From the Mag: The COVID-19 Recovery Climb

The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for a lot of loss, Chicago-based restyler Courtney Pahlke says in the July issue of THE SHOP Magazine. Loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of patience, and many will say, even a loss of freedom. But when it comes to economic recovery, the last relatable climb would be the Great Recession of 2008.

The automotive industry was able to ultimately recover from the Great Recession, but like in the current economic climate, lost a lot along the way.

However, from that loss, Pahlke and her restyling shop, Top Coverage, learned a few lessons that are applicable today.

Our Biggest Challenge

While the current economic crisis is of a different breed than 2008, it is producing similar results to that of the Great Recession.

As in 2008, Pahlke says, we’ve seen significant dislocation in the stock market, banking sectors and Real Estate Investment Trusts, as well as plunging oil prices and falling home-builder stocks.

But there are a few differences. First and foremost, the impending recession is driven by a dramatic economic contraction, and the impact on real estate is one of the main consequences, while in 2008, a real estate market crash was the cause of the downturn.

Finding the Way Back

If there’s one thing we can take away from the successful climb out of the Great Recession and apply to the current economic situation, Pahlke says, it is adaption.

Things won’t go back to normal and all business owners must accept that there will be changes and learn to adapt to them as we rebuild the economy.

Modifying approaches through the chaos instead of dwelling on what used to be will be important to rebuilding struggling shops. While manufacturers responded to skyrocketing gas prices by building smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles in 2008, Pahlke and her staff responded to the economic situation by training dealership sales teams to save customers money by adding only the accessories the customers stated they needed.

It is also important to remember, Pahlke says, that the pandemic will change operating procedures, as sales teams might be making phone calls instead of in-person visits, vehicle pickup and delivery plans could be revised and even in-person interaction will be different while masks remain commonplace.

Click here to check out the full article in the digital version of the July issue of THE SHOP Magazine.

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