While we understand the desire for borders to be open and restrictions to movement to be lifted, there are plenty of businesses that have changed what they do and how they do it so as to not be as impacted by closed borders as they may have been.
We are not writing this to be political. Rather, we are writing it from a business strategy perspective.
What if shutdown / open / shutdown / open is something we have to contend with beyond 2020? What does that world look like? While calling for borders to re-open is one approach, another could be how we adapt for what could be a new normal.
In our own situation here at Tower Systems, for decades we relied on in-person trade shows, in-store demonstrations and in-store installation and training. From early March this year we moved online. Online demonstrations, online installation and training. And, no trade shows. Sales are up.
Thinking about the calls to open borders, it’s understandable. It’s about going back to where we were, where business was.
What if there were alternatives for businesses? What is there were other ways businesses could grow that were not as reliant on open borders? Not that we are calling for borders to stay closed, because we are not. Rather, we pose the question because some business people will embrace the exercise to think about how they could adjust their business to do better in that situation.
Through online you can reach shoppers outside your usual catchment area. Through an expansion of range you can reach more people locally.
It’s interesting watching the news and current affairs programs and seeing the conga-line of big business representatives calling for things to go back the way they were. Owners of small businesses are more flexible and innovative and, we suspect, less likely to want things to go back the way they were.
Again, thinking about our situation and other office business owners we speak with, we think that working from home and working regionally is a long-term shift. This one shift presents opportunities to local businesses. There will be other shifts too. For example, big businesses with now decentralised workforces are embracing ways to remain connected with customers. For example, locally delivered care packages are popular.
We have shared this today to encourage considering of thinking about next year and beyond in what could be a new normal business environment.