2020 has been NUTS!
What will 2021 look like?
My favorite meme to describe the year 2020 is the one-star review saying “Would not recommend.” That is, of course, unless you’re talking about the swimming pool industry, where – in most cases – the pandemic was a godsend.
Now I know you’ve been overwhelmed with demand; most likely way more than you can possibly handle. And finding new people to hire and grow your operations is next to impossible.
But at the same time, isn’t it true:
- Your cash flow is better than ever?
- Your backlog is better than ever?
- Your revenue is better than ever?
- Your earnings-to-debt ratio is better than ever?
- Your confidence is better than ever?
- Your outlook for 2021 is better than ever?
Now, your biggest challenge (beyond labor and material shortages) is managing the expectations of the hordes of people who want your services IMMEDIATELY, while you’re still booked out for MONTHS
(And trying like heck not to burn out your people.)
Yes, I know you’ve been “drinking from a fire-hose,” but isn’t this better than being stuck in the desert, dying of thirst?
What about 2021?
How long can this last?
I’ve been asking myself this question for months (as have most of my clients). The smartest answer I’ve heard comes from “Ask the Masters” podcaster Randy Beard, who says:
“The Staycation of 2020 will become the Workcation of 2021.”
And I think he’s absolutely right. There is some percentage of the population (10%? 20%? 30%?) that has gotten so comfortable working from home, they won’t want to go back when the pandemic is over.
After all, anyone who works in an office five days a week can instantly gain 5 to 10+ hours a week by eliminating their commute. They also save money on lunches and fashionable clothes and makeup, and in most cases significantly reduce their stress.
At the same time, many office-based businesses are realizing their people can be happier and just as effective working from home. And in return, the business can shave off $4000 to $40,000 per month in rental expenses.
This won’t work for everyone, but I believe enough people will be favorably influenced that we will see a permanent “work from home” culture shift, long after the threat of pandemic is gone.
So yes, I agree with Randy – The demand of 2020 is going to continue well into 2021.
This also means that the overwhelming demands on your business are likely to continue for at least another 18 months. And you probably can’t solve it with manpower (who can find the labor?). So you should seriously look at making some operational improvements inside the business, to make the existing team more effective. And you should do it NOW, before the 2021 season hits you over the head like a hammer.
The solution starts with sales and marketing simplification and automation, and builds from there. More on that next week.
Do YOU need help streamlining your operations? If so, give us a call. It’s what we do. 877-634-8787
Brett Lloyd Abbott
Head Guru at Pool Builder Marketing LLC