27 April 2020

Off the back of reading many articles on how businesses have launched during the pandemic, with some intending to do so, and the majority, ourselves included, the complete opposite, it caused for a short reflection.

For us, despite the circumstances it’s been a largely positive move. All the reasons we decided to launch Fortus remain completely intact and all the opportunity still resides, it may just be a little further down the road before we can really grab it.

battle mode

In the early days of these ‘stranger times’, many of the senior team moved into battle mode, working weekends to plan, create new ideas, not just to survive, but also to be opportune and to ensure our team were always in the best place possible to remain fit, healthy and engaged. It’s fair to say not one of these points has remained on plan from those very early sessions, such was the pace and evolution of the whole movement. But we have adapted and made sure decisions are well supported, consulted and inclusive.

Launching a new brand

As for the new brand itself, it was a shame we couldn’t launch this with all the gusto we had planned, as the team had worked hard for a once in a lifetime project reveal. We were however fortunate to still have a great audience on-line who were watching, arguably more captive than ever. There will come a time of course, when the dark clouds part and the sun shines again, later in the year and when it does, we will get our 233 people from across the country together in person to celebrate, without the mere sniff of a virtual communication platform in sight.


What has happened in our profession is that the speed in which we all needed to immediately adapt has completely levelled the playing field and those competitors (in some case friends) who were leading the charge in technology, digital culture or methods of servicing clients now perhaps lack distinct differentiation. Has everyone caught up with each other? No, but someone now must lead the differentiation into the future once again. Why can’t it be Fortus? We have every component of a high performance team that you could think of, we’re just at the start and we’re up for the challenge.

the strength of people

Remaining 100% overly positive all the time has been hard, whilst it has been very easy to say, I would imagine everyone, myself included, has hit a brick wall at some point. Some decisions have been harder to decipher, some easier than expected – but have they been right? It’s been hard not seeing the direct impact on the business results of certain decisions and I’m not sure we really will for a while. As with many businesses, we’ll need to find a way to bring this evaluation forward to truly understand the effect it’s had on our results. Outside of measuring the spirit and health of the team, it will inevitably all come back to data!

What has been particularly important has been the strength of the people behind the laptop screens (or at the end of the good old phone) nothing more.

sharper, leaner, focused

All in all, we’ve all been affected, even if only a little, at some point or other. Our clients have had some tricky times and we, like all firms, have a survival plan ready should we had to trigger it. However more now than ever, we’re sharper, leaner and more focused on what matters to our clients and our people the most. We’re coming through in good health and with a strength of resilience that’s enabling us to provide continuous support to our clients to ensure their businesses, and the owners behind them, do just the same.

Now is the time to showcase Fortus – the depth and quality of our people (forget the technology!) and to ‘own’ the new era we’ve created. By starting to drive through our plans with conviction and distinction we’ll make inroads into the market and secure new opportunities for everyone. It may not be right now, but it will come!