By Mark Conacher, Liberty Fitting Services Dundee.
One of the greatest lessons that I ever learnt was, that asking for help is actually a sign of strength and not a sign of weakness.
It’s impossible to be good at everything.
We all have those skills that we naturally excel at and others that we can get by with. Under normal circumstances we can work away quite the thing, doing the do every day, breezing through all the stuff that we find comes easy to us and blagging our way through everything else that’s a little more challenging.
But what happens when the ‘it’ hits the fan and something like COVID-19 comes along?
The natural thing is to duck for cover and let your instinct for protection take over. Batten down the hatches. Pull up the drawbridge.
But there is a choice.
Which have you chosen?
Fight or flight?
To be honest, in my experience, most choose flight. We look for safety. We avoid danger and unfortunately, we can sometimes bury our heads to the reality.
All reactions are very natural and correct. There is no real right or wrong. After all, there’s no training for these types of situations and you never know how you will react until it happens.
For small businesses, an economic crisis like the one we are facing right now, will be a ‘once in a lifetime’ thing, but for some not that long ago, they faced something not too dissimilar.
The financial crisis of 2008 could in hindsight be seen as ‘the training required’ for what we are perhaps facing right now.
For myself in 2008 as a sole trader with all my eggs in one basket, I watched as my livelihood disappeared overnight, with the larger company I sub-contracted to, going into liquidation.
Having been in business for around 12 years at the time, I was faced with the fact that even in my own area no one knew who I was or what I did and now I had no work.
It was around a month before Christmas, I didn’t panic, instead I managed to stay fairly calm and wait for the dust to settle a little.
In looking around the industry I guess what I was searching for was help.
This situation was way bigger than me and even though I didn’t bury my head, the enormity of what I was facing made it very difficult to know where to start the fight.
At that time, the name that kept popping up in front of me was the iKBBI.
As an installer they were offering me protection, advice, the potential of future work with others and probably most importantly, connection with other installers that were in the same predicament.
Fast forward to 2020, now pretty much, we are ALL in the same boat. Different circumstances for sure and being an economic crisis, help from the government has been given and is greatly welcomed but it won’t save everyone.
So, we are full circle and back to the choice. Fight or flight?
My advice is to stick your head above the parapet and fight and by fighting, I mean, look for help, ask for help and most of all – help yourself.
We all will rightly applaud the amazing work that is being done by the NHS and the people working on the front line, who in reality are putting their own lives on the line for us all, that’s completely mind blowing and can never be forgotten.
One of the other things that I will remember after this is all over, are the people and the companies that have selflessly stood up and helped others.
Helping by offering their advice and even various services for free.
Once again as an installer, you only need to lift your head slightly to see at the forefront of the kbb industry offering you help and advice through all of this is the BiKBBI.
Yes, there is advice everywhere, but I’ve found the BiKBBI advice clear, it’s consistent and it’s aimed at YOU. You don’t even need to be a member. To see what they have to say just add them to any of your social media feeds.
Fancy some free training?
While surfing the sofa at home, you can stop your brain turning to mush and sign up for the free training through their online campus.
Why not also sign up and leave your details in their Skills Bank for the chance to work with their industry partners in the future.
Connecting with people like the BiKBBI, who are willing to help you, who want to help you, is exactly the way you fight back.
We all want to have a business to go back to once this is over and we will all need other businesses to work with as well.
As an installer, unless you are carrying out emergency work, making sure people have the services they need like heat, water and cooking facilities, you are more than likely to be sitting at home wondering what on earth you can do to help yourself. To fight back.
My advice is to prepare for your return to work. As above, do some of the online training courses. As a furloughed worker, you can’t earn money, but you can certainly undertake training.
Connect with people in your industry on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Listen to what these people have to say, read their articles and offer your own opinion. Engage.
There are tons of fantastic industry podcasts to listen to and just as many great kbb magazines, which, with as little as a sign up will be delivered directly to your inbox. All for free.
Hang in there.
Remember, this too will pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.
Take care and stay healthy.
EDUCATION | STANDARDS | SUSTAINABILITY | COMPLIANCE |