The current COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted how lumberyards do business. Yard personnel, countertop help and all staff dealing with the public need to wear masks. Customers have to wear masks and stand in lines 6′ apart to get to the sales counter. There is a psychological wear and tear that comes from wearing a mask. Most people ‘grin and bear it’, but it’s burdensome. Everything takes longer. Long term this is not good for people or business.
The following article was written in ProSales in April of 2020.
It’s 2021 and the COVID crisis is still here. Let’s face it; we are in new uncharted territory.
Americans are self-reliant and optimistic. We can rise to this challenge. This crisis is an opportunity for those who see opportunity and adapt to the new conditions.
Back in 2009 in The Great Recession I founded the Santa Cruz Construction Guild as a local version of the big national contractor referral services. Today the SCCG is an established and integral part of the local Santa Cruz construction world and going strong. The foundation of the Guild was and remains good work, a good reputation and being local. Prospective customers looking for help love that it’s local. All construction is local.
LOCAL is having roots in your community. The 900-pound gorilla stores don’t have that.
I see the current crisis as another challenge that can be met with creative initiative, persistence and positivity. This time the focus is on lumberyards as the hub of local construction.
Your lumberyard already is a hub of sorts. It’s where you, your suppliers and your customers meet to do business. You provide the space, the suppliers the materials and us customers pay for the whole thing by purchasing at your store.
Your customers are part of your team.
The next step is to expand the Hub to provide more real value to your customers. Your strength is in your local history and your loyal customers. You want to build on that. Make it a point to inform, educate, communicate, motivate and provide more value to your customers. What can you do to be of more value to your customers? Much of that help can be in the form of information, which is ideal for digital communication.
For example Big Creek Lumber has started a free 2021 online customer training series.
These classes are online and do not require masks or other COVID precautions. That’s one example of adapting to the ‘New Normal’ (whatever that is….). It’s going in the right direction.
You want a presence on your customers’ mobile phones to help them with important information about things that matter, like the current PPP, DBA, EIDL economic relief programs. The Lumberyard App covers that in our exclusive CONSTRUCTION DIGEST (CD) newsfeed.
The Lumberyard App is a digital tool to help you build your communication and connections. It will support all of your marketing efforts. It will help you to build your Hub of local construction. Let us help you.