Starting Up After Virus Limitations

We do not know what operating conditions currently exist in our reader’s companies. We just heard the latest week’s unemployment numbers, and expect similar to be the case for the next few weeks. Eventually we’ll all start up incrementally or full bore again, but what will our world look like? Here are a few thoughts about the virus limitations, and we would greatly appreciate your comments to our blog.

If you are curtailing operations, your employment will be reduced sooner or later. When everything restarts, how do you plan to refill the needed positions? Perhaps the new unemployed MAY present opportunities to add excellent candidates. On the other hand, those that do not plan effectively, or delay in restarting may miss out on the best candidates. If you had to let go really good employees, how do you plan to get them back?

Your customers, of course, may face the same issues. It might be a good idea to engage both customers and suppliers to find out what their startup plans mean to you. If everyone’s not on the same page, problems beyond the obvious will be additional problems to overcome. Who needs more of those?

If you rely on foreign suppliers, or are supplying foreign customers, who knows what those conditions might be, whenever things get back to whatever “normal” becomes? And what sort of “normal” exists in other countries? Does this present some sort of opportunity to the company that has the best planning and communications?

What about China? If our economy is seriously damaged, who’s buying Chinese goods? Are we not their biggest customer? Who else has a healthy buying economy for China to sell to? Then there’s the noise about reshoring things like drugs and other critical goods. Is China in trouble or what?

What does the situation in the oil business mean to you? Over time will the US’s position as the world’s #1 producer continue? Depressed pricing apparently is particularly hard on the shale oil and fracking companies that made our oil production growth so dramatic. If the country returns to reliance on more foreign oil, what does that mean, besides more interaction with the infamous Straits of Hormuz? And this is just one industry that might face a longer term problem. There must be many more.

The main problem we all anticipate is who’s going to buy our products? The stay home orders mean a great number of our customers individuals are home, not working, and without the normal revenue. When things return to some sort of normal, who’s got the money to buy things and what fixes that quickly?

As a side note, I just heard on the radio that Congress is about to put into place some sort of “ committee” to ensure the stimulus money is used efficiently. Does this strike any of you as pretentious? Congress and efficient spending? Please!

On some basis, we are anticipating a loosening of the economy’s restrictions very soon. Our guess is that some operating freedoms will be granted at least to people young and healthy enough, however determined, to be at lesser risk than others. What a strange world; let’s hang tough together!

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