The problem for the business community in the new normal will be finding the right strategies to deal with the known knowns and trying to anticipate the new unknowns.
Very briefly, the known knowns and unknown knowns of the new normal will be affected by, yet not limited to, the following factors.
The sheer size of outstanding debt in all its forms. In the past, debt was encouraged at the expense of savings. The accumulated debt in the world therefore will somehow have to be dealt with and accounted for in all future business dealings.
The great unknown knowns are of course, include the size of the outstanding debt, who owes the debt, and has the debt been provided by legal and regulated sources. Based on past experiences, we know not all debt will be from legal and regulated sources and therefore the total will never be known.
Time waits for no one. The leniency towards the repaying of past debts will have started to run out. Debtors will now have to start repaying the debt, whether they are ready to or not. How this factor will affect your customers capacity to buy safely and then repay their debts will largely be unknown. After all, if the debts are not paid within terms, this may also negatively affect their creditors’ ability to also survive if the debts go bad. As such, this is another known unknown.
The focus on technology, often at the expense of common sense. Too often in the past, there was a lack of focus on how technology might have changed your business.
The one thing we do suspect, and to what level, is another unknown known, will be the need or capacity of a business to employ people and under what terms. The employment of people has been an evolving cost factor over the years. In the future, the capacity of business to employ people, will be increasingly regulated by people who have never operated a business and who do not have to pay any financial cost of all the regulations.
What will never change is that technology does not own any money, people do! This means you need people to encourage other people to spend their money with your business honestly.
The intervention of central bankers, politicians and their bureaucrats has created a false business narrative. The ramifications of these people’s dictates and demands which have affected so many businesspeople negatively in the past, will probably continue unabated in the future.
Whilst we understand the current known costs of the interference of the above people, the great unknown for the future, is how businesspeople will react and operate their businesses.
Tomorrow’s business models may look nothing like those of the past. The known factors of the past may be unsuitable for the future. Therefore, how businesses will operate in the future is largely unknown, and the great known unknown will include:
- whether businesspeople will take a more enlightened approach to risk management;
- the financial capacity and integrity of all businesses;
- the employment of people verses technology;
- will customers be able to see a real point of difference between your business and its competitors;
- customers’ changing their articulated ethos of spending to their actual spending regime;
- suppliers working out whether they can afford to even extend credit in the future, especially
- if financiers and suppliers have few rights to protect their businesses from delinquent and fraudulent debtors at a reasonable cost, etc.
Will the “entitlement generation” and their supporters continue affecting all commercial and consumer creditors negatively? One of the great known unknowns is whether creditors will fight back against the legislative requirements which are demanded by the do-gooders?
In addition, how many new businesspeople will actually be able to afford to start a business due to all the legislative and social requirements loaded onto them before they even start?
The value of risk is minimised. Understanding risk is always about knowing, and the more you know, the better placed you are to survive and grow your business. A change therefore maybe that risk is viewed as a positive of what is possible to make your business more viable, rather than just a negative cost.
It is the above factors which will dictate the state your business will be in when the new normal world becomes evident. Relying solely on the known business practices prior to the pandemic, will not be sufficient to allow us to survive. We must therefore adapt our businesses to move forward with what is known about the new business normal environment.
I suggest therefore, a good place to start is to review the lessons of history, use appropriate business practices which have stood the test of time, coupled with the best of technology and people resources which are available.
Want to know more, contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone (03) 9886 6707, A/H (03) 9802 0608, mobile 0411 649 261, or have a look at what we offer via our website at www.creditmatters.com.au