Would you start a business in the middle of a global pandemic?!
‘Best of luck (in these times)’…they said aloud or silently in their heads!
Having incorporated the business in early February, we then changed our job titles on LinkedIn and gained overwhelming support and encouraging words from our amazing network. (Thank you so much for that.) Our venture sparked interest from colleagues, peers and friends alike and it was exciting to see the huge volume of traffic flow through the newly launched Cast website. Although we got heaps of support, we gulped because we knew the spread of Covid-19 was gaining momentum around the world and the UK response was beginning to look uncertain. It was a sobering moment because navigating an existing solid business through a global pandemic is one thing, but to start a new one, could be the craziest and daftest idea we’ve ever had!
When our Prime Minister addressed the nation and shut the country down on 23rd March, it was a dawning moment of realisation – knowing we’d have to fight harder than ever to come out the other side of this successful. The ambition, spirit and values we knew would remain cemented in the Cast culture; however the future pipeline of work we were creating could have become less certain.
Being a group of people who are certainly not fazed by a challenge, we knew there would be a fight ahead which we would grasp with both hands fearlessly. And so, we embarked upon a truly invigorating 10 weeks believing that doubt kills more dreams than failure ever does!
How have we created the right springboard?
Collaborators – keep talking to everyone, there are no wasted whats apps, emails or calls….As an industry that is arguably pedalled through a busy social calendar it’s tricky to get those touch points right. Do I know them well enough for a social zoom call, are they a chatter, do they want to talk to me? You have to throw any cautious insecurity to the wind, deep down you know which people want to engage.
Predict the future (!) – whilst I am sure we all have an opinion on the future of workspace in London and the surrounding areas, the reality is we don’t yet know and that lack of certainty is what could undermine our market place. However I would recommend taking the time to read all the different materials and opinions out there, partake in webinars and generally avail yourself with all the knowledge that exists. Afterall knowledge is power!
Don’t panic! We have stayed true to our business plan, focussing in on repeat business good quality clients whom pay on time, value their supply chain relationships and stay engaged. We have been able to retain that commitment to our initial path whilst still being agile to the markets demands.
Adapt where necessary – we have supported an abundance of clients in their returning to work strategies and whilst it is not a representation of the types of work we seek, in the long term, we are a service lead business and this is a service indeed in which we have been able to help our customers.
Lean on your partners – using the infrastructure and frankly friends at our partner businesses is not only a demonstration of strength for our clients but has a ‘strength in numbers’ mentality to it. Our collective brainstorming and client base has served us all well when it comes to opportunities.
Stay streamlined but don’t forget to invest – we have tried to remain as trim as possible to ensure we look after our existing team, but we still know that to grow and be the best version of ourselves – where appropriate we have invested in a new software, hardware or a person. Hence the pursuit for our unicorn!
Would I recommend it?
It is not for the faint hearted, but for the brave hearted there are inexplicable rewards, I am not talking about the tangible sort, but things like the buzz of a client enquiry or better still a win, the satisfaction of a subbie reaching out to see if they can work with you again or an old colleague wanting to know if a role could exist for them at this totally different business you are building. These are feelings that help you double down on knowing you’ve done the right thing, and that you have what it takes to get out the other side of challenging times. Would I recommend it? For the lions out there – hell yeah!
Stay safe everyone and we look forward to seeing you soon. The Cast xox