The lessons of the recession (page 4)
Lonnie Klaich, Executive director, Sierra Neurosurgery Group
I learned to create a business plan for “what-if scenarios” that we could monitor daily with various metrics to ensure we were on the right track financially and with regard to providing quality care. To trust my instincts, but remain flexible to change course and direction when merited.
To continue having empathy and compassion for our great staff as we did everything we could to contain cost, short of layoffs in order to preserve jobs.
And last, that we could invest back in the community by having the opportunity to close on a 14,000-square-foot building and adjacent acre of land to create the future site of an SNG clinic.
Gary Longaker, Executive Director, Nevada Rural Housing Authority
While contributing to the overall housing needs of 1,000 families since the start of the recession, that old adage of finding the silver lining in each cloud is true. We’ve had to reevaluate the way we help people. We’ve learned that families have had to do more with less and are looking at any and all ways to cut costs. In addition, the list for rental assistance has grown longer, thus the need is paramount. Overall, we need to remain flexible and creative. Now and in the future we will work collaboratively with the public, private and governmental sectors to continue administering affordable housing programs for Nevadans.
Kirk Gardner, CPA, Shareholder, Kafoury, Armstrong & Co.
Though the economy may have stalled, the flow of new tax laws and regulations have not. Some of these are meant to directly address current economic issues (such as the payroll tax cut and its extension). Some are more indirectly related with an eye toward raising tax revenues (such as the increased reporting for foreign accounts). Business and individuals that want to focus on maintaining their own economic stability will unfortunately need to deal with the distractions of these new laws and their effects. In a way, you might file this under ‘Some things never change….'”
John Desmond, Stockholder, Jones Vargas
During the recession, we learned to be nimble and even redefine ourselves if necessary. For example, the attorneys in our real estate group were affected by the downturn in the market. Rather than get discouraged, they looked for opportunities elsewhere in the industry in order to expand their practices.
In addition, we learned to be reevaluate the necessity of things. We were vigilant about trimming non-core expenses, revisiting each item in the budget to determine just how essential it was to the function of our business. It was that flexibility that allowed us to remain successful in such trying times.
Liz Stevenson, Chiropractic physician, Peak Performance Chiropractic
I learned that people truly value their health. Throughout the recession, our patients continually expressed a desire to take the initiative to fix a problem at the onset, realizing that by waiting it would cost them more in the long run. By being proactive, they will not have to miss work or other things they enjoy the most and can utilize that time and money for things they really need.
John Ganser, M.D., Medical director, Western Bariatric Institute
Diversification is important during strong economic times, but even more essential in a challenging market. We realized we had additional valuable talents and services we could offer our patients, so we discussed our strengths as a team and as individuals and put those in place. We also took advantage of slower times to implement public outreach and educational activities that we had been planning to do for years, but could never find the time. Most importantly, we were careful to not allow fear and panic about the recession to interfere with intelligent decision-making and our long-range plans.
Beth Kitchen, President, Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors
We have learned many lessons from this economic downturn. In both our professional and personal lives we have learned to plan ahead, and save for a rainy day. History indicates economic ups and downs are cyclical and we need to plan for the downturns. We also need to set realistic goals and focus on our strengths. It has been essential that we educate our clients about the importance of only buying as much house as one can afford because we know in the long run that will make us all successful. Americans are resilient and everyone is doing the best they can to weather the storm.
Tami Ritz and Nicole Reel, RealtorsKeller Williams Group One Inc.
and New Start Nevada
The recession has made us rethink our industry and how we do business. As real estate agents, we have sought to fill a need in our community by bringing sound advice and education to the public. We use words like loan modification, short sale and foreclosure, but a large majority of our community are more confused than ever about what these terms mean, and, more importantly, how they affect their personal situations. In order for our community to recover from the housing crisis, we all need to work together to become informed and find the best possible solutions for homeowners.
Michael Dermody, Chairman and CEO, Dermody Properties
In the last 35 years, our company has weathered many economic ups and downs, with the current recession being the worst. It is easy to give advice, and I wish I had more wisdom; however, one thing we did was return to the core values our company was founded on. During this economic downturn, we have listened to the customer more than ever, put our employees first and continued to support our community. Tactically, the most important thing we’ve done is fill our buildings, and I give great credit to our team who now has us at a 90 percent occupancy.
Eric M. Rauch, President, Ametherm Inc.
We learned to be brutally honest with ourselves during the last recession. We accepted the reality of the current situation and its effect on our customers, vendors, and employees, and we reacted quickly to implement proactive measures that were necessary to survive the recession and then thrive once the worst of it was over.
Chet Bassetti, Founder and co-owner, The Barrel Rack
We started The Barrel Rack right at the beginning of the recession. We had a unique niche product that we believed in. We learned to do things we never knew we could do by simply trying and discovering from others via the Internet. We found targeted marketing is not so expensive in this Internet age. It gave us time to get organized, streamline, improve our processes. We went “green,” introduced new products and took advantage of social media and other media opportunities. We prepared for the economy to improve, and for us, it has: we just had our best year.
B.C. LeDoux,President, creative director and partner, The Glenn Group
The recession has been a blessing. Seriously, in many ways it has. Don’t get me wrong, it’s come with tough times and extremely hard decisions, but it’s also given us a crash course on how to evolve, adapt and become an agency of the future. Like many companies, we’ve learned humility and responsibility, but probably most importantly we’ve learned a new level of versatility. We’ve had to become even scrappier and more nimble, working harder and smarter, focusing fiercely on innovation and improvement. It hasn’t been easy, but it has certainly presented opportunities that have us well positioned for the future.
John F. Murtha, President and managing shareholder, Woodburn and Wedge
I’ve learned Franklin D. Roosevelt’s statement, made during the Great Depression, that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” is as true today as it was in 1933. My sense is that fear is causing the recession to linger longer than anyone would have predicted. Some, understandably, are experiencing fear as an emotional reaction to a specific event (such as a job loss), but others are using fear as a weapon (e.g. politicians with agendas to advance and talk-show hosts seeking higher ratings). Once we conquer fear and the use of fear (and we will), the financial paralysis it causes will end and we will be on the road to recovery.
According to the Site Selectors Guild, the pandemic is shifting corporations’ radar away from big cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago and toward mid-size cities like Reno.