05 Oct Be Ethical Training – Born out of lockdown
Who would have thought back in March 2020 we would still be trying to navigate our way out of a global pandemic?
Since the start of lockdown, the ups and downs have been pretty immense from a personal and business perspective. The lows lasting a lot longer than the highs.
The week before the restrictions took hold, Heather and I were spending time with her son in a coffee shop in Chester. We were discussing her coming back from maternity leave and us working together as CSR consultants.
Then the lockdown was put in place, on the 23rd March 2020, a very dismal day.
I went into such a dark and sad place for a few days. I couldn’t imagine how small business owners were going to survive. As a freelancer in CSR and marketing, I immediately thought that my clients wouldn’t be interested in my services anymore. I had also seen my short stay rental business experience thousands of pounds of cancellations in less than a week, bookings as far as 18 months away being cancelled. It hit me hard!
I managed to secure two small pieces of work during April and May, but my income had reduced by 90% overnight. The support from the government was very generous, and I was grateful that I could breathe and reassess without trying to find work to pay my bills. I took the time to think about what business would look like once we got back to ‘normal’, never expecting us to still be trying to establish what normal is in October 2021.
By June 2020, I had stopped waiting for ‘normal’ to return and had started to book on to events and training, together with joining a marketing peer group to help with motivation and goal setting. I had spent time developing the property business so we could welcome guests back and had a goal of employing someone to take over the reins.
Within a couple of weeks, it was like I had turned on a bright light in my mind. I was ready to get out there and be able to serve current and new clients again.
Heather was keen to get back to work, but I still wondered how we would service clients without being face to face with them. How could we engage with internal personnel to build their corporate responsibility programme without visiting their office? How could we qualify a client without meeting them?
Heather and I had bounced ideas around, tried, tested and failed with a few of them. Then we realised that being face to face was no longer normal.
Online had been the lifeline for many businesses and the ‘norm’. Working from home, training and delivering courses had all happened online.
Our experience had shown us that it can take up to three meetings with a potential client before they employ us, or not. We had to find a way to qualify them without this interaction.
And that was when Be Ethical Training was born!
Our initial offer was an in-depth and comprehensive survey that could help a business to unpick and understand their current CSR activities. We quickly realised that it would take a lot of work and perseverance to encourage a business to invest the time and resource to complete the survey, complete it. Only having the capacity to work with around 6-8 clients per month.
We wanted to be able to work with as many businesses as possible, so began to look at how our support could reach further. In November 2020 we began developing our training platform.
Our offer today is so much more than where we started in October 2020. Our aim is to work with a minimum of 166 businesses by the end of 2022, offering training, coaching, peer groups and a monthly subscription. All in support of making businesses more responsible and so we can donate £25,000 to our chosen cause Girls Out Loud
And if you are one of them, thank you!