Nobody can predict what the future looks like, but it feels as though as we emerge gingerly from lock-down that the new normal will be different from how things were pre-CV19. So that means, as travel businesses, we need to do things differently. Take a different approach. What worked before might not work in the "new normal".
As Steve Endacott mentions in his webcast quoted below, you need a start-up mentality to make the most of the new opportunities that will eventually appear. The bigger an organisation is, the harder it will be to change, so this may be one advantage for the smaller companies who manage to survive.
Most start-ups fail, either because of funding issues, a lack of capable management, the inability to get their product advertised and distributed cost effectively, or the lack of a recognised brand. Or simply because the idea is not strong enough. But imagine if you had a start-up with an existing brand, a customer base that you can communicate to and good management already in place, then it would have a much better chance of succeeding. That's how I think businesses should be thinking about how they respond to the "new-normal".
The question however is how much might that business suffer from predetermined views about what worked in the past. It might be the case that the more successful a business has been historically, the bigger the challenge will be now, as it will be harder to think about doing things differently. As a travel recruitment specialist, I will be looking to identify candidates with start-up experience to parachute in to the more established businesses. I think there's some good logic to that, but of course it will only work if the senior management of those organisations are willing to listen.
This whole pandemic has been horrible on many levels and I wish it had never happened, but it is sure going to shake things up. It is a massive threat to the status quo. That, if nothing else, will make things very interesting in the coming months and years, however challenging they may be.
Travel firms will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis smaller but more creative and leaner than they went in, Steve Endacott of Rebound Consulting told an international online conference yesterday. Speaking in a panel session on the impact on travel in Europe, Endacott, who set up the consultancy with former MyTravel colleagues Seamus Conlon and Will Waggott to offer advice to travel firms, said companies will need to adopt a start-up mentality. Endacott said with many firms in hibernation having taken advantage of the UK’s furlough scheme and government-backed loans, the danger for many is going bust when trading starts again. “In a time when you’re not trading there’s lots of reasons not to go bust. But as soon as you start trading again, those hotels you haven’t paid have to be paid, you need to pay those advertising companies like Google. “So, basically, no company can afford to not come out of this leaner, to come out the same size that they went in. They got to be meaner, smaller, nastier and more creative. It’s basically a re-set it’s ground zero. “You need to start up mentality to say what are the opportunities and how do we make our businesses as flexible as possible, because there’s further disruption to come.”