Covid-19Founder Series

New Directions: Here’s how I turned the business around

By May 14, 2020 May 15th, 2020 No Comments

Dear Nimble community,

Wow, where do I begin? How shall I start? 

There’s just so much that’s going on since the Covid-19 outbreak and I have since gone from crying buckets not knowing what to do, fearing the unthinkable if I have to shut everything down to picking up every single piece of the puzzle to launch Nimble’s very first online summit together with the team in just 2 short weeks.

Crazy? Well, welcome to Nimble. There’s nothing short of mind-blowing crazy when you are here.

This blog entry is intended to every single founder out there who is going through a roller coaster ride as you face the challenges only founders understand. If you are reading this as a founder, let me welcome you to my thought process and share with you the struggles of my entrepreneurial journey so that there is room to learn from each other no matter the stage we are in business.

I have always maintained and will always vouch for a business blog and the importance of maintaining one in the eyes of our web crawlers. There are tremendous long term benefits with business blogging and I endeavour to do much better for myself, my team and my business this year. 2020 would be the year I turn this business around. And it starts with a return to writing again- a love rekindled.

And if you have been following our journey, thank you. Thank you for sticking through no matter the season. In fact, should you stick around till the end of the blog, I’ll be revealing our entire future plans and new directions for Nimble! Here’s what you need to know!

BEFORE COVID-19 BECAME THE NEW STATUS QUO, I WAS SCRAMBLING TO FIGURE IT ALL OUT FOR CLIENTS

As excellent as I think I am in client-serving (anyone seen Can You Serve Season 2?), I think I was slapped in the face with a situation that I knew not what to do. The years that I have as experienced in marketing did not prepare me at all with how to handle a brand message during a crisis. I was pulled left, right and centre with brands asking me what to do and I felt so lost. I tried to utilise every form of creativity I have left in my head but everywhere I turned, the situation felt hopeless.

For the first time, I felt exactly how my clients felt. That times are indeed rough. More so for owners and founders who have built their businesses the same way I had. But I was determined to help no matter how tough this was. I was fighting to stay alive with the accounts we could salvaged. And in that process of salvaging of what I know now as impending doom, I wrote an email to the clients I serve in an attempt to instill confidence in their business. As a founder myself, while I know it was a sinking ship, I refused to give up on any of them so easily. So I tried.

(CHECK OUT HOW I EVIDENTLY TRIED TO WORK THROUGH THE PR AND ASSURED THE BRANDS THAT WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER *CUE HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL*  FROM THESE SCREENSHOTS OF MY EMAIL) 

To zoom into the messages, simply click on open link in new tab!

 

Phew, that a mouthful wasn’t it? You see, I love my clients. Every single one of them. There is no client too big nor too small for us. That has always been the biggest policy here at Nimble. I don’t just see the brands we manage as a transactional relationship. More often than not it is truly a partnership between what their needs are as well as how we can serve them from end to end with the talent we have. And we toil, we break our backs, sometimes our heads, trying to work through to make sure that every single one of their needs are met. We do all that we can as a team…

and when Covid-19 swept our shores… 80% of our income stream that came from managing these brands were swept away as swiftly as Covid-19 came.

Now imagine what was going through in my head. Imagine how sick I got from a rollercoaster ride I never asked for.

You see, we were about to have a fantastic run, especially since we had so many events lined up for the year. I thought I was running an infallible business. But I thought wrong. Really wrong. What I did not realise was how I failed to build a business that was recession-proof. No one wakes up one morning to say, “Hey! I am going to create a business that was recession proof!” I had no systems. No automation built except…gawd, except for bloody emails. I had an integrative digital transformation plan that I dreamt for years but none of it was built into my business. So of course, I failed. I realised that no amount of “planning in your head” will ever come to any benefit if it’s not executed. (Damn, should have truly written it all on a piece of paper.)

I had to really recuperate from a business model that I was best known for and then find a way to flip it all out. (Yup, my guts went with it too.) I had to ask myself, how are we going to pay the bills, the rent, the overheads, and most of all how am I going to pay myself?

So I had a think. After a major meltdown on IGTV and after grieving my losses (Gawd, you are ALLOWED for this as founders, please.) I snapped back into my new reality.

As an entrepreneur, you are bounded by hope.

You kill for the day you wake up rejuvenated with energy for the business that is yours. You feel purposeful. You feel magnetic. You work the hardest amongst everyone because the business is YOURS. And as a business owner to a company that I built, this is exactly the period that the business will need you the most. This is the test to our pudding as business owners. Will we sink or float?

Screw FLOAT. I’ve no interest in floating. If I had to rebuild this from scratch with nothing more than sweat equity, then I am going burn through the night to make this happen.

So here are some major changes to the business, are you ready for it?

  1. WE WILL NO LONGER DO AGENCY WORK

Yup, you heard that right. Letting go of the core of our business amidst a pandemic is the biggest transformation I ever had to do and the toughest decision to make no less. We have been serving clients, creatively and dynamically from end to end for close to 4 years and when Covid-19 happened, losing 80% of our revenue stream from the agency side of the business was not a joke. It felt like everything that I had built was ripped apart and I was stranded with no Plan B.

