Predicting the future is a central part of running a business and much can change in a year. Twelve months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic rippled throughout the world and it became almost impossible to predict what would come next. Small businesses and major corporations alike were forced to pause and revaluate how to move forward. The initial hope that the pandemic would only last a few months caused some companies to adopt a wait and see approach that yielded negative results. Others have propelled themselves forward by adapting to the changing situation and while they may not have seen things return to normal, they are on the path to recovery. We are drawing closer to the end of the pandemic every day, yet there is still work to be done. Technology has advanced in the last year and customers have entirely new expectations. Now is the right time to heal your business and prepare to meet those demands.

Success during the pandemic has been defined by the ability to remain flexible and the desire to take action even if the outcome was uncertain. The nature of COVID-19 put some business types in predetermined roles such as grocery chains seeing more traffic due to stay at home orders and restaurants seeing a decline as dining rooms were closed. Even with increased demand, grocery retailers like Costco added signage to promote mask wearing and social distancing in addition to making it easier for customers to get groceries at home with same day delivery. Restaurants found themselves in a more difficult situation, however new technology allowed some of them to thrive. Golden Corral had to redesign their entire business model with to-go curated meals since buffets were a non-starter during the pandemic. More short-term changes also took place as restaurants began selling supplies as makeshift grocery stores. Chains like Burger King and Chipotle are focusing on the long term with a commitment to smaller store footprints and more off premise channels.

CSG has been following these industry changes for the past year and we have adapted as well to bring new solutions and data analytics to our clients. Our COVID-19 closures list has been keeping track of the ever-changing number of retailers and restaurants that have been forced to close their doors in the past year. We have also been monitoring the companies that have avoided closure and the technologies they have used to drive forward. Despite the strife that COVID-19 has brought, there is an opportunity to heal and retool. The pandemic taught us that waiting around for something to change can be detrimental to the future of a business. Even when the pandemic ends, we will still be seeing the effects for years and some of the changes will be permanent. Now is the time to act. If you need to find the leads and opportunities to heal your business and grow it for the future, CSG is here when you need us.