What do the Omnichannel rumblings really mean? Driven by the move to an omnichannel market, Dr. Leinberger posed the question “Have we hit an inflection point?” back in the April issue. “Are we headed into a sustained economic rally similar to the Roaring Twenties (as the Financial Times has suggested) or are we in the beginning stages of a “decade of disappointing growth outcomes” (as the World Bank posits)?” It is an important question because the future of your operation depends on your answer and what you do about it.
He went on to suggest that in order to answer that question you should monitor consumer optimism, the unemployment rate, and track COVID patterns. “I also suggested that you should focus on the numbers that reflect how your core business is doing (in the context of the larger changes taking place in the economy).” Monitoring those numbers will give you a good sense of your short-term future, but they are not robust enough to give you the kind of knowledge you need to respond appropriately to unexpected events – like the pandemic or a pivot to DealerDirect by RumbleOn.
There is, however, a planning process designed specifically to address such situations. It is called scenario planning. Scenario planning is a process designed to prepare you for economic uncertainty, unexpected events and disruptive innovation. It is robust and rigorous and, most importantly, it is practical and actionable.
Scenario planning is designed to help you answer the “what if” questions you need to ready for. For example: What if the economy stalls and powersports sales go back to pre-COVID levels? What if gas prices climb above five dollars and electric bikes and electric scooters take off? What if consumer spending shifts to travel, restaurants, live entertainment and fashion and away from powersports? What if new, highly restrictive regulations – sparked by a growing fear of global warming – ban powersports vehicles from state and federal lands?
See how to address the “what if” scenarios in his current column: