When will we be open for business?
This seems to be one of the bigger questions that we’re asking these days.
When will people go back to work?
When will life return to normal?
When will we start traveling again?
When will people feel good about sitting in a restaurant (or cafe) again?
Will people have PTSD symptoms as we try to return to normal?
When will the office be able to open up?
When will the kids go back to school?
When will the markets return?
Will the people who were furloughed really get their jobs back?
What will the unemployment rate be?
Will we ever shake hands again (what about hugs)?
All normal questions.
Normal questions for abnormal times.
These questions concern me, but it’s not THE questions that is on my mind.
The real question about the economy is this:
Will people spend (like they did) again?
It’s tax season (up here in Canada).
We’ve had more time than usual to review our bills.
We’ve had more time than usual to review our subscription services.
We’ve had more time than usual to be home (and not out or active) as consumers.
We’ve had more time than usual to order and buy things online.
What do your bills look like?
Are you spending more or less since being (mostly) home?
This could be a “market of one” scenario, but my own experience seems reflective of my friends and colleagues.
We’re spending less.
A lot less.
Productivity experts believe that a habit (good or bad) takes about thirty days to become a habit.
What happens when we go back to work?
I’m guessing that consumers will realize that they managed just fine without much of the things that they were keen to purchase before this pandemic hit.
I’m guessing that consumers will be tightening their belts in an effort to recover (quicker) from their professional losses.
I’m guessing that consumers won’t even think twice about this, because they had many weeks of not spending and (more importantly) are becoming that much more aware of what they truly want and need.
This will be the truest test of the economy.
Will consumers spend?
We will want to socialize, head back to our favorite restaurants, see our family and friends, buy each other gifts, travel and more.
But will we want to keep buying “stuff” the way that we did before?
I believe that many families will have a surplus of their daily food and home needs leftover from this mess (if they were able to shop regularly).
The businesses that were booming during this pandemic might experience as a small vacuum of revenue because of this.
It’s a question of looking at things differently.
Everyone is looking to see what the government will do.
Everyone is looking to see what the businesses will do.
I’d be looking at what the consumers will do.
That’s not just a lesson during a pandemic.
That’s a lesson for every day… business as usual.