Who would have thought, when I was crowned ‘Business Women of the Year’ at the Nachural Business Awards in October 2019, that the hardest year for the majority of us was yet to come.
I was incredibly honoured to have been awarded what is often thought of, as one of the most prestigious awards of such an evening. I was so excited for the year ahead with BIG plans up our sleeves for Mocha Marketing, and this feltlike the best foundation to build from.
In January 2020, as planned, we merged with a Digital Agency in London, who we had worked with for some time. The merger meant that overnight, we could proudly say that we had a second (real!) office in London, an official digital department and an incredibly talented Digital Director, Steve Stuart, who would join me, on the board.
I think it was early February when I started to become a little concerned about COVID-19, which was already starting to have a negative effect on some of our clients - and then 16th March was upon us, throwing us all into lockdown; a devastating day for the majority of us. The impact was immediate, with clients either cancelling our services or reducing what we do for them.
Now, I regard myself to be a strong woman who embraces challenges, change and all the other things which you come to almost (weirdly) enjoy as a business owner and entrepreneur - but I will admit that on this day, I sat at my desk and cried. A lot. Was this the end of everything that I’d worked so hard for, for so many years?
The crying didn’t last very long. If there’s one thing I can say about myself, it’s that I have great ‘bounce-back-ability’ and can’t be held down for long. We started planning. We had plan ‘A’, plan ‘B’, and the dreaded ‘Crisis Plan’. We knew one thing for sure - our primary goal was to save the jobs of every one of our 10 employee’s. We were very close to ‘plan B’ at times but I'm pleased to say we never opened the crisis plan again. Just writing that thing made me so determined to rip it up into a million pieces.
As much as I would NEVER have considered the team working from home before the pandemic, I quickly realised that we were one of the lucky one’s -we could run our business from home and our team proceeded to pivot like the true professionals that they are.
Fast forward 7 months and here we are, in October 2020. It’s hard to say whether there’s light at the end of the tunnel for the world where the pandemic's concerned - but the light is beaming for Mocha Marketing. Our teams are a dream and the best bunch that we’ve EVER had; our client list has grown substantially in the last 4 months; we are achieving incredible things for our clients and the pride that I feel about this, is immense; we have nailed the flexible working guidelines meaning that the team can work between the office and home as a permanent benefit to them.
More than this, we retained ALL of our employees. In fact, we have recruited twice during lockdown. We have properly launched our sister brand, XCLUU., to support micro-businesses and added further to our board of directors... and our turnover will outdo any other year in our history. If we can achieve all this during a pandemic, I truly believe we can do anything.
Our goals are fuelled and our belief and determination is unreal. Who knows what 2021 holds for us all, but one thing I do know for sure is that no pandemic, recession or even BREXIT, is going to hold us down. We have strategic plans for growth including acquisitions and recruitment across both office’s but more importantly, these plans are based around how we can even better serve our clients through our famous client promises.