Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Being Prepared for SLOW: Thoughts from Fellow Jeffrey Valles

As we’ve said many times here, what will be waiting for us when we are able to leave our homes is a complete unknown. We all know there is some pent-up demand, but how will it come to our stores and factories? When we flip on the lights, will showrooms be overrun by customers and vendors phones ring off the hook? I certainly hope so. That we can handle. We are comfortable with too much business. Working 24/7 is what we do. It’s when things are slow that we struggle. It is easier to work with clients asking questions and placing orders, dictating the workflow. It is far more difficult to sit in a slow office and build and implement a strategy to bring old customers back.

Now that you have time it is best to prepare yourself and your team for both scenarios.

First step is to think of how you will feel and react if all is quiet when you reopen your business. You will be elated at finally getting back to your business, but there might not be any customers. Many unprepared owners will immediately feel frustration, then anger, and then find someone to blame. All of these are logical steps under such circumstances, but they are not constructive and do not have to happen. Take the time now and envision what a slow business reopening will feel like. What will you do? What is your plan to remind your good clients that you are still there and ready to help design new spaces? Spaces that trapped homeowners now dream of and spaces that will perform better should we all have to remain at home again? New spaces that will allow people to go home and feel like empowered, not remind them of these last few weeks.

Take the time now and build your mindset, strategy and tactics for a boom or bust reopening. If you are prepared, you will not get as frustrated and will have the time and focus to help your team deal with whatever the world has for our businesses.

This is only round one. How many more trials will Covid-19 take us through, I have not a clue. But I do know that those that take the time to mentally prepare for the roller coaster ahead will come out best. Surprises in business are not always a good thing. Take the time now to be prepared for as many surprises as you can foresee. Best of luck.

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