Pandemic Business Strategies – pt 2

During the past 24 hours, two current gym members asked if the gym I own – X Fitness – is shutting down. Here are the problems with that question:

  1. The question has a dual meaning: (i) is the government shutting us down again? (ii) are you going broke and going out of business?
  2. Either way, that question poses a risk to customer retention. Answer it wrong and you loses customers.
  3. We answered both questions regardless of which question was asked – we are not going out of business and we are not shut down by the government.
  4. Then, we had to answer their next question, about the “Orange Level Restrictions” that our region entered into a couple of days ago.
  5. Personally, I have no idea what Orange Level Restrictions are because I am on a News Detox for a number of reasons.
  6. Our staff had to Google ‘Orange Level Restrictions’ and read newspaper articles to determine what the restrictions were.
  7. Having to Google newspapers to find out how your business will operate the next day is one of the top 51 definitions of insanity
  8. I’m still confused about what exactly Orange Restrictions mean and how to implement them because they are abstract concepts open to wide-ranging interpretations.
  9. Adding to customer confusion – our neighbouring regions are in Red Level Restrictions.
  10. It’s humanly impossible to run a business effectively when the government controls and changes your business operations with bare minimum notice and even less communication.
  11. I found out about the Orange Level Restrictions 2 hours before they came in effect during a phone call with an ex-staff member who worked at our gym. He couldn’t fully explain the Orange Level Restrictions. I couldn’t understand his explanation. If he had not told me, I would have been unaware that our entire business operations would dramatically alter in less than 2 hours.
  12. The threat of government shutdown has not gone away because of Orange Level Restrictions. Imposing “restrictions” has the exact same effect as circumstantial evidence in court – it can lead to wide-ranging conclusions. No consensus. That means our current and potential customers logically assume we are shutting down soon.
  13. The fact that customers ask if we are shutting down suggests that there are more customers who think we are shutting down. Those 2 customers are the only ones who actually asked. There’s a presumption of widespread customer confusion about our short-term operation – will gyms be open or closed by the end of the week?
  14. Its humanly impossible to measure the full damage done to businesses because of customer suspicion of an imminent shutdown.
  15. Customer “mere suspicion” of shutdown is an oxymoron. It may actually mean they have a “reasonable grounds” belief that we will be shutdown, a belief that will dramatically influence their decision to join our gym.
  16. The only solution is call the next play today. Not the next play tomorrow or next week or next month or next year. Call the next play today.
  17. But calling plays today is never, ever easy. I learned as a police officer and football coach that split second decisions requires the high-level skill of rapid-fire evidence interpretation and decision-making that has inherent flaws. 
  18. Evaluating evidence during pressure-packed moments limited by a time-clock, is a skill that takes hardcore training & years of real life&death experience. Making the call without the benefit of limitless time & thorough study of the evidence includes the high-risk of making a bad call. 
  19. Bad calls are deadly.
  20. Bad calls will never be fully eliminated as a consequence of split-second decisions. Never.
  21. Pandemic Business Operation has re-defined the concepts of opposition and competition. We are fighting forces that were never imaginable pre-Pandemic.
  22. Conclusion – its humanly impossible to fully communicate to every customer about whether our business will be open or closed or ‘restricted.’ The word and concept of ‘restrictions’ creates the unnatural struggle – the unbalanced playing field that cannot be balanced by one simple call. One wrong call and your business dies. You go broke.

New #podcast compliments of X Fitness:

#MUCHLOVE #soulofalifter

Blessings & all good things


Gino Arcaro

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