It’s no secret that we are currently living through some uncertain times. With that in mind, I thought it would be good for me to explain to our clients our level of preparation and our status during all this. This isn’t our first recession. 97th Floor was three years old in 2008 and it turned out to be a very positive, pivotal year for us and really launched us into a steady growth mode. I often felt bad as other entrepreneurial friends would ask me if I was having to lay off people and what I was doing to survive and my message was, “I am swamped and can’t hire fast enough.” However, going through that showed me that uncertainty is certain and that we should always be prepared at 97th Floor.
We’re Financially Prepared
97th Floor has no debt. We don’t have a board of investors that are looking to line their pockets no matter what is going on in the world. For many years now, we've operated our client fulfillment teams on a specific budget that is a percentage of what the client pays us. Most of the time our teams are able to spend a bit less than that percentage on their team payroll. Instead of the company taking that difference as additional profit over the years, we've saved and built up these "buffer budgets" to withstand sudden changes in our monthly revenue. This allows us to have "bad months" from a revenue standpoint and not have to immediately lay off team members. It gives us stability to weather small storms like a client not renewing as well as huge storms like the one the world is in right now.
Because of that, we have no plans of letting anyone go due to the economic slowdown; we have never had to “ramp up” for a big influx of new clients and we’ve never had to lay off during slower months. COVID-19 is no exception. If anything, I would say we are running better than ever because our employees feel safe and secure in their jobs which is going to have an impact on the work they are doing for you.
We've Had a Seamless Transition
We have been a ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) company since 2015, so going 100% work from home was nothing more than us being sad we wouldn’t get the face-to-face interaction if we wanted to. But it’s caused no issues with workflow as we were ready and equipped. In fact, last week we issued a $250 bonus per employee (even interns) to help our teams purchase equipment to better their work from home setups and to encourage what turned out to be a $25,000 boost in the economy.
We’re Staying Healthy
We have an extensive and proactive wellness program that includes memberships to SteadyMD, a telemedicine company, enabling our employees to have access to doctors and nurses from home to make sure their families are safe and can get prescriptions and answers to their health questions. We recently added Oura Ring to our wellness program which is now in a clinical trial to prove it can predict COVID-19 and other ailments before becoming symptomatic. These two things plus everything else is another layer of security for our employees. They are not stressed, they are weathering the storm and they feel the full support of 97th Floor behind them.
Lastly, I would like to say while I am generally an optimistic person (some would say too much), I know that these times are uncertain and things are happening which are out of your control. Rest assured that your team at 97th Floor is in full effect and will make weathering this a little more positive and optimistic by providing results for your business. I would also say I learned a lot from my clients in 2008 that saw uncertain times as an opportunity to finally pass up their competitor that always seemed out of reach. Double down on email, it’s free. SEO is very cost-effective and it will pay dividends when the searches come back. Don’t be afraid to make content; we need more positive messages that have substance. It seems like we either get doom and gloom or the family reenacting Pirates of the Caribbean ride content these days. We need more and it needs to be positive. A lot of companies were started during recessions a lot of people have figured out how to thrive during uncertain times and we need to be sharing and spreading that message.
Marketing matters more now than it ever has before. If you're curious about what to do with your marketing in this landscape, we’re here to talk. We’d love to set up some time with you and one of our team members to get some ideas going. They'll run a free audit for you and offer some guidance, no strings attached.