Sunday Saves: Focus
Week of March 9th, 2020
If I had a word for the week, focus would be it. Things are changing on the fly, and rapidly. So much so I've avoiding watching the news, it's hard to tell what is real and what is exaggerated, or what simply may be fake. I get the message, and at the end of the day with the COVID-19 scare, we need to limit interaction, practice safe and sanitary precautions, and essentially hold our breath for the next several weeks. Being a leader during the changes is tricky, managing a household, a staff as well as clients that may be impacted as a result. Deadline and schedules have a new meaning, as do entering client homes.
What we've shared with our community in individual messages, is we are in the mindset to carry on. While we will also be following the guidelines to thoroughly sanitize often, we will also require any team member to stay home if they are not feeling well, suncontractors too.
But much like yourselves, we have a small business to keep running, clients to keep happy and employees gainfully employed. Creatively, we are coming up with ways we can continue to keep the ball moving and engage with our clients, we encourage you to do the same and stay ahead of the communication with your clients as well. Be present, and well .. stay focused.
1. Take Client Meetings Online
This seems like an easy change, so why not. If we can make decisions via email, conference calls and the occasional FaceTime call, let's do it! There are many resources for virtual meetings, now may be the time to adapt this system .. and hey, maybe there are some permanent efficiencies to be had here.
2. Keep a Clean and Safe Work Environment
While many business have the ability to close for a few weeks, we have decided to remain open, as of now. Our space is highly dedicated to our team, so we do not have many, if any visitors throughout the day. But we will have a heightened awareness of our workspace, and the space around us, keeping it sanitary and disinfected.
3. Look Forward
What are things we can do today, from our work office or home office to keep clients engaged? There are many design only opportunities we can work on with the notion we can implement this Spring and of course start filling up our Fall calendar. With the remainder of the year secured, this current dip won't feel so scary, for many.
4. Spend Cautiously
We keep our eye on our budget regardless, it's critical when running a small business. But the next few weeks are a great opportunity to look at any frivolous spending. Putting a hold on in person team meetings, entertainment, booking any future work travel, and any marketing efforts that come with an expense. These are a few ideas that will work for us.
5. Keep Marketing
While we will not spend money on marketing right now, continuing to work on our content calendar, getting our work published online via our Pinterest page and Instagram account are terrific ways to stay top of mind and in our potential clients feeds. Writing consistent blog posts, sharing inspiration will be critical as many people are slowing down for a bit, this will also give them something to do.
With these things in mind, we will carry on with a few announcements we had planned to share this week. There are great things ahead and fun things to look forward to, in theory, here is what is saving us this week.
Best of Houzz
For a second year in a row, we won Best of Houzz for service. One of the best pieces of advice I received early on was to ask clients for reviews. As awkward as this may seem, it's so helpful to keep a business chugging along and to differentiate yourself from competitors. If your clients are happy, and you've spent months working alongside them, what the heck .. ask them to share! This has truly been the secret to this award for the last two years. So BIG thanks to our clients for taking the time to praise their experiences with our team.
Remodeler Showcase Tour
It's on the horizon, as of now, still scheduled for the first weekend in April. Our #DrewAve project was selected as a Dream Home for this Spring's tour. We recently stopped by to visit the homeowners and begin our staging process for the tour. A few sneak peeks here, our fingers are crossed things will settle down a bit and we can hold this tour. Of course with ALL the hand sanitizer we can find.
Nosh & Gather Launch
My girl, Liza Atkinson, has officially launched her new business, Nosh & Gather. It's pop up dinner parties and hot meals to go. I've been getting weekly deliveries since the first of the year for our family, and friends.. it's SAVING me. The food is spot on, reusable containers (she has a system for this), easy to rehreat and family approved.
Liza also makes the most amazing sourdough bread. So much so I went from being gluten lite to gluten heavy and have been living off this bread all year. Fun fact, I am not having the side effects I normally do. Give her a follow on the gram, stay connected as she will soon release her pop up dinner parties, and this you will not want to miss.
Design Bloggers Tour
I wrote a blog about this event, which has been postponed until June. But I will be there this summer, date TBD. Covering the semi annual High Point Market, all things furnishings for interior decor. Thousands of the trade professionals gather to see new releases, get inspired and connect IRL.
I need to take moment to mention this. Once upon a time I owned a restaurant, for almost a decade, and I can't stress the importance of supporting our local businesses right now. Everyone is practicing additional safety measures, enhanced care and cleaning guidelines. But as social distancing is a real thing, here are some other ways we can still support. (real pic of my restaurant here :)
1. Buy a gift card
Have a family member or friend birthday on the horizon? Think about grabbing a gift card online today to be redeemed later this season.
Or, grab a few gift cards today for the upcoming holiday season, plan ahead and know your purchase is making a huge impact.
2. Read a few blogs
Did you know many people write blogs to drive traffic to their website? Yes they want to share knowledge and inspiration with you too, but google analytics are the name of the game. So go ahead, and OPEN the blog. You're supporting local businesses this way too. Some of my favorites:
Paisley and Sparrow - all things mom life
Construction2Style - all the DIY inspo you'll ever need
Tonkadale - plant life is huge right now, get to know your plants
Nourish Move Love - workouts at HOME
Fit Foodie Finds - healthy recipe inspiration for days
3. Google Reviews
Now is the time, have you worked with a local business lately? Take a moment to review them online. These reviews are HUGE for their business and future referrals.
4. Shop Online
You don't have to twist my arm here, and yes .. we're increasing packaging waste, but it may be worth the trade off to support locally. Upcoming birthday parties for your kids, summer necessities, sunscreen and swimsuits? How about stocking up things to do for your kids over the next few weeks, if your school has been canceled. Note, I did not say support Amazon, support a local retailer.
A few favorites here:
Tare Market - a package free and zero waste shop
Primp Boutique - stylish clothes, affordably
Feminist Book Club - monthly book subscription
Nosh & Gather - join her meal deliveries, or get added to the list
OK team .. signing off, we're not as great about social distancing as some are. We're headed out to the Parade of Homes today we heard it's been packed). The tour is still open and we've got some inspiration waiting for us!
Katie + Jkath Team
Interested in connecting about your home renovation?
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