The War Room: Pandemic Crisis Winners, Losers & 6 Ways To Address The New Normal

As states re-open, and the economy comes back on-line, it will be doing so on a war-time footing.

The new normal will be a hyper-competitive marketplace for businesses and consumers alike.

It will require discipline, discernment and critical thinking skills to develop and execute battle plans to meet the moment. And leaders can’t afford to wing this one or skip steps. 

Like it or not, a lot of changes are at your door, and a tidal wave of more are on the way. These can be good changes, or bad changes, it’s entirely up to you, and your ability to prepare and adapt to them. So clear your plate, and enter the War Room.

Start With a Sit Rep

THE GOVERNMENT

The government is for better or for worse (or both):

  • Picking winners and losers, bailing out businesses and putting others on hold, deeming certain businesses essential or non-essential, worthy of economic support or not, and so on.
  • Locking people down in there homes and preventing them from re-opening
  • Sending mixed signals about health practices and safety measures (to wear a mask or not to wear a mask), and in several cases, flip-flopping on recommendations, creating a lot of confusion.
  • Politicians swore up and down that they weren’t politicizing the crisis, and then proceeded to do exactly the opposite, and seize the opportunity to secure funding for pet projects not related to the pandemic, and hold the American people, and mostly American small business owners hostage to get their pork bills passed.
  • Attempted to forcefully enact socialistic programs and create lasting, direct financial dependent relationships between businesses and the government.
THE media
  • Does whatever it can to maximize the hype and uncertainty – In no way shape or form practiced ethical reporting throughout the crisis – and in doing so, destroyed its own credibility and with it, their ability to get everyone to enact the prescribed safety measures.
  • Also swore up and down that it has no political bias – while proceeding to engage in the world’s most costly version of wag the dog, to distract from a mediocre presidential candidate and lack of a policy platform.
  • Facebook, Google and Twitter are fighting over who is better at censoring dissent, basically calling out any opinion that is critical or counter to recommendations of the WHO or CDC will be labeled as misinformation / fake news and removed from the platform. Twitter is now testing means of letting its users control who can respond to your tweets (an easy way to prevent counter arguments, debate or dissent).
  • Meanwhile it turns out the FBI and intelligence agencies from the Obama administration turned up completely and fraudulently railroading people in the Trump Administration, resulting in the biggest attempted coup the US has seen (AKA Russia Gate- driven by the known false Steele Dossier). Presidential candidate and former VP Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault, and suddenly the MeToo movement imploded. All the while President Trump is fanning the flames, and the media just turned up the volume on Pandemic coverage and TDS, and then even went so far as to accuse Trump of intentionally distracting them.
  • The media alleged labelled naysayers conspiracy theorists, only to be proven wrong on multiple occasions (masks, death counts, shifts in the way we determine cause of deaths and so on), wait – this just in CDC just even flip flopped again and is now saying that coronavirus does not spread easily via surfaces (likely driving the value of your stockpiled lysol down).
the people

The people are pissed, angry, afraid, confused, don’t know who to believe or trust in media or govt.

  • Many initially trusted the State governors initially and attempted to guilt and shame and alienate their communities about “only shutting down for 3 weeks” and just being asked to “sit on their couch” – this turned into a clusterfun of social distancing narks and brown shirts, and even more distrust in the local communities. It has resulted in a war that is political and virtue signal based.
  • Smart people are afraid of the impact of government intervention in the economy, and fearful that their guaranteed constitutional rights were so quickly, easily compromised and removed for an exacerbated, politicized crisis.
  • There is a silent, large, group, well supplied with guns and ammo, who are smart enough to stay off the web, but are vigilantly waiting in case things escalate. And then there are many more people armed to the teeth, loud and proud, easy targets all over the news, sick and tired of the what they believe is tyrannical over-reach.
  • Many more people are afraid of the virus and it’s threat to their livelihoods to the point where they are eager and willing to give up not only their own personal freedoms but demand that everyone do the same, and set a precedent for future generations as well. These people refer to their opponents as selfish.
  • Most reasonable people are worried about any and all of these issues.
  • There are between 140 – 240 million people around the world set to starve as a result of this crisis not necessarily the pandemic itself but the govt shutdown and economic tidal wave that comes with it. (But the freedom lovers are selfish ones right?).
  • The stimulus checks and programs have not been successful at all for most people. Checks are taking weeks to get out to people, many didn’t get the PPP funding – while other larger organizations sucked up the funds.

Winners & Losers

current losers

The Travel Industry – is absolutely shackled. 

Hospitality Industry – is the same

Caterers / Decorators / Florists / Event Planners and a huge group of contractors surrounding the events

Speakers / Facilitators / Talent / DJ’s & Vocal Talent

Social Clubs

The Entertainment Industry

  • Movie Crews & unknown actors (No one gives a shit about the A-list actors, we are not all in this together)
  • Movie Theaters
  • Concerts and Festivals

Salons

Barbers

Massage Parlors

Strip Clubs

Remote Churches – NO. JUST NO. How am I supposed to compare clothes and cars with my neighbors if I can’t see them?

current winners

Drugs & Alcohol & Marijuana

Virtue signalers and trend setters – your social distance and mask advocates will continue to be viewed as heroes like it or not.

