The lessons of the recession (Page 2)
Laura Partridge, President, Creative Concepts Media + Marketing
Stay true to who you are. Creative Concepts Media + Marketing has been a relationship-based company since inception. In the early 2000s, service businesses veered away from relationships and high standards of service to put an emphasis on other things, including technology versus human touch, email versus a conversation, and quantity versus quality. Creative Concepts did not. We have always taken the time to know our clients as well as our vendors, as people and businesses. This has kept our business and our team solid during this rough period and has created an ideal platform for growth in years to come.
Jim Miller, President and chief executive officer, Renown Health
People are an organization’s greatest asset and promise for the future. It is an organization’s employees that carry the expertise to create, transform and implement a new future and to provide innovative solutions during a downturn. Employees are also very compassionate individuals who are willing to participate in shared risks and sacrifices in order to save jobs and continue to care for customers. Keeping as many people as possible in jobs helps the economy while supporting families and that, in turn, protects the livelihoods of our customers. Local people taking care of local people makes our economy strong and healthy.
Larry Charlton, Nevada regional executive, City National Bank
Communication continues to be one of the best business practices during good and bad times with both clients and colleagues. Knowing that the downturn was having an adverse affect on businesses, City National was proactive in communicating with its clients to help them through this recession. Too many companies, especially banks, buried their heads in the sand and stopped communicating with their clients. We saw this as an opportunity to solidify our relationships and develop new ones. We pride ourselves as being a trusted financial advisor for our clients and as such we are helping them through these difficult times.
Frank Haxton, Founder, chief photographer, Digiman Studio
Digiman Studio was spending over $2,000 a month in retail space when I made the decision to downsize and change locations. Not wanting to spend my personal reserves to move and build out a new facility, I needed the help of a financial institution and to be released from my commercial lease. I went to US Bank branch manager Mike McDonald and was able to secure a business line of credit when no banks were lending. With the help of Ed Yuill of The Ribeiro Company, I was able to change locations, cut my overhead and build my dream studio. Without the personal relationships that I have with people like Mike and Ed, that believe in my business, I’m sure we could not have weathered this storm.
Vincent B. Scott, Broker/owner, Intero Real Estate Services
Take it slower, listen better, talk less and with purpose, appreciate and love your family more, stay healthy, share with others less fortunate, realize the value of a dollar, help your kids understand the importance of hard work and the value of a dollar. Stay strong and be confident and don’t ever … ever … give up!
Abbi Holtom Whitaker, President and founder, Abbi Public Relations
The recession taught us how valuable PR really is. People couldn’t afford to spend lots of money on advertising, and they were looking for other ways to position and brand their business. We learned that a good PR story can go along way.
Ron Ford, President, Sierra Air Inc.
I learned that survival was not going to happen without a ferocious battle from within. We were fortunate that we were diversified in what goods and services we provide our customers, and we were not dependent on the new housing market, thank God. We were able to purchase or take over a few of our smaller competitors and aggressively market their existing customer base with great success. Although we are 30 percent smaller in 2012 than 2008, we are starting to see more bottom-line profit. The employees that committed to stay and fight through with me have done the impossible at times, and I will never forget the sacrifices they made to make sure the company survived. I was planning on retiring a few years ago. but with the challenge and rewards I have had the last few years no way, work seems like fun again.
Debbie Cox,Owner, CHAOS
(Creative Home and Office Solutions)
The recession has hit Nevadans especially hard, but it also has created new opportunities. As a professional organizer and entrepreneur, I saw an unmet need in Reno and was inspired to create a new business: CHAOS to Cash. This is a unique consignment store where people can display their treasures which are too valuable to donate. We then use the many technology resources available today to help sell and recycle these items to new homes. Using the Internet to market through multiple outlets, I can promote merchandise from Reno area sellers to buyers anywhere in the world!
Tony Fiannaca, President, Sparks Florist Inc.
It’s easy to become complacent when financially you’re secure, and business is good. When a financial downturn occurs, there can be an upside. It forces you to become more business focused; more creative in searching for new business; it also forces you to look at every aspect of your organization, discover areas of waste and reminds you how to manage with less while still maintaining quality.
Kelly Houston, Owner and principal, smith + jones
What I learned from the recession is that continuously asking “What can we do better for our customers?” pays off during good times and bad. When the economy was booming and real estate was all the rage, we remained focused on proven techniques and technologies to help our clients grow sustainable businesses. Today, our agency and clients are surviving the economic climate and we’re always looking for new, yet sensible ways to improve. Change is constant, and it’s important to weed out the fads from the real opportunities.
Jacob Warwick, CEO of Discover Podium, says the company that launched only a year ago in Reno recently surpassed $1 million in revenue and has big plans for growth in the coming months.