Talking Business March 19 2021

Reviewing news for the year, the biggest story has been the impact of COVID-19 and its variants such as delta and omicron on markets. Certainly, there’s been a worldwide slump for financial markets amid worries about how badly the omicron variant, inflation and other forces will hit the economy.

This can be summed up in a Talking Business podcast  I did earlier this year talking to entertainment industry entrepreneur Darryl Lovegrove .

Lovegrove said the big lesson for the pandemic for all businesses is resilience. No one knows exactly what’s ahead, and how the recovery will pan out. All businesses can know is that things will pick up eventually, they just have to stay focused.

“Even now when there are green shoots in Australia and were coming back, it is so slow. It is breathtaking. You really need to massively lower your expectations and your costs.” Lovegrove told me.

He could not make any firm predictions for how the market and economy will be post-COVID,

He compared the experience now with what his business went through post-9/11 and the global financial crisis. All one can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

“I look at it as my third crisis that I’ve faced over the years. Making predictions is fun but you’re probably going to get them wrong,” he said. .

He agreed that stuff eventually gets back to normal and what businesses need to do is just have some patience and see it through.

“That’s all I can do. That’s what I’ve done in the past. It is to keep your state of mind as positive as possible, be prepared for very long recovery and persevere with it,” he said.

“Resilience is a massively important component of anyone who is running their business.

“The fact of the matter is that in this world, the new norm is constant change. It’s going to always change the goal posts. Your market’s going to change, the tastes are going to change, the infrastructure of which you do everything is continually changing and you have to adapt.

“You have to work out where are your customer’s eyes, where are they looking now this month, what kind of interface are they looking at the moment. It is always changing and in this period of history, be patient, see where it’s going but stay in there. Try not to overspend too much and be prepared for the slings and arrows that are going to come your way.

“If you can do that, you’re giving yourself half a chance to hopefully succeed in the next era of buoyancy.”

In other words, we have to think strategically. Studies show omicron is less harmful than delta with 40 to 80% less chance of hospitalisation. If the regimes of mandatory masks and social distancing slow down the transmission of omicron, we could see a major change with a less virulent omicron dominating the other varietals which, over time. Theoretically, this could see the coronavirus becoming like a cold or the flu. And with Australia’s high rates of vaccination, things will improve and the virus will have less impact on the economy. According to the latest stats, close to 4 in 10 or 79.3% of the entire Australian population have had one vaccine dose and 76.4% of the entire population have had two doses (it’s 83.7% in the ACT, 78.9% in NSW, Tasmania is 78.4% 78.3% in Victoria, 74% in South Australia, 71% in Queensland, Western Australia is 68.2% and Northern Territory is 68.1%. And 6.5% of the whole population has had one booster shot.

As Lovegrove said, the situation is changing from day to day. We just need to stay in there and think strategically.

Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy Christmas and new year. And looking forward to bringing you Talking Business on February 4 2022.