We all want to know how to survive and thrive in the ‘new normal’ created by COVID-19, so welcome to the first in a series of articles on business resilience. Through our upcoming posts, you’ll learn what the practical side of business resilience looks like as well as opportunities to develop business resilience with Echo.
The Match started off as an experiment and ended up providing an eye-opening insight into the ‘new world’ that small businesses and organisations must now operate in.
Set up by a team at Echo – a skills sharing platform transforming the face of volunteering as we know it – the idea was to connect furloughed professionals with the businesses that need their skills to get through the difficulties presented by the pandemic.
Historically, we know that small businesses and organisations tend to ‘muddle through’ economic, environmental, and social disasters. But ‘muddling through’ isn’t going to cut it during an economic downfall caused by a global pandemic.
Sure enough, small businesses, charities, freelancers, and collectives got in touch with The Match. Their most pressing needs were overwhelmingly clear: how do I adapt my business to a suddenly remote world; and how do I get the funding to do that? In short – how do I now become a resilient business?
The term ‘business resilience’ was once a buzzword for an organisation’s ability to ‘bounce back’. But today, and for the foreseeable future, answering the question of how to ‘bounce back’ is paramount. Having a crisis response plan is often associated with big-budget companies armed with in-house teams who have a variety of options of how they put out fires.
The sad truth, however, is that small businesses and organisations tend to firefight during crises with limited internal expertise and little to no guidance from a pre-prepared plan. While many businesses furloughed staff in order to stay afloat, small businesses and organisations have to find a way better than ‘muddling through’.
The Match fills this skills gap and successfully connects furloughed professionals in marketing, fundraising, and business strategy with the small businesses and organisations who need them.
Benefiting from tailored advice, various organisations have received insight into how to take the next steps forward into this new world. From advice on how to approach a new customer base to writing funding applications, filling this skills gap is the key to sustaining opportunities in small business resilience.
However, while more and more furloughed professionals go back to work, small businesses still need those crucial one-to-one chats. Volunteers skilled in areas like marketing, fundraising strategy, and social media management are still needed.
Even from 1 hour, professional volunteers can directly impact a small business by sharing their skills through The Match. Sign up as a professional volunteer, and be part of leading small businesses and organisations. ‘Muddling through’ just won’t work.
This article was written by Selsabil Amine, an MSc student at Loughborough University London. Selsabil is currently a communications volunteer with The Match and is researching crisis communications in the political world. She is passionate about public relations and enjoys learning how effective communication strategies are created and received.