During a breakout session at Total Solutions Plus (TSP) this fall, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, CA, fourth-generation small business owner Tom Shay discussed how to conduct business post-Pandemic. “Business continues to change,” he said. “We do not play by the same rules we use to.”

Shay went on to say there is a need to change because everyone is different now. “We had to learn to do things differently because we were shut down,” he said. “We had to learn how to adapt.”

With that concept in mind, Shay asked the crowd, “Why would you go back to what you did in 2019?” “Your customers’ way of thinking has changed,” he said. “You cannot just grow your business for the sake of it. You have to have a plan.”

Shay shared a story about his friend who told him he was “riding along with the economy,” when Shay had asked him how his business was faring. “I said to him, ‘You understand that as much as you have been bragging about riding along with the wave; your wave is like that in the ocean. When it comes to the shore, the wave dies down and it is over and done with. That is how you are facing what is going on with the economy right now?’”

Those whose business received a significant boost from what occurred need to keep the momentum going, according to Shay. He said there are several questions to ask yourself: What am I doing with it? What am I changing in my business and the way that I am doing things to say this wave is going to continue? How am I going to make it continue?

“The pandemic has lost the big effect that it had on people, but they still have changed in the way they act and do,” said Shay. “When our business has gone up that much, it is not a sign that we are all of a sudden a better business operator. We just rolled along with what happened with business and the sad part is the person who realizes something happened but doesn’t do anything to say I am going to find a way to continue this [won’t succeed]. This is all because customers are interested in something different than they were before.”

Shay instructed the audience to consider how they can capitalize on the “wave.” To continue to move forward with a successful business, owners need to figure out how to capture the trend and relate it to their own business.