16 April 2020

Ian Bird Business Adviser with Enterprise Agency Nwes shares how Covid 19 is changing the way he thinks.

As a Business Adviser and I would normally be writing a BLOG about Business planning, finance, Sales and Marketing or something else very relevant to the world of work for small businesses, but today I have decided to “think differently”.

I am therefore going to share with you a personal blog about my Easter break and how the Easter weekend had made me “think differently”.

My Easter weekend began on Thursday evening and at 8.00pm like many others I opened my front door to applaud ‘Key workers’; I am a ‘reserved’ Brit not used to showing such appreciation but with everything that is going on I feel it is right to make this tiny gesture for those that are in the front line in this battle..….it definitely seems my world is changing.

On Friday morning I went for a walk, the weather was un seasonally warm which made it very pleasant but what struck me as I strolled through my community were two things: –

  • Lockdown has brought families back to together for ‘quality time’. I witnessed so many families walking and talking together which 6 weeks ago on our family walks I did not see
  • How friendly passers-by have become, everyone I passed politely moved to keep a 2 metre ‘social distance’ but they all spoke – there was a warmth from people I have rarely experienced before.

On Saturday I had what felt like a ‘big’ decision to make – do we have a BBQ?  With warm weather this would usually be a no brainer,  however I stopped to think about some of the media report I had  seen where the fire brigade had asked the public not to have BBQ’s – after deliberating I decided they meant in public places and my neighbours had one yesterday so I went ahead anyway but I made extra care to ensure every last ember was extinguished before going back inside…….I AM THINKING DIFFERENTLY

The daily Covid-19 Downing Street bulletin has become part of my routine, of course I want to keep up-to-date with the business related news but I want to know about how things are effecting the community, the health of the Prime minister and sadly the death toll.

Easter Sunday was again very warm so after another long walk then a  family quiz via a media app called ‘ Zoom’ which I had never come across before but it was fun and enabled me to keep in touch with my parents, brother and grown up children.

Bank holiday Monday was like no other, I would normally go to meet my family for a picnic, but lockdown means we stayed at home and my start to wander ………

I think about clients who will be struggling and how they will rebuild their businesses after we come out of lockdown. I also think about how I’m coping with working from home with my partner ( who works part time) and a 9 month old baby in the house, I make a commitment to myself that this week I will work differently – working from home might be a one off, but then it could become the new normal, or the much talked about second wave of the virus could cause another lockdown later in the year


I am really starting to miss things, seeing my family, my friends, the football team I manage,  the Pub, taking my girlfriend out for a meal, all the things I took for  granted, the novelty of lockdown has well and truly worn off and I now can’t wait to ‘get back to normal’ , but what will the new normal be like and how long before we get there?  – some say 4 weeks, some say 4 months some even suggest next year. …..

Will we be able, or feel comfortable shaking hands, embracing, kissing, hugging each other again? We know us Brits are not as tactile as our fella French and Italians for example but what will the future look like?

I guess some of this will depend on how quickly the scientists find a vaccine, then how quickly it becomes widely available?  If we knew that if we contracted the virus, we could be cured then I think much of the fear would subside.  Wow! this is not the sort of thing I am usually thinking about during my Easter break

So now its Tuesday morning and back to work, I look back on an Easter break like no other,  the journey down the stairs is pretty straightforward – no traffic jams today – and back to the laptop on my dining table and into a new week but ………THINKING DIFFERENTLY

Ian Bird provides advice through the New Anglia Growth Programme with is part funded by European Regional Development Fund.

Nwes is available to support new and existing businesses.

Email ian.bird@nwes.org.uk




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