Business Operations in a Mid-Covid 19 World

Now that most of you have received a PPP Loan or some other type of assistance, there are a few obvious truths that we all need to accept.
1 – This thing isn’t just going to magically vanish. Until a vaccine has been approved, produced in large enough quantities, and used to vaccinate the majority of our population, this problem is here to stay.
2 – The efforts of our government so far have only been to slow the spread of the virus. Until there is a vaccine or a cure, this is the only thing that they can do.
3 – If we are lucky, we will have a proven vaccine by the end of the year. If not it could be another twelve to eighteen months.
4 – With certain viruses, they never actually find a vaccine. They may find drugs to treat it and control it, but never a vaccine.
These facts lead to a simple conclusion, which is that we are going to be dealing with this problem for a long time.
We literally find ourselves in a Mid Covid-19 World.
It is important that we all start thinking about how our businesses can operate once they reopen everything. How do we keep our employees safe, while still being able to produce our products and services? How do we maintain our customers, while still being able to manage our quality?
When pondering these thoughts, there must be one overwhelming idea that is included into the equation. Many businesses will not reopen. This will leave a large number of our population unemployed. With the businesses that do reopen, most will not need to employ the same number of workers as they did prior to this nightmare. It will take time for their businesses to get going again, and they just won’t need as many people as before.
Our economy will certainly go into a recession and probably a depression. Currently our national unemployment rate is about 18%. With 30 million workers out of work, unemployment claims continue to rise. To put this into perspective, at the height of The Great Depression, the unemployment rate topped out at 25%. We are getting closer and closer to that number.
How will those people ever go back to work so that we can get out of a bad economy? It will take time for new businesses to start so that these people can be employed once again. It will take time for businesses that were partially or fully shut down to get going again so that they will need the additional workers.
My point is that you need to start thinking today about how to operate your business in a recessionary environment with a virus on the loose.
Does that mean that you will need to reconfigure the physical layout of your business to accommodate a social distancing requirement? Whether the government makes this a necessity when they reopen things or not, we all have a responsibility to our employees and our customers to deal with this. If you do not accommodate social distancing in your physical space, then customers will not want to buy from you. They will simply go to another place where they can social distance.
Changing the physicality of your business will normally also mean financial changes as well. If you own a restaurant and you used to be able seat seventy-five customers comfortably, but can only do half that amount while social distancing, then this will mean substantial changes to your financial picture. Naturally this would mean a reduction in staff. It may mean that you must substantially alter your menu offerings. It will probably also mean price increases. This may necessitate a complete and overall change in what you sell and how you sell it.
But the entrepreneurs who start thinking about this now, are the ones who will probably make it through the months to come as we wait for a vaccine.
Let’s also remember the concept of a recession. I have taken my business through several of these over the years. With all of the people who will be unemployed, it may mean a substantial reduction in your sales. But please realize that people don’t stop spending money in a recession. With an uncertain future, and less money to spend in the first place, people simply find lower cost alternatives when making their purchases. Instead of buying a filet at $12.99 per pound, they buy chicken or round steak. Instead of buying a new car at $40K, they buy a used vehicle at one third of the price.
You need to look at your existing products and services, to see how you can survive in a recessionary economy.
If that means that you need to offer lower cost alternatives to your existing clientele, then you need to get to it right now. The sooner you begin, the better off you will be. If that means that you will need to radically alter your offerings, then you need to get radical.
Our Mid Covid 19 World will also require a continued online and external experience. Customers will certainly be more apt to purchase your products through an online experience, than they would by walking to your store.
Many service providers will also need to be able to continue to provide their services virtually. If you have already figured out how to accommodate this change, then you will certainly need to continue. If you haven’t yet made this change, then you will certainly need to make it in the future.
Even after they reopen our economy, we will be dealing with a population that is still afraid to leave their homes who will have less money to spend. The sooner you think through this and make these changes, the better off you will be. These changes will not be easy, but they will be necessary.
Let me leave you with this one thought…
I’ve never seen a time like this before. After owning and operating successful enterprises for the past twenty-nine plus years, I can tell you that this is unique. I’ve never even imagined a time when people were so on edge, so ready to snap at the least little thing.
Getting through this will require a significant amount of change for most of us.
It will also mean that you need to keep your sanity, and this may be the hardest part of all. With an uncertain future, how can any of us be expected to be rational? With many of you sitting in your houses, trying to operate your businesses with children sitting on your laps, it’s quite easy to be rather short tempered.
But now is the time that all Entrepreneurs need to rise above the fray to lead. We need to deal with our own fears and make the necessary changes to our businesses so that we can operate in a Mid Covid 19 World. Like it or not, that’s the job. It may seem impossible, but you need to start now.
And we will be here, every step of the way, to support you.
Accounting Solutions Ltd. stands ready to fulfill its mission to protect you, your business, and your family. if there is anything that you need, anything at all, we stand ready to help. Please contact us today. I’m here, and I remain,
Sincerely yours,
Chris Amundson
Accounting Solutions Ltd.
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