In this series, ActionCOACH Mary Ann Hauser (MAH) and team virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through COVID-19. Check out their inspiring stories for tips on how to cope with and successfully recover from this pandemic as well as ideas on how to avoid making common mistakes. And be sure to look at special offers from these businesses – we can all use a little extra help right now!
BKN: Coach Beverly Kiser-Nutt
LC: Louis Cherry, owner of Louis Cherry Architecture
LC: I have been in the architectural design business for 35 years in North Carolina and in Eastern North Carolina. My current practice started in 2012, and it is much smaller than the 30+ firm I was a part of from 1984 – 2012. Pre-COVID, we had 6 people on staff. My office is in Raleigh and I have the nice option of being able to walk to work.
BKN: Who is your best customer?
LC: Currently, my best customer is Plant 7 in High Point, NC. We are building community and restoring beautiful architecture. From a design standpoint, it has been a big challenge to make it work. On the plus side, the community has been fabulous and we are enjoying the opportunity to work hand in hand with the Condin Family Foundation on this project. You can check out the project at http://www.louischerry.com/plant-seven/
BKN: What has been the biggest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
LC: A lot of work disappeared, which resulted in having to reduce our staff from 6 to 4.
BKN: What are 1 or 2 actions you’ve taken because of pandemic, and how are they working?
LC: I began working from home vs. the office. We’ve been utilizing technology – using multiple video meetings each day to communicate about projects. We have a staff member in the office who answers the phone, receives the mail, and maintains normal office hours. Two other staff members work from home, and one already had a studio in place for working remotely. I have found that I am more available working remotely and waste less time traveling, and we are able to do most everything online.
BKN: What is the biggest learning since you’ve been a business owner?
LC: Virtual meetings are much more viable than I ever thought imaginable. I’m still learning the long-lasting results and changes in architectural design from COVID-19 and all the effects it has had. There will be less density, more working remotely, better ventilation and more cleaning of communal areas.
BKN: What is most inspiring to you today?
LC: I am most inspired by the Plant 7 Project in High Point, NC. The group of people stepping up, the visionaries, the urban community space we are creating, the momentum in High Point to revitalize — it is inspiring to work with generous people who are committing their time to creating a world class project for the community to enjoy.