Sound business plan saves jobs

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
The Totally Sound team were hit hard by the global pandemic earlier this year.
Camera IconThe Totally Sound team were hit hard by the global pandemic earlier this year.

Imagine having a fully booked year of events completely wiped off the calendar because of a global pandemic.

In March this year, that’s exactly what Totally Sound business manager Natalie Peterson and her team experienced.

The loss of revenue for the audio visual company came shortly after the State Government made an announcement on the COVID restrictions.

“Anything that was happening on the weekend of that announcement got cancelled, which meant over the next 48 hours our books were cleared all the way through to November,” Mrs Peterson explained.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“We have been a robust business for 23 years and have never needed any government support, the GFC was a small blip in comparison to this.

“We had staff in our office who could see the writing on the wall, all income was lost in 48 hours going forward, it was horrific.”

Mrs Peterson said the entertainment industry was one of the first sectors to get hit.

“When the government packages happened and job keeper became available, we were able to get everybody back in, rotating them while we were in lock down,” she said.

“For us, our team is the business.

“That level of expertise is not out on the street, it has taken years of gathering the right people and training them the way we want to train them and if we lost them, we would have lost years of work.”

But it was not all bad news for the Totally Sound business.

“There was some saving grace for us, we had just come off probably the best year we had ever had and we were about to press go on a really big purchase but didn’t,” she said.

“In business you’re constantly learning and we have learnt that diversification has been our saviour.

“But we are surviving because of the constant community support we receive, without that I don’t know how we would have gotten through this.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails