Don’t fall into the short-term thinking trap

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For many operators, it’s difficult to see more than a few days ahead. Some wonder whether they will still have a business then. Understandably so.

Meanwhile, those that are more confident of still being here when the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is over might well be looking at how they will return to normal and ramp up operations to pre-crisis levels.

That is arguably one of the trickiest parts of the current situation. Nobody knows when it will be over. Nobody knows what demand will look like when that eventually happens.

Some sources think business volumes will rapidly recover. Others say differently. One operator suggests that further funding for the bus sector may be needed in that transitionary period as passenger numbers are restored in stages.

What is clear, though, is the importance of ensuring that your brand remains prominent both during the current situation and after it.

Many coach operators are doing their bit in the former regard in via social media, including use of the #coachcrisis hashtag. Bus operators providing NHS shuttles also tick that box. For both, work to engage with local media and politicians is valuable in ensuring that the many good things that they are doing are not ignored.

Perhaps most important is that no short-term decisions are taken that could harm a business in the long run.

Under the current challenging circumstances it’s understandable that the near term is the priority. But when things are back to normal, it’s imperative that you’re positioned to return to where you were before. That should always be remembered – regardless of how tough things are.