It seems like with everything I write there is always a clip or a song that I think about that spurs a thought or concept I want to discuss. I am a pretty big ROCKY movie fan.
Please take a step back in time and enjoy this, and then I will get into this post.
With the whole issue of COVID, and how it effects businesses, getting back up and running at normal capacity has been heavily discussed.
Many companies struggle with staffing, whether that be sheer numbers, or how staff should be managed. Many of the things you offer in your menu and product mixes may not readily be available now. A lot of these businesses have opened back up hoping for the best; many times working with portions of staff they are used to. From what I am noticing, and I find this point is solidified with others I talk to, many businesses throw their staff on the floor expecting business as usual. When they find that this is greeted with throngs of customers, who are finally free after being locked down, wondering why things are moving so slowly, managers come back with the sheepish look stating that they are doing the best they can. There are some real drawbacks to this strategy, or lack of strategy.
When "Doing Our Best" Isn't Good Enough
The workforce being limited by the number of workers available has created an issue that we need to develop a strategy for. Using the “bear with us, we are doing the best we can, with what we have,” technique presents problems that we might find ends up hurting you in the long run for a couple of reasons.
First, there is no guarantee that you will ever have more workers than you do right now. If the government continues to bail out workers and those workers basically become non-workers than you have no new employees.
Second, even if there is a limited time frame, you really don’t know for certain when the end of that will be. People will grow tired of the excuses and just stop coming.
Here is an example…
We love Arby’s, however the restaurant we are going to has become less desirable each time we arrive for lunch. They never have enough staff, and something is always out of stock (condiments or a drink option). What we have found, in way too many restaurants, the first thing to fall by the wayside, is the cleanliness of the property. As much as we enjoy them, I don’t think we will be going back. All of their staff has a defeated look on their face knowing that they don’t seem to be getting any help from owners or the corporation. If we mention to the staff they are out of something, they tell us that they have sent information up the chain and they won’t have something in for awhile. This makes the only consistency in service is a guaranteed lack of consistency.
With this being said, we will likely not be going back, and honestly, it looks like the days for that company may be numbered.
Adapt To Survive
If you want to come out better on the other side of this you have to take a proactive stance on the process and adapt to the moment. Changing your systems to compensate for lack of staff or unavailable product may save your business in the long run.
I can assure you that if you rely on the, “We’re doing the best we can” approach to customer service at some point it will reflect in your Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews. Even more likely, you will find the number of customers will decrease. I am not going to lie, there are some companies out there that really have reached the end of the line and should probably die off. There is something to be said about letting some companies perish to provide opportunities for up and coming success stories. That’s a natural and respectable concept of capitalism.
I live in the city of Branson, Missouri. It’s a big location for live entertainment. Something I have noticed is there are a lot of really great shows. There are also a lot of shows that have been around awhile that haven’t innovated and are hanging around by the skin of their teeth. I have always said it is better to provide quality and charge a little more to support it than to try to thrive on Bargain Basement deals. If some of these shows were to disappear it would give a larger talent pool for the great shows to choose from. Death of a show isn’t necessarily bad, it’s simply a natural process that helps the community around it. It’s a sad thing, yes: however, like a forest fire, the devastation is also filled with nutrients and seeds to bring forth new growth,
There is no shame in realizing that your concept just isn’t able to evolve with the times, but if you are wondering if there are options that you haven’t considered to stay afloat and thrive perhaps it’s time to consult a Business Consultant.
A company like DDM Creative may be your best choice to develop a strategy that will get you into these new days and make you more successful and bring more cash to the bottom line. Sometimes having a fresh set of eyes on your situation can give you the focus you need to really push forward in your industry. If you are in Hospitality, Tech, or other Service Industry organizations we specialize in working with those concepts.
There is nothing normal about what has gone on the last year or so, and not every option works for all business models.
Come Back Stronger
It may take a new strategy but whether you feel it or not, you can come back to business prepared for the future, which will make you even stronger and more successful.
Please take an opportunity to leave a comment talking about some new strategies that have worked for you. I am always happy to consult with companies that want to do things a little better, Please drop me a note wherever you read this article. You can also shoot me an email. Like Rocky, you deserve a Punching Chance to come out on top of your game!