Life After COVID-19 – Are You Ready?
I hope that this finds you well and safe. I want to start out by reminding you that we have a prayer team here at Isaiah Industries that would be humbled to pray for any specific needs you have. Please feel free to email me if that is the case and I will get the team engaged.
We have also been trying to bring daily video messages of news, hope, and encouragement. If you have not seen them already, you can find them on the following social media:
Like probably just about everyone except WalMart, we have seen a decline in our business in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis. We have been blessed with some nice orders and we do remain open as an essential business but, still, things are a little slower than we’d normally expect. Our team has been seeking ways to serve others and help the cause and we have started producing and giving away free metal strips for nose bridge closures to all the hardworking folks out there making face masks for personal use or to give away. In the last couple of weeks, we have given away nearly 250,000 of these strips to nearly 2,000 different mask makers. Please help us spread the word and direct folks to metalnosebridge.com.
Our website activity and inquiries into our products, though, have been extraordinarily high in recent weeks. There are lots of people out there planning metal roofing projects for this summer and beyond. I firmly believe that, just like we saw back in 2009 and 2010, we’re about to see a great uptick in business from folks who have maybe had their plans changed as far as moving or building a new home, and now they intend to stay in their current home and remodel. So, we must all be prepared for that increase in business.
Here are a few things to think about as you prepare your business for life after COVID-19. The time is coming, hopefully soon! So, like anything preparedness separates those who thrive from those who dive.
- Consider your Marketing. Today’s digital marketing allows what I call “target messaging” – directing your messages in ways that will spur the intended audiences to action. So, you must ask yourself – how will consumers be different in your area after COVID-19? Will they have different goals and expectations? If so, how can your messaging appeal to those? Off the top of my head, I think that consumers will still care about safety and social distancing even after this is over. This will mean they will be doing more research upfront, and inviting fewer contractors to their homes for estimates. To that end, content on your website and in your target messaging will go a long way in making them choose you. Homeowners will also increasingly ask their friends for referrals to contractors so now is the time to amp up your contact with past customers. I also think that homeowners will be very serious about building value into their current homes – making those homes more comfortable and beautiful while also reducing their future operating costs. All of these things, and other things you will undoubtedly come up with, need to impact your Marketing.
- Think about your Sales Team. Your prescribed selling methods have changed in recent weeks and those changes will continue and perhaps even accelerate. Not all sales people are adapting well to those changes. That could force you into some hard decisions. On the other hand, there is some good talent on the market today – don’t be afraid to expand or “switch up” your sales team.
- Plan for your Installation Team. The biggest challenge facing most contractors for several years has been finding good labor. Many people are predicting that, with the economic downturn, that problem will go away. I unfortunately do not believe that for a second! The turn away from the skilled trades as a career option in our country has been cultural more than anything else. You will still be challenged to find good workers who share your vision and passion for quality. But, like sales people, there is going to be some talent coming available – just don’t expect it to be enough.
- Evaluate your Target. We will likely see a lessening of the middle class and more division between the “haves” and the “have nots”. We may see lower availability of home improvement financing and, in general, lower credit scores amongst homeowners. Consider carefully who you want to target as your future customers, and what products and services will best appeal to them.
As always, know that we’re here to kick around ideas with you and find ways to make your business more successful. Please feel free to contact me and I will help guide you in the best direction within our company. And, if you have available time, why not read some past issues of the Executive Report?
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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