Paul Holmes
3 min readJun 11, 2020


Lockdown: Challenging times, mixed blessings and my tips for launch after lockdown

Lockdown has been a challenge, everything has changed, but not all of it has been all bad. In many ways having to adapt the business to operate in a different way has allowed many companies to be more resourceful. Entire work forces now all working remotely and in a timescale that would have been laughed at only a couple of months ago. What the lockdown has actually shown is that increased productivity of remote teams is possible, because not everyone works best at the same times of day, flexibility means that tasks can be completed best when employees feel motivated and focussed.

For PCH the home office was a big part of the working week so lockdown hasn’t felt too restrictive. The need to embrace video conferencing for large parts of the day has shown its possible to still engage with existing and even new clients, quite happily.

I have been fortunate that even though it’s been tough for many of my clients, working closely with them over the previous months to strengthen the business models has been a nice testament to the PCH process of working ON the business, as all look to be coping well.

I have had a number of projects shelved because of lockdown but I was delighted to be selected to lead the business 1–2–1 COVID19 support process for OxLEP and Oxfordshire. Helping businesses to deal with difficult circumstances and navigate government support, but more often than not to work ON the business and prepare for launch again and often identifying a more profitable and efficient operating model as a result.

Some of my recommendations for businesses to come out of lockdown raring to go and planning to be successful have been:

1) Communicate to your teams, associates and especially customers. What are you doing, what are you going to be doing, what can they expect!

2) Plan how social distancing and safety in your workplace will be, now! don’t wait for lockdown to be lifted.

3) Embrace flexible working and remote working for your teams. Review the working arrangements, technology and management processes to be ready.

4) Manage cashflow, engage with debtors and creditors openly. Understand what impact post- lockdown will have on customer spend, plan cashflow and credit accordingly.

5) Work ON the business, review processes, get projects done now, look at the business model, review the team structure, check profitability and review the products.

6) Review your message, sharpen it, is it clear?, do more on social media, on your website, in articles and blogs, raise your profile, build networks and collaborations, focus on showing the world exactly what you do.

7) Finally the most important thing; ADAPT. Look at your products, innovate the way you deliver services, your whole business model, use all your experience and knowledge to solve customer problems in different ways, find disruptive ways to operate, create an online service that compliments your main business. “It’s the way we have always done it” won’t be the safest way to be from now on.

If you would like to discuss the challenges facing your business now or get detailed support to make sure you come out of lockdown raring to go? then get in touch 07715008521 or



Paul Holmes

Runs his own business consultancy, Engineer and Project Manager with corporate and public sector experience — enjoying helping making peoples businesses better