Video transcript: Creating stability during COVID-19: A small business strategy for survival

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[MUSIC PLAYING] We're a full service market research consulting firm, we focus on the insurance and financial services industry. This year was crazy right out of box the first quarter was incredibly strong, literally doubled our goals for the year. And then followed by the two worst months in our history, so our highs were super highs and our lows were super low.

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There were really 3 primary things that I kept in mind with every decision that I've made in the last four months, and those were number 1 to identify cash. Really without cash, you can't execute anything. So first was to find the resources to continue to operate. 2 was to save the team. In consulting business your team is your inventory, and so without the team you do not have the opportunity to generate revenue.

So using the cash to save the team, those were the top two objectives. And the third being maintaining clients and prospects. We had many inroads with both longstanding clients, and up and coming prospects, we had made some great progress with them. And so the goal of being able to communicate to them to essentially let them know that we're here, and we're open for business and ready to work with you.

My general philosophy was, this was the time to go above and beyond. And make it difficult for our clients to not want to choose us.

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One of the biggest surprises right out of gate, was getting the PPP loan. Probably the hardest thing to do I think during a lean time, is to keep marketing right. I mean we talk about cash preservation, we talk about not spending money, spending money carefully. And I mean, how many times have we advised our clients over the years during difficult economies to keep on marketing, and I think it's the hardest thing to do. Maintaining staff morale was also something that was a surprise to me.

You know our folks had worked -- had had a work at home strategy probably for the past 15 years. So they were accustomed to working from home, I didn't really anticipate that morale would be impacted through this process but it was.

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So why it worked? Why did this stuff stabilize? Sort of summarizing here. I think our external accountants, and the small business owner network played a huge part particularly in acquiring the PPP. And I think once that came through that provided a relief in a number of ways. I think we made decisions quickly, we tried to stay ahead of the curve, we had the data that we needed to make decisions that we needed to help to stockpile cash, and keep people connected.

I think the loyal staff again back to inventory, I can't communicate enough -- in our type of consulting business, a service based business -- taking care of your staff long before a situation like this occurs along the way, is really critical. I think the frequent communication helped to build this concept of trust, and my sharing of the specific actions that we were taking to stabilize the company made them feel like we were in this together.

We were doing everything that we could, and I think it sort of drove them, motivated them to do everything that they could as well. I think the success goals also helped us to all sort of stay steady and on target, and continue to market. Don't be afraid. You got to spend a little money to make some money,

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I feel pretty safe in saying now that we are absolutely stable, and we are looking to achieve somewhere between 75 and 85% of our original goal, which at this point feels like an incredible success.

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