Tired of reading about Zoom fatigue and the need to resign yourself to the “new normal?” If so, this article may provide the relief you crave.
It is time to plan take advantage of the opportunities that the end of the Covid-19 crisis will bring. Consider the estimate of third quarter GDP growth by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: 36.2%! (https://www.frbatlanta.org/cqer/research/gdpnow) While not a forecast, this “GDP Now” number is considered indicative of what to reasonably expect in the next 90 days.
Vaccine is only a few months away at most, and regardless of who wins the presidential election, we can expect annualized economic growth will be double-digit for at least a year after widespread immunity is achieved, likely sometime in the first half of 2021.
As soon as that happens, consumers will rush like kids getting out of school back to many businesses such as malls, restaurants, bars, theaters, dentists, doctors, sports arenas, churches, amusement parks, resorts, spas, gyms, etc. All have upstream, or downstream, business that also will benefit, such as clothing, childcare, food, drink, automobile sales and servicing, gas stations, home plumbing, parking lots, etc. Ask yourself, how will your business specifically benefit?
Restrictions have begun to ease in southern California, and I have found that some restaurants already appear to be overwhelmed with volume just on pick-up orders and outside dining. No telling how much business they are losing because they do not have time to answer the phone, their voice mail boxes are full, and they are clearly understaffed at peak hours. These cases may be a metaphor for businesses of all types who will miss out on the avalanche of business that is waiting for them.
Some questions, therefore, that are not premature to begin investigating now:
- Do you have the inventory and personnel needed to fully take advantage of the rapid increase in volume that will occur?
- If you do not have physical facilities for additional staff, how much telecommuting can you handle?
- How quickly can you ramp up each segment of your business, and by how much?
- Many stressed businesses will likely go on the market for bargain prices. Companies that are not over-leveraged and have cash reserves and a good management team, are in a good place to make strategic acquisitions. Are you? What does your ideal acquisition target look like? How will you know a potentially good acquisition from a real “dog?”
- If you will be ready to sell your business, are you positioned to get the best possible terms and price? What kind of exit and succession plan do you have? If none, you are planning for disappointment. If you are thinking of selling or acquiring, download “Secrets of Exit and Succession Planning” at the home page of this website.
- Many former business owners or their key team players who lost businesses or jobs during the pandemic will be on the job market for the right offer. How will you succeed in attracting them? Are you content to let them be cherry-picked by your competition?
- Every business today is partially a service business, and many of those services will maintain heightened value for the foreseeable future: home care; home health care; child care; internet communications; food delivery; on-line shopping; internet financial transactions, legal services at a distance, marketing, internet advertising. What services do you provide that could be distinguished from a “product?” How will you develop and make known your strategic service edge in a crowded marketplace?
- On-line interviewing provides a new opportunity for career consultants. During the pandemic, I have screened candidates for high level positions at client companies through video interviews on Zoom. It has been astounding to me see how some very qualified and experienced people show up—not quite in their underwear with hair uncombed, but sometimes not much better.
- Emotional intelligence consulting may also enjoy a resurgence. We live in a sharply divided country, and managers must know how to navigate differences of ideology, race, creed, culture, sexual orientation, gender issues, etc. among their team members to minimize conflicts and maximize team cohesion and productivity.
Get your management team and policies ready:
- New protocols will need to be developed for dealing with obviously ill employees. No longer will it be considered a badge of honor for executives and employees with miserable colds that last a week or two to come into the office everyday and infect the entire building. What will be your expectations and requirements? How will they be enacted?
- Working at home will continue to be attractive, even unavoidable for many employees, and employers too—at least part of the time—thus providing possible savings on company workspace and facilities. What impact may this have on your overtime liabilities and Workers Compensation Insurance?
- What will be your policies and safeguards for work at home, especially for employees dealing with extremely sensitive and confidential information? This applies especially to law firms hiring paralegals who work remotely.
For some businesses, their current economic nightmare might end almost as suddenly as it began. Avoid missing out the way sellers and manufacturers of hand sanitizer and bathroom tissue did at the beginning of the pandemic. Time to get ready for a new dawn.
If you would like help answering any of the questions above, or a referral to someone else who can help, give us a call. Initial consultations incur no obligation.