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!
SS: I’m the owner and President of Wear-Flex Slings as well as its sister company, American Webbing and Fittings. We operate from Winston-Salem as well as a small office in Chicago. February 18th will be my 30th anniversary.
CP: Who is your best customer?
SS: I’ve got distributors of our products that have been buying since the 60’s. We’ve got serval avenues that we sell through—we sell certain things to the government and other things to utilities, some to industrial manufacturers and others to municipalities. I still believe in the old-fashioned touch, although that’s been hard this year, so the best customer for me is going to be someone who appreciates that as well. Someone who values high quality service and building a relationship over saving a few bucks.
CP: How had COVID-19 affected your business?
SS: We have had a few employees affected by COVID and it’s been rough on our business as well.
CP: What are 1 or 2 actions you've taken because of the pandemic? How are they working?
SS: We’ve done a lot with social distancing, but the biggest thing we’ve done is change a lot of shifts so there aren’t so many people here at one time. We’ve also staggered lunch times so that the break room is affected similarly. We’ve moved a lot of equipment around so no one’s on top of each other.
CP: Biggest learning since you've been a business owner?
SS: It kind of coincides with the pandemic—be prepared for the unexpected. Things can be going along swimmingly and then something like this happens. Don’t let anything shock you.
CP: What is most inspiring to you today?
SS: The way that our employees, as well as most people in the country, have come together to try and help each other. I’m really proud of our employees, for not only doing their best, but going above and beyond their duties. That’s inspiring to me.