I think we'd all agree that business owners are finding themselves in uncharted territory. Who could have imagined, let alone predicted, that during the third quarter of 2020 we would wake each morning to rediscover how our world is defined?
I share with you all in the passing waves of emotion—amazement, dread, optimism, confusion and sense of being overwhelmed. In addressing that reality, this month's issue of IMARK Electrical Now is a special one indeed filled with insight and information to be used as tools as you chart these choppy waters. Susan Bloom, our IMARK Electrical Now journalist, shares some inspiring and insightful perspectives gathered from IMARK member leaders from all over our country. Marketing tactics, interacting with our customers, HR and how we need to work around COVID are just a few of the topics. Be sure to take the time to read these over the next few weeks.
Personally, I remain optimistic that independent businesses are uniquely equipped to survive and thrive. As I speak daily with distributors, suppliers, contractors and customers, I’m struck by both the differences and similarities of the challenges we face. Some have experienced both health and business crises. Others saw business dip early on but are now seeing a resurgence. But what I’m always encouraged by is the reminder that as independents we can be nimble in our response to change! Let’s take advantage of the lack of red tape and heavy layers of bureaucracy and look to find solutions that matter to customers and prospects.
As leaders it's crucial that we stay well informed, especially in an environment where the pieces of the puzzle change so rapidly. Look broadly to understand all sides of an issue and be careful not to simply surround yourself with opinions that are comfortable. Knowledge truly is power. It allows us to see developing trends, assess new approaches, decipher whether what we're experiencing is momentary or permanent. Staying in close touch with customers, suppliers and employees not only strengthens bonds and loyalty, it can uncover new opportunities to fill needs.
PIVOT WHEN NECESSARY
We share best practices often at I-NET meetings. Now is the time to look at our internal processes and practices and reassess whether they are still valid and productive in 2020. Change when it is necessary can be the difference between being a casualty or a survivor. And while change, unfamiliar solutions and calculated risk are uncomfortable, it is the responsibility of leadership to chart a course and communicate effectively with those around us.
RECOMMIT TO CORE VALUES
As independent businesses, we are in the unique position of creating a workplace culture that reflects what we aspire and believe in. Many of our companies bear the name of our family. Others include multigenerational owners and employees. Our success is dependent upon the health of our organization. The values we include in our mission statements, when put to the test in unprecedented times, are our greatest strength and the directional compass that leads us forward.