Let’s start with the obvious; lockdown has been hard on a lot of businesses and hard on a lot of us personally. I’m a really sociable person normally, I love catching up over a coffee, hugging friends and just enjoying time with others. That is what I am missing the most during lockdown. I have gone from being out almost every night to looking forward to a game of virtual bingo on a Friday night – the only thing I have in my diary!

At times like this especially, I think it is really important that we are all looking for our networks.

Sadly, I have lost 7 people during the lockdown so that has been really hard emotionally. Due to the lockdown there have been no funerals so no closure – which is pretty yucky too. I’ve had my wedding postponed too. It was absolutely gutting at the time, but I’m excitedly focusing on next year now. We weren’t able to see my step-son for 3 months as he has an illness that meant he had to shield and we couldn’t see him and his sister.

Business wise, overnight we lost two thirds of the business. I say lost in the negative sense. We didn’t lose the clients. They just put their accounts on hold with us until normality returned. Some have returned already and others are still on hold for the time being.

What I’m trying to say is that lockdown has been hard on a lot of people, personally and business wise. So, how can we help each other?

I have been really focused on my friends and family during lockdown, and some of our clients that have become friends too. We have been sending little goodies in the post which have included tea bags, coffee sachets, guardian angels, pocket hugs, motivational quotes and more. These are just little things to remind our friends, family and clients that they’re not alone.

We have been checking in monthly with our clients too. We also did some promotion for those clients that wanted to get involved on our website too. These blog posts were read by hundreds of people, which we hoped help those business owners reading the blogs too. Again, we hope it reminded them that they are not alone.

Of course we have a secret surprise up our sleeves for our clients that will arrive at their offices over the next few weeks. We have a smaller treat for our business connections and networking buddies too. Obviously I can’t share it with you on here or it won’t be a surprise!

But today I wanted to do something a little bit different as a way of looking out for my network. I’m not sure how it will work yet. I hope it won’t come across as spam, but as a ‘friendly message’ to those that receive it. I have sent the following message to some of my connections on LinkedIn. Again, this is a little something to remind them that they’re not alone. The message is as follows;

“Hello! Please excuse the random message out of the blue – but I just wanted to touch base and see how you are doing? We seem to take 2 steps towards normality and then a big step back again here. But, we are still here so that’s definitely a good thing! How about you – how is business and how are YOU? Hazel.”

What about you; How have you been looking out for your network?