Staring into my Crystal Ball

April 14 2020 by Scott Stevens

Staring into my Crystal Ball

As I stare into my crystal ball, all I see is a worried looking middle aged man staring back at me. Are those grey whiskers on my face, when did this happen? Probably while I was busy and now, I look like Gandalf. Twenty-two years of being busy, business building in Queenstown, and out of the blue, one giant step backwards. Great. But is it all doom and gloom? To give up and think this is the end of the world would be at odds with the entrepreneurial spirit that attracted people like me to the Wakatipu in the first place. A challenge, yes. End of the world, no.

There will be causalities. And no amount of money printed and distributed cheaply by the banks and Government will change that. Beware the depth of the debt hole you dig. We will all be going backwards and that is the sad reality that must be faced. There will be redundancies and vacancies on Shotover, Rees, Beach and Ballarat Streets for sure. However, we can lessen the blow and lower the business casualty rate by being innovative and flexible. From Central Government to Local Government, landlords, supply chains, businesses of every size up and down the country, and of course the workforce. We need to harness this global reset and look for positive outcomes.

One thing that will help the decision making is the time we have now, to work on our businesses rather than work in them. Being buried in day to day operations is the biggest downfall of small business owners. So as the dust settles on the shock, more opportunities and innovation will develop in the mind of the entrepreneur. It’s already started, the post-lockdown blue sky thinking. Despite the threat of being one of the weak, weeded out as our economy resets, the level of excitement is growing and ready to burst out of our isolation bubbles. Just as soon as Jacinda will let us.

For the local consumer, post-lockdown you will never have it so good. Your custom will be valued like it should always be, extremely highly. It will be no coincidence that the best performing businesses post-lockdown will be those that valued, marketed to, and built a local customer base pre-lockdown. Expect to be the centre of attention in all the advertising campaigns for quite some time.
After the boom of mass tourism highs, we were due for a weeding out of sorts. The same thing happened post-GFC. But one thing I can be sure of is the spirit of Queenstown will never die. From the early settlers and gold miners to tourism pioneers and restaurateurs who have built this town to the jewel it is today. There is no turning back now. Onwards and upwards as the brave and determined say.

Scott Stevens

- Scott Stevens
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    One thing is for sure.....its the end of the " help yourself eat all you can" buffet days....

    Posted 19/04/2020 5:15pm (4 months ago)