Week 4 of Jessica’s Journal

The governor opened up certain Texas businesses, and in Austin the amount of hospitalized cased doubled in the last few days even though Austin extended their Stay at Home order until June 15. Looks like we’ll be working from home until July.

I spent most of my time in the recent weeks managing the PPP loan money – The odd requirement that you have 75% of your loan covered by payroll, but that you applied for an amount that covered 250% of your monthly payroll makes it tricky. Luckily, it’ll look like four of our payrolls fall into our eight-week period.

I’m still worried about what our policy for working from home should be. Should I just be like the Twitter CEO and say, “Screw it – you never have to come to the office again if you don’t want to.” Or, do I go the other direction and have us return to “normal?” Those open-ended questions are bugging me.

It’s the complete lack of being able to plan that is really killing me. Making decisions on a weekly basis really grates against everything I’ve trained myself to do. Good marketing is strategic planning and consistent execution. Good mothering is planning and coordinating months in advance childcare and activities. I don’t have much to do in either realm lately because planning too far into the future doesn’t seem wise.

I’m trying to do planning one quarter at a time now. We have initiatives for business growth that we’re moving into later quarters while we work on internal operations and production during this weird time. We’ve also put more efforts into our own content marketing with this Zig When They Zag campaign that I want to continue to do until there’s a better indicator of what’s to come next. There’s a strong possibility that some of the new things I wanted to do this year don’t get done as we just try to keep the ship moving.

Sales cycles are getting longer with us. I think that’s an indicator of the world we live in – people are being more cautious about their business decisions. We did experience a downturn in inquiries from our marketing efforts in April. I’m worried about the fall and late summer. August, September, and October are usually busy for us. They may not be this year. In which case, the PPP loan now helped me save for the future rainy day.

While I whine about all of the stress around the unknown, I need to remember how fortunate my family and my business are. We are working. We have food and shelter. We are not sick. The rest just has to be a little less important right now. I hope everyone is making wise decisions and doing your best to stay safe.