Sidewalk Chalk – man that sold out fast

Board Games and Puzzles – the remaining option are both 24 pieces and not enough to keep your wife happily entertained.

Toilet Paper / Paper Towels

eSports or E Sports or is it E-Sports – VIDEO GAME USAGE SKYROCKETED – as did streamers on all platforms (discord) –

Anyone who makes a disinfectant / hand sanitizer, mask, PPE,

REI – because people suddenly decided jogging and bike rides were more fun than talking to each other.

Amazon (even though they destroyed PRIME service, they managed to cut their costs and be one of the few retailers allowed to remain in operation)

Uber Eats – Door Dash

Drive up pick up retail – Target / Walmart

Drive up pick up food (this was hard for many restaurants to adapt to, those that had this feature already did much better).

Costco – stayed open (requires masks), but still will likely weather this pandemic nicely.

Every Pizza Joint You Can Think Of

Digitization / IT – hardware, software and service side (every cloud based service you can think of) – the world was just forced to upgrade – all the brick and mortar laggards will have to strategically invest in digital transformation in a hurry – and pay much much more for the rapid / emergency effort.

Landscapers, Roofers, Contractors

Lowes & Home Depot

Grocery Stores – Pick up the slack and slump from a world without REAL Amazon Prime

 

soon to be winners

ESports → Level Up Vegas

Healthcare Industry (insurance providers as well as healthcare providers) – federal, state, and locals will inject tons more tax dollars to making sure we have infrastructure to “prevent this from happening in the future”

State & County Gov – Tax dollar spending surge and tax increases – to “invest” in infrastructure to ensure this never happens in the future.

Churches – at least temporarily as people will rejoice and re-affirm their right to practice freely.

Lawyers are going to clean up nicely – Between lawsuits against the government, or defending them, and lawsuits against employers or defending them, it’s a great time to be a lawyer.

Doctors & Nurses – I don’t see a decrease in demand any time soon.

Texas – There are a lot of people who will be moving to Texas, and many more companies from CA

Florida – Same here – consumers and companies will be looking for shelter from high tax states like CA and Washington

Maybe Nevada – If Tesla moves to Nevada

Drugs and alcohol and marijuana

REI / Outdoor Recreation Industry – expect a surge in recovery activity – People will need a vacation from their forced staycation

Outdoor Trips / Guided Family Camping and Glamping

soon to be losers

News Media & Social Media – Demonstrated a lack of integrity and competence during a crisis and have permanently lost the trust of many consumers.

California as a state – spent a bunch of money, and will likely have to make significant tax hikes and budget cuts the likes of which have not been seen before in order to get a federal bail-out. The strings attached will likely be steep, to ensure money doesn’t get laundered on highly disputed expenditures like the multi-billion dollar bullet train to nowhere.

35 million jobs and many more to come…

Gray & Black Markets

Depending on how long and deep these shenanigans ensue, expect to see more consumer black markets, the likes of which the country hasn’t seen since the great depression:

  • Drugs
  • Speak Easy’s
  • Sex workers  – sad but true
  • Brewpubs and distilleries
  • Private Social Clubs – The local fragmented work-force that was once an affordable luxury, will now have to congeal into tribes to create power and leverage in communities and industries again. This is different than organized crime -though could be a precursor. These groups will likely be unlawful gatherings (freely associating to come together with common goals to provide for their family)
  • Organized Crime?

That brings us to you,

your business,

your life

– how are you doing?

In general there are opportunities with both the winners and losers in the crisis, and you’ve got a family to feed. You can benefit from losers and winners if you’re discerning during these trying times.

  • Losers – many will be down but not out. They’ll need help contracting, leaning out and “right sizing”
    • Many will be able to exit with golden parachutes courtesy of govt. intervention and tax relief – and some of them will be starting something new (double dipping on the stimulus to do so)
  • Winners – will need help expanding, digitizing/modernizing, and starting new entities entirely.

Industries and Positions that will endure no matter the market are a healthy part of your portfolio. With direct and indirect ties to clientele to these resilient industries, you can protect the survival of your practice.

Examples: Doctors, Nurses, Lawyers, Massive Technology Companies

These 3 will all do well in the second economic impact that will hit, but not just them, those who support them including:

  • Their IT teams
  • Janitorial Services
  • Vineyards (Nurses don’t run on H20)
  • Real Estate Agents – as people upsize, downsize, and all around. The big house on the hill can become a financial liability or a financial necessity, depending on how the economy impacted the person. If you’re downsizing or doing okay and anticipate you are going to be on house arrest with the family again, you might want more square footage.
  • Nearby Restaurants
  • HR & Recruiting Staff (right sizing means downsizing then requipping with different roles)
    • Product Managers
    • Data Scientists

6 Recommendations

  1. Do your own sit rep – what is the lay of the land from your perspective?
  2. Make your own list of relevant winners and losers and the resulting additional winners and losers.
  3. Think through the impacts on your list of a few likely scenarios (less regulation, more uncertainty, more lock down, less lock down, etc.).
  4. Identify the opportunities to ride the up and the down either way.
  5. Diversify directly or indirectly into resilient industries.
  6. Find a group or rally new members to your tribe. Now is time to come together for a common cause.

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