San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
I have been thinking a lot about what I was going to say this month. Man, has it been tough to put into words. We have a new president, a new proposed plan for economic peace, a new Super Bowl game and new businesses going out of business everyday.
Crazy times are here.
I hope not to stay.
As I look at the state of our union and especially our industry, I think to myself, “Is there a chance”?
In our neck of the woods in Texas, business has been mixed. Our new builders are not building spec homes and customers are not moving. There is so much fear and trepidation going on in the press and in everybody’s mind that people are scared senseless. Companies are trimming the fat, trimming the bottom line and getting rid of people and jobs. It has been scary but not as scary as some states. Even though this perceived state of the economy looks bad, the reality is there have been phenomenal chances for growth.
As a CEDIA Certified ESC, I have noticed a lot of opportunities to turn the negative into positive. It is no longer doom and gloom in our organization or in my mindset. I know that a lot of us are scared, and when you look at people losing jobs and families not having money to eat or take care of bills, the doom and gloom is real. But as I look at that, I look for ways to turn it into something positive. Our builders are not building a lot of new homes. Yes, that is true. But there are a lot of builders who are still building and they are expanding their services by retro fitting current homes. Clients may not be buying new homes but they are spending money creating safe cocoons and nests. This offers extremely lucrative opportunities to grow. Even though retro fitting is hard and it can be a nightmare if done wrong, it can also be the difference in success or failure.
Expanding our services has also given us a shot in the arm. We are offering more design and engineering. We are offering more acoustics and lighting and control options. We are not only offering more services to our client but we are tightening the reins on processes and procedures. We are daily revamping or ways of doing business so we can be more efficient and more practical in how we work so we stay lean. This not only makes us become more cognizant of our resources and how we are using them, but it also shows our clients that we are sympathetic to their issues. We are maintaining the same mind set as our clients. If I was going to cocoon or hide out and nest, what would I want to do? How would I want to interact with my home and what features would I want to have at my fingertips? These are the thought processes we are taking because we know that times are tough and value does not always mean cheaper.
Time, energy and talents are what I have to work with and it is my job to be a good steward of what I have. When I stay focused and sincerely think like my client and continue to use my resources so that he can succeed, I will succeed. And I will always be given another chance.
Lewis Franke CCPI, CPD, CCI, ROI, DM Home Entertainment