Originally published: 12.01.20 by Pete Grasso
As we come to the close of another year — and boy, what a year it’s been! — it’s a good exercise to take stock of all the reasons you have to be grateful.
On the surface, one might think there isn’t a whole lot to be thankful for in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly made for a difficult, if not interesting, year for many. Event cancellations, shut-downs, new safety protocols and the continued surge of COVID-19 cases has, unfortunately, become the norm lately.
I don’t think any of us thought we’d still be dealing with this in December, but here we are for better or worse. Back in the early days of the pandemic hitting the U.S. in March, confusion abound. What did it all mean for the way you conducted business? Would you survive?
The initial stay-at-home orders and shuttering of non-essential businesses are something from which many have still not yet recovered. Thankfully, and rightfully so, HVACR was deemed an essential business and a great majority of contractors with whom I’ve spoken the past several months have reported record years in terms of business and growth.
The need for this industry and the service you provide didn’t go away and, in fact, many residential contractors saw a large uptick in business as customers spent more time at home. Smart contractors have adapted to doing business in a safe way during a pandemic — and thrived!
Despite the crazy year it’s been, with all the ups and downs, it’s important to give thanks for the good things. You can certainly be thankful if your business is doing well, but I encourage you to take a closer look at the reasons behind it.
I’m talking, of course, about the four groups of people all successful business owners cannot do without.
Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. Maybe you started as a one-man shop (as many of you did). You worked hard to grow and began adding employees. Whether you currently have just a handful of employees or hundreds, you owe them your gratitude for where you are today.
During this past year, I imagine your employees have even been asked to do more than in years past — from following additional safety protocols to changing the way they interact on the job. It can be a lot to deal with and it’s important to ensure they feel appreciated.
Talented employees stay because they are listened to and appreciated. Take some time to thank your team for their hard work this year and let them know how much you value them.
You couldn’t be successful without customers. Without customers, you have no business. Today’s homeowners and building managers also have many choices — and they choose you! Make sure they know how grateful you are for their business.
Your peers are an invaluable resource and one which is often overlooked.
How many times have you turned to a contractor you met at an industry show or through an association meeting and asked for advice? Maybe you belong to a MIX group, where you bounce ideas off other successful entrepreneurs, or perhaps you’re friends with other business owners in your area.
I’m willing to bet you have at least one aspect of your business that you implemented based off a conversation you had with a peer. They found success and shared it with you. Now you’ve found success thanks to them.
You wouldn’t be where you are today without your family. Perhaps the most thankless role in the life of a business owner is that of his or her family.
Your business is your life, and sacrifices need to be made for your business — often times at the expense of your family. Whether they’re officially a part of the business or not, your family plays a huge role in your business success. They stick by you, no matter what. They’re understanding. And they need to be appreciated.
If there’s one thing to be learned from all that 2020 has thrown at us, it’s the importance of family. As an essential business, you may not be stuck working from home, but I’m sure you’ve spent more time at home than usual with your family.
They already know how much you love and appreciate them, but it doesn’t hurt to let them know anyway.