Most of you know will know Greg Grant CKD Au as the (outgoing) Executive Director of KBDi. Before he donned that hat, however, Greg was a long serving member and the owner of a very successful cabinetmaking business in Brisbane. We put a few questions to Greg about his take on the current economic environment. While Greg’s answers relate to KBDi (and as Members, you’ll be keen to learn what we’re up to), his advice can definitely be applied to all kinds of businesses.

Here’s what Greg had to say.

Is the current health crisis prompting you to change how you market to potential new clients (members)? How so? 

Yes it will. We have all been guilty of being too busy and neglecting opportunities to follow up. With this reset happening, I believe there will be great opportunities for one on one conversations, which in turn will build better relationships for when business again ramps up.

What about communicating with clients and trades? How are you approaching this today? Have you thought about how you can do this over the coming weeks/months? 

We are investigating many more digital ways to communicate. We have always planned to do this, but never had the time available to develop and implement. Suddenly, we now have time to refine and action these ideas which will be valuable now and will build our association in the future.

Are you adding any new services to your existing lineup in light of the way things are changing around us? 

Yes. We are relaunching our members only area and will be stacking it with resources over the coming weeks.  

How are you keeping your staff optimistic? 

I think all business success is built on your staff. They are your front line. Richard Branson is quoted saying “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple”. I think we need to communicate clearly with staff and allow them to be part of the decisions we are making affecting business. Keep them in the loop. And do everything you can to support them through this and retain them for when business picks up again.

How are you looking after yourself? 

Whilst many of us already work from home, many are now being forced to for the first time. I think it is easy to become despondent and we may feel isolated from our normal routines. When family and friends around us are being stood down or made redundant and many are facing uncertain futures.  

In these times, we do need to remain positive – as this like all other crisis times will pass. 

We need to look after our mental health as well as our physical health of ourselves as well as those around us. 

Staying in touch with family, friends and colleagues is absolutely imperative to maintaining a healthy attitude.

Any other positive, uplifting or motivational thoughts to share with your fellow Members?

Stay positive knowing that this time will pass. 

Use your time wisely to prepare for the expected uplift in business. Look at how you have been working and look for better ways to achieve this in future. My dad always said “take time to sharpen your axe, so you can clear a way through the trees”. Without taking time to sharpen the axe, we work inefficiently trying to chop down the forest in front of us.

Invest in alternative ways to communicate. 

I hope we all take time in this downturn to “reset” and “sharpen our axe”. 

Any words of wisdom you’d like to add to this? Please feel free to comment below.