Watch This Space
It's fascinating watching the dueling pundits on TV (temporarily fascinating – it gets old fast). Listening, you could come to the conclusion that 1) we're on the road to recovery, 2) it's worse than ever, 3) we might be OK, but it's gonna take a really long time and be really painful, or 4) no one has a clue. Or all of the above.
But then there's what's actually happening. I'm observing our clients' businesses; I'm watching what's happening with my business; I'm talking to my friends and colleagues about their businesses. I know this isn't a statistically valid sample, but at least it's reality-based, and so I'd like to share it with you anyway as a respite from theory.
My grandmother data tells me that people seem to be rolling up their sleeves and getting back to work. During the first couple of months of the year, what I saw – mostly – was shock and paralysis. There was a real bunker mentality; people were hunkering down and doing the minimum necessary to keep their businesses afloat. (Our business was down, as were those of many of my friends who offer various sorts of business services.)
Then, along about March, people seemed to start coming out of their bunkers, blinking in the light of day. It was almost as though they were saying, "OK, we're still here, we still have to do business. Let's make sure we're operating as simply and cleanly as possible; let's make sure we're headed in the right direction; and let's make sure we've got the right people and they're really doing a good job."
I see a lot of folks starting to ramp their businesses back up, but they're doing it differently. Less complacency, less sloppiness. More care.
It's been great for my business: these are efforts my colleagues and I can really support and enable…and a lot of folks are calling on us to do this. And my friends are noticing the same thing with their businesses.
So it may be a long road back – but I think we're on it. And I think we're going to end up in a better place.