I was devastated but not beyond repair. 

So I had to make a decision fast. Losses had to be cut and directions had to change. And everything that was sitting in my idea bank had to be prematurely launched whether I like it or not. It was truly a survival of the fittest and what I needed was enough firepower to think thoroughly about what I must do.

In order to scale I had to let go of the agency. I had to let go of the ego that came with managing these brands. Seriously, screw the ego. Ego don’t pay bills.

I had to let go of the old team. Saying goodbye to our clients felt like the unspoken break up that needed to happen. I needed to break up with everyone. I needed to assess what took so much of our time as a team away from a vision that would have been a lot larger than what we stood for.

Screw you Covid-19, while you may have taken everything away from us, you made warriors of us all.

I need to reboot in order to start. And founders, trust me when I say that YOU ARE ALLOWED.

2. WE WILL MAKE ACADEMY, GREAT AGAIN

Someone told me the other day, “Bella you have such a dynamic brand.”

Not, Bella you are such a dynamic person…that person referred to us as a Brand. Now THAT, took 4 years of sacrifice. And that sacrifice; personal or not, took me 4 long years.

To be recognize for the work ethoes you presented and acknowledge for all that you are as a business, meant only one thing.

I must have done something, god damn right.

And what felt right, was you. Helping you. Nurturing you. Guiding you. Being there for our community, for the raving fans who continue to vouch for us and how much we HAVE CHANGED their lives as well as businesses. That felt right. It has always been right. 

It may not pay the bills as much, but what if I could find a way to make it all possible? I had to think.

Then, the Virtual Summit was born. 1 weekend.  1 week of promotional campaign. 40 lives changed. 

And all the ideas that was kept in the darkness of my head, finally unearthed. Because boy, am I determined to make this great again. I understood my purpose now. After hiding in the shadows of my egotistical ambition to be the best social media agency in the world (seriously?) I am going to carve a niche for myself in a space that I know best.

Training and moulding future ready marketers.

Because I rather be a big fish in a small pond. And Nimble is a bloody whale in the space let me tell you that. There’s no other beast like us and we are determined to fight through tooth and nail to ensure that we deliver what we promise; quality training and sheer value for anyone that comes into our pink doors. I welcome you with open arms to a revived Nimble and I am excited to share this vision with you.

3. WE ARE LAUNCHING A MEMBER SITE

Wow just typing this is making me dizzy with excitement. Because this would mean that everything that Nimble was built on is going to benefit an even larger audience even to someone who is reading this from Indonesia. (*waves to our Indonesian fans*) And NO. This is a not a membersite that is simply going to cut you back hundreds and hundreds of dollars just to get access to quality, tried and tested content. Imagine a small nominal fee to be part of a larger narrative of what it means to live, breathe, LOVE marketing, over and over and over and over and over, again. I am going to guide you through your toughest battle with your marketing campaigns. Webinars, video tutorials (read your feedback), Live events and so much more. Trust me. We have a vault of exclusive goodies ready for you.

4. BUT SERIOUSLY, WHAT WILL YOU GET AS A MEMBER? HERE’S A TEASER: THE NIMBLE BOOK CLUB

Remember the good ol’ fashion days when consuming content would be devouring the brains of good authors who were TRULY thought leaders and experts? Now imagine, if you could read ANY marketing manual in the world by marketing leaders who know EXACTLY what they are talking about? Simply because they have been there and done that for years and years…

Now imagine if you were to be given their books for FREE. But that’s not all. Imagine how we could all come together, review these books, actualize these ideas and get down to DOING it! Welcome to Nimble’s Book Club. It is all that you wish your Marketing Professor would do, but didn’t. 

While my business model can’t be all things to all people, it can be one beneficial thing to a certain group of people- hungry, driven, passionate future ready marketers who like me, is a student of life.

5. CONTENT. ACCESSIBLE CONTENT THAT IS OF REAL VALUE

More books, more e-guides, more tools. Everything that is in my head combined that with the SHEER talent of my team. We are productizing everything that we know so that you benefit from our misery as practitioners. Ok, kidding. Too harsh. But really, we have an empire waiting to be built and so much content to give away I don’t even know where to begin.

I’m going back to managing Youtube and Facebook. Yes, long form videos here we come! I hear you needed tutorials. Wait, I hear you needed tech tutorials. I am going to do exactly that. Helping you craft a niche in your business so that you don’t just stand out (it’s not difficult to stand out during a crisis guys.) but breathing life to make sure the work that we do has meaning. Real, meaning and value to someone who needs it.

My consultancy practice will now be accessible to everyone who needs it. Big or small business. Need a social media audit? No sweat! Keep your eyes peeled on the services tab, boy are we adding way more products in. Ironic? Not really. You will know what I mean, real soon.

In all the glory that is Nimble, it’s important to find camlness amidst a storm. After all, as soon as the sky breaks in the morning, what you get is that ray of hope in the form of the sun. So screw everything that you think you could not do because you thought it impossible. Founders, if you are out there, reading this, smiling and crying at the same time (it’s possible) because the reality in my voice as well as my story resonates with your pain, then I am telling you that it is every bit possible to turn your business around.

Sending you my love,

Bella 🦄 Unicorn first, human second.

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