By: Stuart Jeffcoat—CEO, Burgard
By now, we’ve all heard quite a bit about COVID-19 and have seen in real-time the economic consequences. Sadly, many small businesses have been shuttered, and, regardless of what Wall Street looks like, Main Street has suffered the most.
Despite the immediate pain for some businesses caused by intermittent supply chain shortages, many in our industry had a banner year. But this comes as no surprise. Historically, the building industry tends to lag behind overall economic trends by 12–18 months. The fact remains that we’ve not yet felt the full impact
of the global 2020 shutdowns and the ensuing economic fallout.
That means COVID-related economic consequences are about to cause larger-scale disruptions for many builders, contractors, and folks within our industry in 2021 and beyond. While recovery is inevitable at some point, wise builders are currently bracing themselves for a challenging year (or years).
So, how do you come out of this ahead? What concrete steps can you take to put your business in the best position going into this period of the unknown?
1. Invest in marketing.
Typically, during a period of economic uncertainty, marketing is the first thing businesses cut. HOWEVER, this is actually the best time to stand out. While your competition is cutting back, get your name out there! Consider whether advertising or other forms of outreach make sense.
2. Get serious about sales behaviors.
During a time of uncertainty, customers and prospects are often looking for help—even if they appear more budget-conscious. Align your sales plan with this need by focusing your calls and conversations on problem-solving rather than pushing new products!
3. Optimize your systems.
It’s often said, “Change is the only constant.” Take this time to look not just at what your business does, but how it’s done. Are employees in the right roles? Is leadership supporting them in the most effective ways? Are jobs running smoothly? If you’ve been doing things “business as usual” for a while, now may be the time to find a new “usual.”
4. Cultivate an abundance mentality.
Maintaining a positive attitude can be challenging when the building market is uncertain. Focus on believing and knowing there is plenty of work out there for all of us, even if it requires some changes. Keeping a positive mindset while others focus on negativity fosters hope, promotes good health, and offers clarity for productive thinking.
For better or for worse, the economy isn’t something we can directly control. It’s bigger than any of us, even though it affects all of us. Focusing on what we can control and letting go of what we can’t is a perspective we all need to persevere. And it’s a great way to get ahead. Not just now, but always.