Updated: Feb 7
Should we be scared of the virus yet?
I’m shocked at how often I’ve been asked this question in the last couple of weeks by some of our best clients.
The short answer in my opinion, is yes.
Unlike anything we’ve seen for a very long time, this thing can hit us from both sides.
Medically AND financially. Simultaneously.
I’m not a doctor. I can’t speak to the potential impact on the population medically. Other than to repeat official predictions, and say that if you think you’ve had a problem with staff calling in sick on a sunny day in the past, imagine “60-80%” of your team bedridden, or quarantined, for weeks at a time. On full pay.
I have grown and exited successful businesses in a wide range of industries for over 25 years; specialising most recently in assisting hard-working professionals within the medical industry protect and manage their personal online brand reputation.
However, I’ve survived in business through 3 major recessions though, so perhaps I can speak a little to the financial implications.
Currently, most of us now watch updates daily from governments around the world. The narrative seems to have shifted away from containment, to the economic impact, which is only just now starting to take hold.
We’re told of the impact to industries such as tourism and aviation with countless millions of people cancelling trips for business or leisure. Tourist destinations, café’s and shopping districts throughout the continent now look like a scene in a Hollywood disaster movie, deserted and eerily quiet.
We hear that equities markets have crashed and that they’ll probably continue to do so for some time yet.
We also understand that the price of oil has plummeted and that OPEC wants to cut production to keep it as artificially high as possible, given airlines are their best customers and have just stopped filling the tank.
What I’ve not seen in mainstream media about Coronavirus, though, is the impact it's already having on other, less visible industries; such as elective or cosmetic surgery.
I’ve had a lot of feedback this week from cosmetic surgeons I work with, that they’re seeing an increased number of cancellations or postponements for treatment, often being told that the prospective patient is simply too nervous to be in a clinic right now, or too cautious to spend the disposable income they feel they may soon need in a recession.
You may not need to panic though - not yet at least.
Many businesses, and people, do very well in a recession. Usually, it’s the ones prepared early enough to ride the wave.
The lads in Bournemouth that bought up surgical masks on day one and have made a killing now they’re worth their weight in gold. Perhaps not ethical, but certainly creative for a couple of college kids.
How about companies like zoom.us that offer online meeting spaces for the millions of people now told to work from home indefinitely. Or Calendly who makes scheduling those remote team calls a breeze.
Even toilet paper manufacturers are seeing a recent boom, although the reason for that one escapes me.
Martin Jimmink, a good friend of mine, and renowned business coach, shared a thought with me recently about recessions. He said simply that “money can't leave the planet. It only moves around."
Nothing drives that thought home more than the billions of dollars that have left global share markets in recent days.
Investors, and business owners in the know, are looking to bury resources for what most predict will be a very long winter. Traditional safe havens like Gold are going through the roof (up around 30% this year alone).
Apps like Credyts, which offer access to a Private Wealth Club, are now reporting high demand. Members get a wallet that stores traditional currencies, along with their blockchain token, or "Credyt". This offers members the opportunity to store and trade physical gold, online, privately. Each Credyt is backed 1:1 with an ounce of real gold and is stored in a UK vault. It can be sent by insured courier to it's owner overnight in the UK, or within a week anywhere in the world.
Their Credyts.The gold account even seems to offer members the ability to ring-fence a safety net for their families, with little or none of the documentation traditional bolt holes now require.
With gold being up nearly 10% in the last 2 months alone, it seems, even if you don't want to use Credyts' online marketplace for goods or services, just leaving your gold in the wallet pays off.
Simply put, in times of reduced consumer (or patient) demand, a strong business thrives and the weak perish.
As we see above, there are opportunities everywhere in a recession, but you need to be responsive and have a solid plan to stay ahead of the curve.
When it comes to discretionary spending, especially in a recession, shoppers tend to look for extra value and from a name they trust.
If you're brave enough to spend your nest egg and go under the knife during a global outbreak of a deadly virus, would you do it at a clinic with three stars?
How about four? What if there was a clinic in a similar location and a similar price that had a 4.8 star rating with loads of positive comments?
Which would get your business?
The great news for a clinic working with us though is that they already have a proactive internet reputation and personal brand management plan in place.
They’ve demonstrated that they understand every bad online review posted about their business, can cost them revenue. The revenue they may need very soon to survive, or better yet, to capitalise on some of the difficult times ahead.
Conversely, as we’ve seen all too often, the business that fails to plan, but instead reacts, is one that often cuts expenditure in areas like marketing and social reputation management believing, wrongly, that their reputation and business will survive on its merits alone.
Often, even if they do survive, they don't thrive and may take years to recover.
I’m not suggesting for a minute that it’s time to panic. I’m saying it's time to plan.
Book a time that suits you HERE on Calendly for a free, confidential chat about how we can help make sure you don’t just survive the recession, you thrive!