Navigating The New Normal

I hear various levels of concern throughout our membership during these unprecedented times. The reality is you as well as your customers have a choice: “Eat or be eaten”.

Confident companies that have demonstrated years of success know that every situation creates an opportunity. At my company, we are hiring frustrated employees from our competitors and bolstering our transport, sales, service, parts, and management team. The reality is this pandemic will pass and even if it stays with us as a new norm, strong companies learn to navigate the new normal and weak ones disappear. Whatever the case, the strong will be better, smarter, and ready.

Here though are some realities related to the general market:

1. An infrastructure bill will be passed if not before the election, soon thereafter and it will help our industry and our customers

2. Demolition will remain strong as most businesses will need to reinvent themselves. Examples:

a. Malls will be outdoor, not indoor

b. Restaurant will need to be outdoor focused

c. Streets in dense areas will close to accommodate outside traffic

d. Office buildings will remodel and likely reduce in size and need to be repurposed

e. Single family housing demand will and is increasing

f. Every venue, sports, movies, entertainment, will reinvent how they operate which will                                                     require some form of demolition/construction

3. Interest rates are at all-time lows and will stay extremely low for years to come

a. There is no better time to buy things or start those improvements

b. Financially, low interest means low cost to build new projects

Many businesses are killing it

a. Aside from any IT/tech related, certainly freight, delivery, grocery, mail order

b. RV and boat sales are exceptionally strong

c. Generally anything related to the outdoors or exercise is doing well

d. Home improvement is at record levels

e. While travel and leisure certainly are taking a hit, these are typically not high wage paying jobs, yet will bounce back to some level

4. The only industry to really suffer

a. Travel and leisure, especially related to businesses and conventions – airlines, hotels, centers

b. Zoom meetings have demonstrated that you do not always have to fly there

c. But in person sales meetings, job site visits, and some business travel will still exist

d. Leisure travel will come back, albeit slowly

Closer to our businesses:

1) Is your organization following up on those calls and thanking customers for their business?

2) Are your team members immersing themselves in your products and services to fully understand the benefits?

3) Does your team recognize that the single biggest reason people do business with your company is not even your brands -it is because the best organizations respond timely and take care of customers which is hugely because of your people!

As leaders, we can invest in our organizations with personal development, product knowledge and enthusiasm to excite our teams and our customers or we can surrender to a doomsday scenario which our resiliency as a country seems very unlikely. At AED, with our virtual delivery events, seminars, training materials, benchmark reports and many others - it is incredibly easy to access the tools and materials needed to help continue to build and reinvigorate your organization.

Personally, I would prefer to “Eat than be Eaten”. We can easily strengthen our organizations if we commit to investing in our ourselves and employees.  Those that do will almost certainly adapt to the new normal that is sure to be different but will also create some new opportunities for those that are ready!

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