Covid-19 And Pivoting to a New Industry For Survival


Published: October 25, 2021

The Challenge of Uncertainty

We all have our own story to tell, which does no matter what industry we are in. My story began in 2008 with the mortgage fiasco that was birthed here in the US. Back in 2000, when my then business partner passed (wife), I was in the merchant service business where I had been for the last past (1989-2000)10-years. My professional background since 1972, when I started in business, was in financial services, namely insurance. It was at this point that I had the desire to become an entrepreneur.

So, I stayed in financial services. I moved from insurance to real estate investments, merchant services, and mortgages. After receiving my doctorate in Business Administration in Entrepreneurship, and Business Management, I then moved to provide alternative financing for entrepreneurs and small businesses owners, focusing on Entrepreneurship and Business Management. Then something happened in my life that turned it upside down in 2018; VA diagnosed me with lung cancer in October 2018; after receiving my doctorate in September 2018, all I could say was WOW.

So the short story is that 2019 was all about getting through the pain, shock, and getting my health back together to continue what I started with obtaining my doctorate in business. January 2020, feeling better, I started promoting alternative financing for small businesses that had been around for at least 1-year and had a monthly revenue of $10,000 or more, and the industries were restaurants. Then March 15th, 2020, the Federal Government advised all non-essential businesses to shut down, which was a stake in the heart of the hospitality and restaurant industries, like many others. Then due to the pandemic, the American economy when into an economic dive that lasted for 18-months until September 2021.

Pandemic Shipping Crisis

Thus, now with the lifting of the Federal Government in the shutting down of businesses in all industries. We now must find a path back to some normalcy, but what is that new normalcy? However, as we focus on that, new challenges that were not on the horizon are now recking havoc in the business community, such as ships that can not get their goods to port for the upcoming Holliday shoppers.

Hence the issue with the Suez Canal, where hundreds of ships are anchored offshore and can not get their goods to the docks, for others at the ports trying to get their goods loaded onto their ships to bring home. Eamon Barrett did a report in Fortune.com that spoke about the problems shippers are having at the Suez Canal. And this problem will have an ill effect on merchants and shoppers alike in getting and putting gifts under the Christmas tree for 2021.

The problem, stated as global supply-chain issues, has snared the shipping business due to the pandemic, lousy weather, and canal logjams. There is another blame for this crisis, called just-in-time delivery. Whereas, is a strategy to maintain for manufacturers to house a minimum amount of parts, or stock in their inventory in their factories to conserve space, and safe money stocking this inventory, which is the cause of the current crisis at the Suez Canal.

Therefore, if one part is delayed can interrupt the entire ecosystem and have a backlog of stock not delivered as promised or anticipated. Will back up all the ships as played out currently in Suez Canal. Nevertheless, in the past two years, such breakdown has become commonplace at the canal. According to Bloomberg, 77% of the world’s seaports suffer long wait times and must anchor and wait for space to dock. This cause brings the rising cost to shippers, which recorded a 300% increased cost that will find its way back to the consumers at higher prices.

So, how do you solve this supply-chain shortage? Pundits argue that a just-in-time supply chain for long-distance or shipping goods around the world was never meant. Thus, if manufacturers were closer to their suppliers, this would reduce the time to move these manufactured parts from their supplier to later assembled, then sold as finished goods. So, by shorting the supply chain, you can shorten the distance of supply parts to other players in the supply-chain ecosystem, which will end such delays as we know it.

4th Qt. Profits Could Suffer-Depending on Industry

After 18-months of Governmental shutdowns, the business community faces another issue if you are in the retail industry and others looking for supplies to restock and replenish inventory. When trickled down mean the holiday shopping consumers will have problems with deliveries delivered on time. This shortage of retailers in brick and mortar possibly could affect online retailers as well. So, consumers should shop early and expect delays on the goods ordered.

Nevertheless, Melissa Repko and Lauren Thomas did an article in CNBC through their research on how consumers feel about the holiday season shopping in 2021 compared to 2020. They argue that sales are expected to grow at least 7% during this holiday season. And the consumer is ready to shop and spend that money due to last year’s pandemic global shutdown. This year, shoppers should expect fewer sales on goods due to the demand for goods on retailers’ shelves and consumers’ willingness to spend and pay more for the goods offered.

Over the past few months, shoppers have shown they are willing to splurge on clothing, jewelry, and electronic items, and this trend into the holiday season will only boost their spending appetite as the holiday grows nearer. Holiday forecasting expects November and December 2021 to have a 7% growth jump over 2020, about $800 billion. Mastercard also sees that consumers’ spending was pinned up in 2020 but is ready and able to spend in 2021 due to higher savings in accounts due to lockdown.

As mentioned earlier, supply-chain delays will affect the procrastinator in getting the merchandise they want over the years past. Thus, the delivery chain is slower; what once took 2-3 days to deliver are now taking eight days and longer, which will deter one making their order. So, shopping early appears the keywords for this year’s shopper. Then, retailers face hiring challenges due to some not being willing to work in tight spaces due to covid-19 and its new strain. All, in all the holiday shopping season looks better than 2020.

Conclusion

From all reports, this holiday season will boost merchants in the retail industry due to the pinned-up demand of consumers who in 2020 were locked down and could not venture out to do any holiday shopping. Thus, it is good news to retailers who suffered immensely in 2020 due to the lack of foot traffic in brick and mortar establishments. Hence, with the covid-19 vaccines distributed to those who want a vaccination in 2021, this epidemic could end the immunity with the immunization of younger people. Therefore, and the changing of the minds with the FDA approval of those who have not vaccinated themselves.

With the challenge of uncertainty, many entrepreneurs and small business will reshape their business models to evolve in the post-pandemic world, moving from a traditional business environment to digital transformation and new methodologies in business operations. Hence, management software known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will transform one’s business sectors such as sales, marketing, and business services into a winning process for our new normal of post-pandemic new business development. My agency, in its transformation, has moved into management software that could help all industries in this matter of sales, marketing, and service that can better assist with managerial strategies for growth, even for startup enterprises.

As a small business consultant who specializes in entrepreneurial boosting of revenue through sales and marketing, if your organization have problems with the solution of finding ways to be profitable, enclosed is my calendar and schedule your free consultation in this matter to see if we can be of service with a solution to your business issue.

Book Time On My Calendar Here

Email: donaldemitchell1@msn.com

Website: www.donaldemitchell.com 

I am interested in the readership commenting on this blog to better handle this current situation and crisis with the covid-19 pandemic. And response will follow.

About the author:

Dr. Donald E. Mitchell holds a doctorate in Entrepreneurship and Business Management works as a Small Business Consultant specializing in management software, digital transformation, digital marketing, e-commerce, website development, and alternative financing. He has offices in Southfield, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. His primary focus is on small business growth and solutions for growth through sales and digital marketing.

Methodology

The author’s beliefs are personal and reflect his worldview, experience, and academic study, and research in the issues and practices mentioned in entrepreneurship and business management.

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TTOnfire
1 month ago

I agree with the writer, we are in times of uncertainty as far as going back to the way things were. I do believe many people are anxious to get back to a normal way of living if we can positively say what normal truly is. But nevertheless it is what it is. The holiday season will make a big difference with retail stores. I do believe people are ready to go into the stores and shop, me personally would prefer that. While online ordering is good and convenient it is not always accurate with the items. I find myself returning more merchandise than keeping.


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