Advice for surviving the COVID-19 pandemic for agency businesses

Running a business is particularly hard right now and our resident agony (Dutch) uncle offers advice for surviving the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get into survival mode

My advice for an agency business would be virtually the same as for any business in any industry. We’re all in the same boat now. The economic fall-out is already huge, it’s probably going to get worse, and the sooner you go into ‘survival mode’ the better.

Everyone’s version of ‘survival mode’ is going to be different, but the key thing that is going to keep a business alive is cash. Do what you can not to run out of it. Sure, the government has said that it will do “whatever it takes” to make sure no business suffers, but I think it is important to not to have to rely on someone else and be in control of your own destiny.

Focus on cash-flow forecast

That P&L that you’ve been focused on running your business by is kicked into the long grass for now. The cash-flow forecast is the only thing you need your accountant or CFO to be producing.

Most of all, be kind

How you go about conserving the cash to keep your business alive is then up to you. It is going to mean making some hard calls here and there. I think business owners need to be fair, nice and as kind as possible, particularly at times like these. All stakeholders are suffering. Integrity, compassion and a sense of what is in the interests of the greater good is paramount. What goes around comes around.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

Written by Graham Goodkind who is a Dutch uncle – a new type of non-exec business adviser – to several agencies in the marketing services sector, in addition to being founder and chairman of Frank.

If you have got a question for our agony (Dutch) uncle regarding any issue relating to the running, operations, business or financial aspect of a PR agency, either as an owner, manager or executive, then email gg@mydutchuncle.nl and your question will be featured in a coming issue.


When can we be creatively brave again?