Locked-down, not shut-down!

There are times when you need to stand-up and speak-out for your business…and times to sit down, shut up and do as you’re told…dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak falls into the latter.

As business owners we all know what is best for our company, but the Government know the bigger picture. They have a unique view of the country and economy. It would be crazy to fight against their advice, much in the same as we believe it is crazy to attempt to pre-empt their decisions, especially when it affects your business.

Throughout March, as the situation developed, McGill, and our sister company Alliance Electrical took necessary steps to ensure the readiness of our teams as it became more likely some may have to work from home, however, as a construction business we kept our people on-site delivering for our customers, with all suggested amendments to normal working procedures implemented immediately. We kept in constant communication with our customers who were also taking their lead from the Government. It was only after the ‘lock-down’ was announced, that our customers advised us they were closing down all sites, and we took the necessary actions. Our customers know we stood by them, as long as we could, and they won’t forget that.

The Government’s intervention and promise to pay furloughed employees was welcomed, this ensures many businesses won’t have to make their people redundant, which would have slowed recovery significantly when we do eventually come out the other side of this. For many businesses, it was a case of batten down the hatches and weather the storm, however lock-down doesn’t mean shut-down!

Most companies will never get the opportunity to hit the pause button on their business, which means that pile of stuff you never get round to keeps getting bigger. You may never get the chance to take a step back and really review your processes and procedures.

Having bought McGill out of administration last March, we often describe it like the company being paused. We know how much of an opportunity this is. During that time we made huge changes, implemented new systems and took the business in a new direction after properly reviewing departmental performance. The business benefitted from it and we are doing the same thing this time round.

Our team are getting all of the outstanding admin stuff done, working out those gremlins in the IT system, reviewing our supplier and sub-contractor arrangements and terms…in short, we are at it, yes some of the team have been furloughed, but that doesn’t mean the company stops.

This situation will end, it may take 12 weeks, it may take significantly longer, but it will end and when it does, we will have moved forwards and we will be ready to take advantage of the next opportunity.