Advisory Panel | Thoughts on COVID-19
Even in the best of times, we at The Source seek the input and guidance from the incredible women who make up our Advisory Panel. It was only natural we look to these amazing professionals to see how they’re changing the way they do business during these times of uncertainty and unpredictability. Here’s what just a few had to say:
Elizabeth Upchurch | Owner | Fresh Ink
The pivot to working remotely on custom invitations was not a tremendous transition for us because we work with so many long-distance clients anyway. But figuring out how to sell what we can from our gift shop to clients who can't physically come in made us tune up our website quickly and think outside the box with our marketing messaging and fulfillment options such as delivery, pickup, or shipping. During these days when the orders and sales are not coming in as fast as usual, we are working on being as responsive as possible to the inquires we do have and showing extra customer service love wherever possible because we KNOW it makes a difference. A great case in point is that I ordered a small tube of makeup from a local luxury store, the kind of place where I go in and swoon over the thousand dollar handbags, stating I was happy to pay for shipping so I didn't have to pick it up. Imagine my face when the owner of the store delivers it to my door, on his vintage motorcycle, in person. Above and beyond in the very best way - that's the kind of thing that customers remember for a lifetime!
Alyson Jones | Attorney | Butler Snow
One of my leadership and character traits that I have had to adjust during this crisis, is my “get down to business” approach to all conversations and connections. My personality is to immediately tackle whatever the purpose of the call, meeting or even conversation is without any regard to any personal matters that may be going on for either side. I have often been teased by cutting conversations short with a temperament of being cold and guarded. In this COVID-19 pandemic, I have found that because we are all sharing in this crisis together, although admittedly not all being affected the same, there is a genuine need for and sense of compassion and relatedness in every meeting and conversation. To simply handle business without any regard to the individual’s COVID situation is unacceptable. It allows for an environment of vulnerability and personal connection that many thought leaders have been calling for and speaking on for years as motivation, particularly to women. Men and women alike, across all ethnicities, are taking calls from bedrooms and are outside the comfort zone of the intangible office barriers. To be clear, no COVID-19 situation is identical and unique struggles exist, however, there are certain boundaries that are being broken down and united bonds being built because of this major crisis that we are all enduring together.
Marlo Kirkpatrick | Partner | Kirkpatrick & Porch Creative
Like many others, my small creative services business has been hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdown. I’ve gone from packed-to-overflowing days to begging my dogs to take me for another walk, and it’s hard to believe there was ever a time when I did not dream about the Paycheck Protection Program. As we navigate these strange times together, I’ve realized how lucky I am that my business has been built not on transactions, but on relationships. Many of my clients have been with me for over a decade, some closing in on two decades (yes, I absolutely started this business when I was 10). Because I know my clients are people I can trust, I can offer deferred payments, complimentary consults, and other “CoronaDeals” that allow me to continue to help my clients without worrying that I’m being taken advantage of during a tough time. My clients and their businesses mean more to me than just an invoice, which is probably why our relationships have lasted this long and why I’m confident that it will take more than a virus to change that. When this shutdown is over, I think my business and the relationships it’s built on will come back even stronger than before. And while Zoom meetings are keeping me from wearing my pajamas 24/7 (at least so far), I’m looking forward to meeting with my clients in person again and telling them how much I’ve genuinely missed them.
Thank you to these inspiring women for sharing their wisdom and experiences with us. While we all might be in the same boat, we’re in different storms, and it’s helpful to hear from others who are navigating alongside us.