Cutting budgets, editing company goals, fine-tuning new processes, and staying calm has proved to be quite the task the past month. Companies are quickly learning to adjust to the new pace of working from home, adapting systems, or even pausing business altogether. Michael Gogan was joined by Jim, Stacie, and Justin to discuss their advice on how to overcome the change within their industries.
Good things are going to come out of this season, we know it. But positivity and reflection are key in making that happen. Below are questions discussed by our guest speakers to evaluate the situation and brainstorm plans moving forward. We recommend you work through these questions, too. Click HERE to watch the webinar.
You can view all of our COVID-19 resources here.
Why is this happening to me?
When the governor in Pennsylvania announced quarantine, Nolan Roofing took a hit. Their business was put on hold, which led to Jim’s initial response: “victim thinking.” He said, “it is so easy to think: why is this happening to me?” However, Jim ensures that taking the victim role does not help your company. It is important to keep a positive outlook and look beyond your victim-status. Take action!
What can I do to make this situation better?
This pandemic is affecting individuals and businesses. It is overwhelming at home and it is overwhelming at work. Jim says, “start to think, what can I do to make this situation better or as good as possible?” To do that, you must redefine the business. Make a plan! And do it on a personal level too. Whenever the “why” questions are asked, people get caught up in negativity. Stay focused on what is at hand and how you, as a leader, can improve the situation. Caring for your employees goes a long way, too. Stacie and her team have 9 a.m. daily zoom meetings to check in with and ask each other how everyone is really doing. Take care of each other and be intentional with seeking one another out. Stacie admits that the zoom meeting has definitely been helping with the comradery people miss from the office. Justin reiterates that remaining in close contact with your employees helps “keep the morale high!”
How can I regain control?
Stacie learned a lot about disaster planning when she worked at an insurance company. She said one of the greatest struggles while going through a disaster is the feeling of being out of control. Being a business owner, you want to control your destiny. Her advice? Simply write it down. “If you write it down, you feel in control!” You can visualize the problems and create a list of priorities. Talking it through and jotting it down removes a significant level of stress from the situation. It becomes more realistic to tackle hurdles when it is written down.
“You are not alone! Everyone is going through it together.” — Stacie
What are your hurdles?
These days everything feels like a hurdle! But being able to pinpoint your obstacles is the first step in overcoming them. For Justin, the barrier has been customers feeling uncomfortable with their online process. Having a customer connect portal and a live feed through CompanyCam helps navigate that hurdle. KangaRoofing is also still in business, but they have needed to alter their expectations. Stacie was overwhelmed by everyone’s opinion on the virus (aren’t we all!), so she has restricted her sources to a trusted three. It has assisted KangaRoofing in overcoming their obstacles. On the other hand, Jim’s business has been put on hold because of COVID-19. However, as soon as the restriction is lifted, Jim claims Nolan Painting will be ready and back in business within 24 hours because of his open communication with his employees and customers during this time.
How will we adapt to business changing?
- Go through your budget. Adjust where you spend your money.
- Don’t cut your advertising, just modify it. This is a good time to promote your company.
- Immediately look at your business internally. Look into bills that are due and internal cash flow.
- Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! — utilize zoom to talk to your employees and customers.
- Refine internal training programs.
- Send heartfelt messages to your customers and emphasize you are excited to continue your partnership.
- Check-in with struggling or laid-off employees — be empathetic and understanding.
What can we live without?
This question goes in both directions. What can your company live without and how can you position your company as a necessity to your customers. Jim suggests you begin by viewing your expenses across the board. It is time to streamline and cut costs. Money is tight for many businesses, so Jim also recommends extending your line of credit through your bank. CompanyCam’s Head of Finance, Tullen Mabutt, discussed more financial options in another webinar. Check out our webinar page for more information! Justin’s employees are no longer in the field. So, he has increased his marketing and advertising budget. CompanyCam released a webinar last week on how to do just that. Click HERE to watch the Digital Door Knocking webinar. Sticking to the writing-everything-down method, Stacie has found it helpful to write down your budget and highlight what is relevant. Review bills and deadlines to make sure you’re on-task, but requesting flexibility on those that are not as pressing.
“Fear and anxiety cannot coexist with action.” — Jim
What do your customers need right now?
It goes without saying that your customers have been affected by the pandemic. Your customers may need to put a pause on business or alter their payment plans. Be flexible. If possible, remove interest and establish an easier operation. And be clear about the resources your company can provide to them. The saying typically goes: think outside the box. But it may be time to “think inside the box!” Understand your parameters and build your own, effective system to serve customers within it.
What information do I share with my customers?
Send good news & information that extends beyond the company description. According to Stacie, many companies are claiming to be experts on the virus. It is overwhelming to keep up with the differences across sources. So with that, send your customers news about your industry, not the virus. Provide them with a mix of personal and professional information. For example, explain how to file for unemployment so you could help a friend. Or how to do your taxes or DIY activity ideas for your kids! Keep them engaged and stray away from heavy or discouraging content.
Thanks for all the advice, leaders!
Jim Falk - has been in the painting industry for 25 years. Jim is now the Senior Estimator at Nolan Painting, which is the largest residential painting company in the US. Nolan Painting is a family-based company.
Stacie Feller — is the President of KangaRoof in Austin, along with her husband. She has been in the roofing industry for 4 years. KangaRoofing is a $9 million roofing company. Before roofing, Stacie was in the insurance world for 20 years. She also owns an HVAC business.
Justin Dant - is the Owner of Soderburg Roofing in Colorado. They are proud to be a paperless company with a strong online presence. They felt prepared for the adjustments COVID-19 has brought.