This is a serious question.
Do you really want business to get back to the way it was?
Let’s start by saying – no, we don’t want business to get back to the way it was. The future is bright thanks to change as we have found and so many we work with have found.
Business back the way it was represents no change, no learning from the last 8 months, no reflection on what Covid normal may look like, no consideration of societal change.
Whether we like it or not, things have changed.
- More businesses will allow more people to work from home, long after Covid, because of what they learned through Covid.
- More businesses will continue with less the in-person engagement with their customers learned through Covid long after Covid is dealt with.
- More businesses will sell to new people they discovered during Covid long after Covid.
- Plenty of businesses and individuals who cut costs during Covid will continue with a tighter focus on cash.
- Plenty of people who have worked from home will want to keep working from home.
Businesses that have benefited from these and similar Covid related changes will want that experience to continue rather than getting back to the way business was.
To us, the calls for business to get back to how it was are regressive. The future is always in front of us, never behind.
This is why we think that the businesses that have a good Covid are the ones best positioned for a brighter 2021 and beyond. They are most likely the businesses run by people who have not complained and moaned their way through Covid.
We get the calls to open up, get the economy moving and the like. However, for plenty, their economy has been moving. This is especially true in regional and rural Australia as well as in the high street.
It’s critical that all retailers are focussed on the (cliché alert) new normal of more people working from home, less CBD / business centre foot traffic, more online sales and the associated changes in what sells and when. That is where good business will be found, in those areas of change, not back the way things were.
The year presents us excellent opportunities for embracing change, leveraging what we have learnt since March this year and rapidly leaning into what we see emerge as we expect the pace of change to increase. This will be a consequence of Covid, what people have themselves learned through Covid and also a consequence of the Covid recession.
No, we are not looking for business to go back the way it was, we are too busy looking to the future, which does look exciting.