11th June 2020

Looking Forward

As we begin to think about the future and coming out of lockdown I think there is one incontrovertible fact. No matter what the bounce back (bounce forward) looks like, business post Covid will be more difficult than it was before.

Even if you are a business for whom Covid has given a huge uplift in demand (think hand sanitizer or PPE) the challenge of complying with social distancing will make it more difficult. For most, post Covid business will be like starting up all over again in a new market. There will be ever more suppliers chasing a reduced market.

Consider the implications of that. How were you performing pre lockdown? If you were the at the top of your industry do you think you can maintain that position now? Most aren’t at the top of their industry or sector. If your growth was about the same as the economy, in other words less than 5% per annum, how do you think you are going to perform in the post Covid economy?

Lets put it another way. Imagine that you run the Great North Run every year and every year you finish about the middle of the pack. This year looks no different but suddenly the government decides that the top half will get a £5,000 finishers bonus but the bottom half will be banished to Siberia. What are the chances you can up your game enough given that everyone will be trying to up their game too?

That represents the reality of post Covid business.

I would suggest that the intelligent marathon runner should do everything possible to increase her speed and ability; to learn what needed to be learned to out-think the competition and to stay in front. In other words find the best coach she can and train like hell. Just doing what she has always done is probably a guaranteed ticket to Siberia.
Remember that for things to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to get better. As Darwin proved “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” He could have been writing about post Covid business. Change is never a question of ability but always a question of motivation. Don’t be the one that can’t change.