Why I joined the 2nd Wave Collective in the Forth Valley: Networking in the time of Covid-19

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by Hugh McGarry
Regional Director, Tidy Green Clean Forth Valley

As Regional Director of Tidy Green Clean Forth Valley, it’s been, to say the least, a highly challenging first year. One of our commitments as a business is to be locally operated and rooted in that local community and that means each Regional Director playing their part in local business endeavours, charitable pursuits and other social activities that are important to the region in which we are located.  

2020 has proven that it was a good decision to invest and become part of the Tidy Green Clean franchise family. I’m from a corporate background and I joined this business because of the culture and mindset at its core. Andrew Alleway and David Moncur’s general approach combined with the commercial model and the business’s USPs totally convinced me. The passion in the business is evident across the board and they’re also incredibly real and down-to-earth. The environmental values appealed to my own personal interests, as well as their attention to detail, customer service, and the whole concept of having their people at the heart of our business – it was everything I was looking for.  

I am also interested in business networking as a concept as I believe there’s real value in pooling knowledge, resources, referrals and best practice shared between like-minded individuals. When 2nd Wave Collective was discussed among a number of Scottish Central Belt business leaders, I was very keen to be part of something so positive. It was put together to help business owners in and senior managers in the region navigate their way through the second wave of Covid-19, to help address the associated implications on people, premises and the commercial aspects of business, and we’re proud to say that 2nd Wave Collective is already making its mark on the local business scene.

We’ve put together two review documents, in PowerPoint format, to help business leaders think through the past year and also the ongoing challenges. One of these has been designed as a step-by-step toolkit, asking a series of questions and suggesting some guidance and answers. It’s freely available to anyone who would like additional support right now or as things continue to progress.

The key elements of the tool kit have been to highlight the common challenges businesses all face, and relevant solutions and guidance on how to address them. It’s been compiled by 12 contributors, all of whom are local business owners. It should be useful to any company looking to have a simple framework that’s been designed with them in mind. It discusses Covid-19 safe activities and other business consequences, and it also includes the contact details of local businesspeople who can also offer their help.  

The camaraderie amongst the members of 2nd Wave Collective is brilliant; the positive and can-do attitude that has been prevalent from each individual member, even when the current situation has threatened to overwhelm us on a personal or professional basis. One of the things that has rung true for me during this moment has been that, as John Donne expressed so profoundly, no man is an island.  

We all need each other, personally and professionally. There has been a tendency in business to sport a macho or gung-ho attitude: no problem is too great to fix with grit, hard work and determination. There’s nothing wrong with those sentiments but it doesn’t always provide for thoughtful and considered leadership. We’re all aware of how much we depend on others, not only for business connections and referrals, but for support and a shoulder to lean on. Many of us have faced setbacks this year that we simply hadn’t ever thought would occur – falling under the Act of God category of risk management. Yet this year has also provided many other opportunities to trial tech and marketing outreach that previously we wouldn’t have dreamed of participating in. Having the 2nd Wave Collective has meant we’ve all had serious, experienced people by our side, cheering us on, which has been invaluable to both morale and our decision-making.

Tidy Green Clean’s support during the pandemic can also not be underestimated. My particular favourite aspect of this was the early morning optional drop-in Andrew held on Zoom every morning for 30 minutes. Every Regional Director could meet up and share the concerns of the day, whether commercial or more personal. It bonded the Regional Directors further and although it was optional, most of us made use of it every day. I see 2nd Wave Collective in this mould – a regional business organisation for regional businesses, providing commercial and wellbeing support at a time of real need. If you’re interested in joining us, our LinkedIn page is here https://www.linkedin.com/company/2nd-wave-collective.

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