To all of our customers, readers, and followers:
Hopefully this post finds you and your family, friends and colleagues well. This crisis is impacting all of us in ways that we could never expect. By talking, listening and coming together, we can support each other and come out stronger on the other side.
On Friday, March 13th, we at Smart Pricer instituted a work from home policy for all of our employees. We did so to do our part in reducing the spread of the virus and bringing about a return to normal life as quickly as possible. As I left the office on Thursday evening, I thought about many things. Will my family and I be safe? Will our employees and our clients be safe? Of course I feared for my company as well. As an entrepreneur I don’t know where we will end up, all I can do is focus on keeping those who work for us healthy and supporting our clients.
Last week, when the dust settled and our Chancellor, Angela Merkel, spoke about the severity of the crisis and Germany’s response, I was comforted by the sense of organization and leadership. Her announcement of support for all businesses and individuals gives the country hope. Within our company, we are working to provide a similar sense of calm, support and organization by establishing transparent and consistent communication across our team, our customers and our investors. We will also continue to support our customers in achieving their business goals by providing pricing analytics and solutions.
The current situation is changing the world and will result in a new normal. Right now all industries are impacted. Restaurants and nightclubs are closed. Sports matches and theater shows are canceled. Even the Olympics are delayed until next year! The businesses most impacted by this crisis are those in the old economy; those that have brick and mortar stores or rely on people gathering in large numbers. For years there has been a trend to move life online – the quarantine only makes that trend move faster. When the restrictions ease and we all feel safe again it will take time for gatherings to happen again. Maybe cinemas will open with every other seat empty or museums may restrict visitors per hour or at one time. Even so, I am sure that large gatherings, live events, sports matches and cinemas will come back. When they do, we will all have a deeper sense of what these activities mean to us as individuals and as a culture.
How does a business survive now? The strongest businesses in our sectors are the ones that are innovative, agile, customer centric and have cash in the bank. We all need to focus on creative ways to serve our clientele, potentially altering offerings to take the global situation into account. Look at the movie business, which is releasing some movies via VOD and delaying others, waiting to take advantage of the expected surge in demand when we can all leave our homes again. Some industries are better prepared for this than others. Those that are debt-financed or do not have adequate cash flow will need help or risk failure. While we are lucky here in Europe, other countries will not be as supportive of their businesses and workers. The real winners will be those companies that find a way to use the situation in innovative ways to help their customers succeed. Like in all crises, new companies will rise out of the ashes to challenge the old ways. This can be exciting! Like Whatsapp and Airbnb, both founded during the Great Recession (2008), there will be a new wave of companies coming to the forefront and pushing the limits.
We still don’t know how bad this will get. Some experts say summer, some even longer. No matter how long it takes, the world will bounce back. Our job as thought leaders is to keep things moving and we cannot do that without our team or without you, our customers. During this time, we will make frequent posts, both commentaries about the global situation and what we think it means for your business and businesses in general. These posts will focus on how we can support you as we move towards recovery. Additionally, our new brand th!nkpricing will begin a series of webinars for all affected companies. These will focus on bringing companies together to discuss the impacts of the crisis with each other and ultimately contribute to making you successful.
I will be posting again next week looking at how the situation is impacting the industries we serve and what I think will happen next. Stay healthy!
Managing Director, Smart Pricer