Planning for the Economic Rebound

I have been watching the docuseries, “The Last Dance” about Michael Jordan’s career and the Chicago Bulls team of the 1990’s. Watching Dennis Rodman rebounding skills really had me thinking about post pandemic and the economic rebound.

In basketball, rebounding is one of the most important aspects of winning basketball games. Offensive rebounding gives your team extra chances, and free throw opportunities, and frustrates the defense.

Just like in basketball, business owners need to be on the offense about the economic rebound.

We are starting to see that some economies are starting to re-open.

•     China ended its lockdown in the city of Wuhan in April as cases moved into single digits
•     Czech Republic hardware stores and bike shops open to sales increase of 61% increase over the Easter weekend.
•     Italian children’s stores among the first to open
•     In Canada, the province of Saskatchewan is planning a five phase re-opening starting on May 4th. dentists and        optometrists are among those that will be in phase one. Low risk outdoor activities such as boating, fishing and golf will be able to resume again.
•     In Denmark, half of the elementary schools have re-opened.

So, how are you preparing for the rebound? Will it be business as usual? Or will you be making changes?

How To Be On The Offensive Rebound

 

Bricks and Mortar Retail

Only 20- 25% of retail tenants were able to pay rent in April. Big box shopping centres and strip malls took in only half of their expected rent.

In preparing for the rebound, business owners will have to reconsider if it is essential and profitable to run their businesses in such large spaces.

If you are in the bricks and mortar retail space, in preparing for the rebound, there is a lot of reinvention that is going to have to take place.

The biggest concern for business owners in this space is the cost of rent. Retail and commercial vacancy rate has grown from 2.3% to 6-8% due to the pandemic.

This dated model of super high fixed costs, primarily rent, is being tested. In order to become profitable again, retailers will have to scale past the high fixed bricks and mortar costs.

The reality is real estate will drain a lot of cash and it’s expensive.

Online Shopping

Last week for the first time, I ordered my groceries online. The service had always been there but I felt it was a nice option because my schedule allowed for me to pick up my own grocery. Fast forward to COVID-19, and I felt the best way to avoid being in a crowded supermarket was to order online.

I have since ordered, garbage bags, ink for my printer, microphone all online.

Having an online component that allows for delivery or contactless pick up is a must. When moving to online, make sure that the site is simple to navigate, and is mobile friendly.

It is vital to look to see what parts of your business can be transitioned to online.

Shifting to Employees First

COVID-19 is a health and human tragedy that also became a financial crisis. Protecting employees who are risking their lives on a daily basis to serve customers has become pertinent.

Customer first was a great slogan in the past, but this has shifted in 2020.

Legendary, top-performing corporate cultures such as the Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton, when they operated at their peak, always took care of associates first. At the Ritz-Carlton, their core values were well understood by their people, starting with the “Employee Promise”.
Their employees in the service industries were given the authority to spend up to $2500 on the spot to resolve guest’s concern.

Moving forward, on the rebound, companies need to have a plan that will help their employees feel safe. For example, many retailers have moved to fitting their locations with protective plexiglass screens at the counters at checkout.

In basketball, team rebounding has a positive correlation with winning. Teams that tend to outscore their opponents, also tended to rebound.

Likewise in business, to have a winning rebound will require some planning.

Are you prepared for the rebound?

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