In the last couple of weeks we have reached the beginning of the end of the COVID pandemic in the U.S. It’s time for concrete thinking, planning, and preparation for what comes next. Post pandemic business will be much more normal, but also different from what we remember.
After 12 months of restrictions and surges, it’s hard to believe it’s ending. However, the evidence is strong. The vaccines work well: Israel and Great Britain, sizeable countries that are furthest ahead in vaccination, are seeing dramatic drops in the rate of new cases among vaccinated groups, despite high levels of new virus variants in both countries. The U.S. vaccine campaign is making rapid progress: twenty-three percent of American adults have received at least one dose and the vaccination rate is expected to accelerate sharply in April. The rate of new cases is down about 75% from the Christmas peak, and summer is coming, which will further slow transmission.
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 11: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the nation addressing the final phase … [+]
Recognizing this progress, and highly motivated to end restrictions, governors are opening states up for business. Here in the northeast, both Massachusetts and Maine are dropping travel restrictions and moving to their final stages of re-opening. And consumers are coming back: a Kabbage study found that 57% of U.S. small businesses are now fully open; airline bookings are increasing fast; and my barber remarked that people who have been gone for a year are now coming back, talking about the vaccine comfort factor. In many markets there will be pent-up demand: consumers have extra savings and strong desire to do things they enjoy that have been denied.
Your next challenge is optimizing your business operations for the post-COVID. The first issue: what will the new operating environment look like? Here are some likely key features:
How can you get started on your post-COVID business plan? Here are some building blocks:
This will be an exciting time for almost everyone. President Biden’s announcement that there would be vaccine for everyone by June 1, eligibility for all adults by May 1, and safe cookouts by 4th of July was a turning point. He gave us reason to think that the long, grim COVID winter is giving way to a new Spring. Now is the time to use all of our intellect, energy, and creativity to make the most of it.
I’m an investor with NAV.VC, where I help launch early-stage companies that have new technologies and new takes on how to win in business. I’m inspired every time