“I’ve learned that we’re pretty resilient. This year’s pandemic is severe and it will cause us to adapt.
“Looking back in time, our travel industry is no stranger to disruptions. We’ve lived through hurricanes, terror attacks, and a financial crisis and we’ve always managed to survive. Every time, we put new policies in place and carry on. Before the 9-11 terror attack, you’d just walk through airline security. Now you can’t even have liquids or gels over 100 ml.
“The industry will adapt to the pandemic but so will people in their daily lives. Airlines are installing high-efficiency air filters and using disinfecting fog. Passengers want safety. People are still going to wear masks after the pandemic and not just on planes. Our normal as we knew it is not there anymore. When you look at Asia, everyone has worn masks for years. They are concerned with germs and smog, but the point is that it was for protection. Safety has become a part of daily life.”
Barbara Crowe, CTC
President of Ixtapa Travel
“We started the first three months of 2020 up about 15% in sales. Then covid- 19 hit. We were aggressive in leaning our business down and laid off quite a few staff. I had a hunch this was a long-term problem. We were busy until the first week of May with cars booked in before the shutdown. But people were driving less, so they were in fewer accidents. We had very little work from early May until early September, when we started a slow recovery and began to bring staff back again.
“It was the first time I’ve laid guys off in nearly 30 years. Even when we had a fire and shut down, I paid my staff for three months. We would have lost a lot of money if I hadn’t done what I did. Our business has been affected greatly.
“What did I learn from this? Follow your gut. It’s right 99% of the time.”
Owner of Collision Plus Autobody Ltd.
“We are a business incubator that supports around 40 startups. These startups saw their revenue disappear overnight. Startups are the most vulnerable because their coffers are not as large as other established businesses. Most were in extreme panic mode. They are heavily dependent on a steady stream of cash flow. Most of the businesses required rent relief. People’s livelihoods were at risk. There were some tears. Our entrepreneurs had some real decisions to make. Should they stay the course, get creative, or throw in the towel?”
“It boils down to the entrepreneur. Most of them accepted the realities of the pandemic, and what lied ahead. They didn’t dwell on the uncertainty of the pandemic, and adapted and dealt with it the best they could. They got creative in different methods of cutting costs, or making a dollar. They took advantage of government assistance, but were not completely dependent on it. They were nimble and adaptable. These entrepreneurs have what it takes, and are likely to survive future hardships.”
Depesh K. Parmar, MBA
Executive Director of Ideas Inc.
First published in the December 2020 edition of The Business Advisor.