It’s been a HECK of a year, well 18 months. Some businesses exploded because of the Covid 19 Pandemic and some completely shut down.
Can we predict any of it? Some, but it’s always tough—it’s all about buyer behaviour, what they are used to and what reason they have to consider something new.
A few years before the pandemic, I was burning out but lucky enough to travel and take a break. My sister lives in Singapore and I had wanted to visit ever since she moved, but as a business owner, it’s not easy to get away or even mentally start the process of getting away. I was working late one night, which is early morning in Singapore and I stumbled on a cheap flight, about $750 return. I messaged my sister to ask if it was a good price, her response was much like that IKEA commercial, “Start the car!”. Apparently, that was an unheard-of price! So I whipped out my well-used credit card and booked my flight.
Not even realizing I had never left North America before, I really wasn’t prepared for much of anything. But big sis knew that and took good care of me. I landed with no way to reach her or call a car, so she met me at the Airport and scooped me up. After a nice nap, I was feeling right at home. I did have the worst cold I’ve probably ever had in my life. I don’t get sick easily or often but the combination of being overworked, overtired and on multiple planes over the last 24 hours did it.
Interesting things that I was gradually exposed to that week were fascinating!
First, very few people drive or own vehicles there, unlike Alberta where many households have a car for each adult. Most people use Grab Car, their version of Uber and it is ridiculously organized and well priced. Strange for me not to have wheels, but I rarely rent one when away anyhow.
Second, the cell phone data and connectivity are insane. I bought a 100GB data card for only about $30 – yes Canadian and spent an entire month, only running out my second last day! I took a ton of photos and uploaded them to social media quickly and I was always online when we were out.
Because no one drives, EVERYTHING can be delivered — and I do mean everything! So there is an app for everything there… groceries are ordered by most, alcohol, furniture, you name it. While this is no big deal now, this was early 2018 and pretty much no one in Alberta would even think of ordering groceries and you could not order alcohol readily if you tried!
Fast forward to the 3rd quarter of 2021 and this all seems normal after being stuck at home for over a year. Is there something to be said for looking to the way the east does things? They didn’t really have to leave the house outside of work for years before we even thought about it and only because we couldn’t!
Delivery industries exploded here; food and beverage delivery, curbside pick up at all retail stores, online shopping of all kinds — I’m still fascinated at who was buying clothes when there was nowhere to go…
Even businesses that traditionally could NOT do operate unless in person had to convert; real estate and other legal transactions and even medical appointments were suddenly done online.
If you believe the way you do things now is the only way it can be done or that technology ‘is stupid’ and ageist, think again. We were all catapulted into using technology whether we liked it or not. Some have resisted and have been left behind.
I have a colleague who still thinks Facebook is evil and should be wiped off the planet. Never mind all the good social media can do, it’s evil and should be put down. Last I recall, social media is just software people use. It doesn’t do anything much without humans dictating it. And for all the stupid posts there are, there are 10x more that is informative and useful.
My point is, as a business owner, you must stay open-minded and innovative! The world is constantly changing around you regardless of if you like it or are ready. I would consider myself fairly tech-savvy for someone who is not a software developer and I often feel left behind. So, it’s understandable that you might as well.
Let’s learn together, let’s support one another and educate each other. Sometimes the most simple tip can change the way someone operates in a great way. Share what you can in the kindest way you know-how.
I’m working on building a library of courses for small businesses owners and I would love to hear what you want to learn most!
If there is something I can help you with; social media, how online advertising works, or how some other tools work,
Send me a message and let me know here!