OK, so it’s a new year. What else is new?
It’s human nature to think that the new year will mark a turning point in whatever it is you’re thinking about: pandemic, politics or your eating and exercise habits.
If only it were that easy…
Yes, we now have vaccines and yes, we will have a new president and yes, you skipped dessert on Saturday. But the truth is that 2021 — at least a big chunk of it — is going to be very much like the terrible year we just finished. That’s especially true for business, which is why you need to balance your hopes with reality.
The vaccine is a wonderful thing and everyone who knows about such things says it will have a profound effect on the country and the world as it is administered over the next year. But it’s going to take time. Not surprisingly, the initial roll-out has been flawed and is going much slower than forecast…or hoped for.
What that means is the way we all did business during 2020 is going to be the status quo for at least the first six months of 2021 and probably longer. Shopping at physical retailers will still be cautious and slow. Business travel will still be restricted and tenuous. Relief for those out-of-work will still be subject to politics and much less effective than it should be. Supply chains will still be difficult to navigate. Left and right attitudes will not be going away just because of the change of government. And all the ways we acted last year are going to stay with us for the foreseeable future.
We’d all like to believe the calendar is a magic device and that everything changes on January 1. But we also all know that’s not true. So, as you’re planning out your business outlooks and strategies for the next 12 months, you need to be realistic on what is going to happen. Things will get better…but they will take time.
Until then, I’ve got you babe….
Award-winning Journalist & Consultant for the retailing and home furnishings industries with extensive business media experience in both fields.