As a member of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, we have found their face to face training and events very helpful in learning about running our business as well as meeting other local businesses.
For an organisation whose strength is organising meetings, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce have adapted quickly to be able to deliver an online offering with the recent launch of their Free Chamber of Solutions Virtual Events.
Today, our Director Tracey Shrimpton took part as a panel member in the first of these events. Designed to focus on immediate issues as well as providing the opportunity for businesses to consider their recovery strategies and options to ensure their business can continue trading, the first event focused on the Job Retention Scheme. Chaired by Rob Lewis of Mission Performance and Dave Gosling from Menzies, the panel included a depth and breadth of expertise including Ed Hussey, Head of People Solutions at Menzies; Matt Burgess, Director of Communications at Mission Performance, Andrew Willshire from Paris Smith LLP, Tracey Shrimpton from Sixth Sense Marketing and Ross McNally, Executive Chair at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.
It’s a very anxious time for many business owners who may have concerns about their own or their family’s health as well as worrying about their business and whether it will survive. We also know that many employees are also equally anxious, which may be for health reasons as well as job security.
The government announcements have provided a level of reassurance but many businesses, particularly where cashflow is acute right now, have some very specific questions and, as with many things, need the details to be able to make some important decisions. This session over 90 minutes provided a good opportunity for the panellists to provide answers from attendees on the specifics of furloughing, as well as considering the importance of good communications at this time.
Internal and external communications are so important right now and will affect how your company is perceived by your staff and customers long after the current crisis is over. This is a difficult time for everyone and empathy, honesty and support are three key areas to focus on in your communication.
We have seen amazing business owners respond to the current challenges, including an independent fashion retailer setting up an e-commerce site within a week, a local pub becoming a pop up shop and offering a takeaway service and businesses running meetings and consultations online. We have also seen other businesses who have decided that the government support means they will put their business into hibernation for the time being and start trading again when the situation recovers.
However, no-one knows when we will return to normal and whether restrictions will be relaxed in phases or just be temporary. The Chamber of Solutions events being organised by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce are a platform for business owners to explore short terms issues as well as using the current time as an opportunity to review strategies and plans to address those changes you have always wanted to make.
Tuesday 14th April, 09:30 – 11:00 – Businesses in distress – available strategies and recovery plans
Tuesday 21st April, 09:30 – 11:00 – Business funding – practical implications and case studies
Tuesday 28th April, 09:30 – 11:00 – Cash management and forecasting – picking up on the critical steps for good cash management
Find out more about the events and book here.
More Information and resources
Visit the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Covid-19 information pages here.
Menzies Job Retention (Furlough) FAQs here.
Paris Smith Coronavirus advice here.
Mission Performance here.
Sixth Sense Marketing’s Coronavirus marketing toolkit here.