Issue #2 - Blue skies ahead 🌥

The Backbone is a newsletter for anyone who owns, runs or works at a SME - the backbone of the UK economy. In this issue - Small business stories, roadmaps, LinkedIn, spies and much more...

💪 G O

Get out of bed, come out and sing

It looks like there could finally be a clear end in sight to the restrictions that have dominated our lives over the last 12 months.  

The ongoing vaccine rollout, coupled with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, means we could soon have unfettered access to friends and loved ones in any venue of our choosing. 

If all goes to plan we’ll be back to ‘normal’ by June 21. 

In the meantime, all you owners of non-essential shops (again, let’s reiterate the fact that we’re all essential in some way) can reopen from April 12, along with salons, gyms, beer gardens, and whole raft of places we’ve all been missing for months. 

Things are looking up. Let’s get ready to take the world by storm again. 

Oh, and welcome to Issue #2 of The Backbone, the fortnightly business bulletin from Bionic. Thanks for joining us. 



Bionic spoke to Ann-Maree Morrison - the brains behind Labels4Kids - to find out how she’s been coping during lockdown and what she’s most looking forward to as we inch closer to freedom. 

Bionic: “What would you say the biggest challenge has been for Labels4Kids over the last year?” 

Ann-Maree: “The lack of contact with our staff. We all get on quite well and we all miss being together. From a business point of view, we’re very lucky because we’re online. We had an initial dip back when the first lockdown was announced in March, but we have recovered better than I expected.” 

B: “How did you adapt initially and grow as a business?” 

AM: “I try to be quite flexible. At the beginning, we were having daily or weekly Zoom calls, but the team already knew what they were doing so we don’t tend to need them anymore. We check in regularly, but every business is different, and we have small staff numbers so it works.” 

“It’s about taking into account each other’s feelings - calling a staff member for a chat instead of just messaging them, making time for an out-of-hours cocktail Zoom meeting, taking care of each other and keeping everyone’s spirits up. It’s not easy. It’s been a sobering time and we all know people who have been unwell or shielding. There’s been no face-to-face Christmas party so we had one online and sent everyone a “Home Party Christmas Box!” 

B: “What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?” 

AM: “Getting our staff back together. And I’m really looking forward to our new products and website launch, that's really exciting. But, above all, I'm just looking forward to hugging and spending time with friends.” 

📤 S H A R E

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📰 N E W S

The roadmap out of lockdown is released

We mentioned it at the top of the bulletin, but it really does bear repeating – the government has revealed a roadmap out of lockdown that could see thousands of businesses reopening their doors from April 12, and a return to normality by June 21. 

The lifting of restrictions is set to begin on March 8, when the kids can go back to school and we can all meet one other person outdoors. By March 29 this will be extended to six people outdoors, and the restrictions will then lift gradually as we move into summer. 

In the meantime, we all need to keep doing our bit, as the easing of restrictions are subject to the following four key tests: 

  1. The vaccine program continues to roll out as planned 

  2. Evidence must show that vaccines are effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths 

  3. Infection rates don't rise and risk a surge in hospitalisations

  4. The risk of new variants must not increase 

Here are the key dates to keep in mind: 

📩 J O I N

We'd love to hear more about your business 

Did your business feel the love on Valentine’s Day? 💌 What are your thoughts on the lockdown roadmap? 🛣 Do you have a business question to ask our experts? 🤔

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ℹ L I N K E D I N

Meanwhile, over on LinkedIn...

The big question is are you 24/7? Or are you 24/8? 

🤝🏻 T I P S

Did you know..?

Scaring the life out of your customers could make them love you more.

It seems there’s a thin line between love and fear. A 1974 study from Donald Dutton and Arthur Aaron (two eminent professors of psychology) found that a sense of fear can help heighten an emotional connection. So much so that the racing of your heart when you're scared can actually be misattributed as romantic feelings. This may explain why theme parks and horror films are popular choices when going on a date.

”So what?” we hear you ask. Well bear in mind that to get any sort of loyalty, your brand has to make customers feel something. And scaring the pants off them seems as good a place to start as any.

📺 W A T C H

Bourne slippy?

There are actually people out there with the job title ‘Chief of Disguise’. First off, how on Earth do you land a gig like that? Jonna Mendez knows, as she did that very job for the CIA. Here she is pulling apart the accuracy of spy scenes from a host of famous movies and television shows.

🎧 L I S T E N

Turn off the radio, switch the TV to standby, and listen to something less gloomy instead.

☕ BeCalm with Bionic - Relaxing music for your cafe ☕

Open on FT

Open on Mixegy

🚫 S T O P


Thanks, once again, for making it this far 🤝🏻

That’s a wrap for another issue, but if you think there’s anything else we should be featuring let us know, whether an inspirational story, a Spotify playlist, or anything in between.

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See you in two weeks' time – when we'll be that bit closer to coming out of lockdown for good.

📊 B U S I N E S S

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