style. We really pushed the boat out and had an amazing lunch at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay before strolling to the West End to watch Hamilton. Both were incredible experiences.
This proved to be our last proper outing of the year, it’s sad to think of that beautiful restaurant having to close for much of 2020 and of course the doors of the theatre haven’t opened at all since we first went into lockdown in March. We are so glad that we celebrated as we did; 10 years in business is no mean feat and we are really proud of One to Three and the work we do. Whilst at times this year it felt like it was all falling away, we are able to end the year on a positive note.
As so many other small businesses have found, things changed in an instant in March and during the first week of lockdown we got several phone calls from clients saying they needed to pause our services, they were unable to operate as normal or they were furloughing staff. We could sugar-coat it, but we’d rather be honest, it was devastating – not only did we feel like we had no control over our own business but clients we knew well and respected greatly were effectively shut down overnight. It was heartbreaking.
Throughout all of lockdown there have been highs and lows and we’re not ashamed to admit at times there has been a little bit of wallowing and a few tears along the way, with feelings of overwhelm like so many others. However, we’re proud that with the support of each other and some fabulous people around us (and some wine along the way), we’ve been able to dust ourselves down, pick ourselves up and ask, “right…. what can we do to help?”
At the start of lockdown, we were fortunate to be able to carry on working with some of our clients so we dug deep and gave them the best possible service we could. We moved all of our training and all of our meetings online…… thank goodness for Zoom (anyone else wishing they had taken out some stocks and shares in January!).
We are hugely grateful to every single client who was able to carry on working with us – we know it’s been so difficult for so many businesses and we can’t begin to thank you for your continued loyalty and support.
Networking groups moved online so we able to keep connected to our all-important communities – huge thanks to Emma and The Athena Network-West Chilterns and Chloe and Anna at We are Tabono – the online communities you’ve kept going have been amazing.
On our social media channels, we focused on giving advice for free as much as we could, sharing video tips and regularly posted hints and updates to ensure we were giving our followers up-to-date information on what they could do with their digital marketing to keep in the forefront of their customers minds.
We’ve kept in touch with our team via Zoom and had a lovely summer get-together!
As many of you know we are the best of friends so we’ve had lots of fun on social Zoom calls too! From weekly quizzes, a virtual Royal Ascot, to a VE Day celebration where we learnt to Lindy Hop and an online Escape Room with our families; we made the best of it!
When the rules allowed, we met for socially distanced ‘board walks’ with the dogs and enjoyed each other’s company, 2 metres apart, in Braywick Nature Reserve. We both took part in Fast Track Fit Camps online bootcamps and kept active – exercise really has been an important part of keeping ourselves well and sane this year!
We’ve always known we were fortunate to work from home and be flexible but the fact that we didn’t really have to change our mindset to work from home once lockdown hit is something that we are definitely grateful for. We saw our husbands, friends and other colleagues really struggle to adapt to working at home – don’t get us wrong it’s not been a walk in the park, we are used to being out and about meeting our clients and we miss that face-to-face interaction enormously, but at least we were all fully set up.
We are also grateful that our kids are older – whilst it’s been tough for them (lockdown and teenagers is not a marriage made in heaven!) we have to say we are really grateful this didn’t happen 10 years ago when we had toddlers and pre-schoolers at home. Hats off to those of you who had to carry on and home-school little ones ….. we genuinely don’t know how you’ve done it!
We are so grateful to have so much support around us – a huge thank you to our clients, our team, and family and friends. It definitely has felt like we’re all in this together.
We’re ending the year with busy diaries and we’ve been spreading our own little festive cheer with advent calendars for our regular clients, encouraging them to countdown to Christmas with us (and to the end of this strangest of years). We believe it’s important to carry on the traditions, despite the difficult circumstances and we’ve got a virtual lunch planned with our team, along with festive fun for the family, as our annual trip to the panto has also been cancelled.
So, looking forward to 2021 ……well of course there is a huge level of uncertainty still as to how will we come out of this pandemic but we are approaching a New Year as we always do, with positivity! We have certainly built up a mass of resilience to take with us into 2021 and will adapt and change as necessary. Our focus will always remain on helping our clients to thrive, helping them to get back on their feet once restrictions lift and helping them to keep visible online.
We wish you a peaceful and safe Christmas and a successful 2021.