Everyone faced similar challenges when COVID-19 hit the world in 2020. As it spread to different countries, different businesses discovered different challenges and unique ways of overcoming them. You might be getting tired of paying attention to current events: after all, it’s constantly depressing and often it’s hard to sort through what is important. But I’ve got a good reason that you should keep paying attention to worldwide events in your industry: exponential growth!
See, our adversity during COVID came in the form of labor shortage and the resulting employee management but we weren’t alone. Every other security corporation in the world began to struggle with those issues as COVID hit.
Let me explain:
As Work-From-Home conditions grew across the world, the number of abandoned buildings full of valuable equipment skyrocketed too. This meant that the corporations and businesses owning those buildings needed to get them secured and monitored ASAP.
In comes an unprepared security industry.
If you’ve worked with a security company, you know that it can take weeks for them to get guards on-site. They are slow-moving and often not built to handle a sudden influx of clients. But that was exactly what happened.
Here’s What Happened For Us:
Watching the security industries in other countries buckle under the sudden spike in demand for security, and seeing how quickly the virus spread, I knew that the Security Industry in the United States would soon face a similar issue.
In January, as I watched current events unfolding in my industry, I began interviewing massive quantities of prospective employees and placed gigantic orders of supplies for guards: vests, batons, pepper spray, etc.
They came just in time.
Our supply orders arrived a week before the virus began to shut things down in the U.S., but we still hadn’t found and trained all of the candidates we needed. (Security guards need to have level 3 training in order to perform to the standards we uphold, and most applicants didn’t have that training so they were in the middle of getting that training when we had our influx of new clients)
Ultimately, my Vice President and I (both of us have extensive Security Training) ended up covering tons of shifts for new clients until we could get guards trained, hired, and on-site in a regular schedule.
What happened in the end?
We had an increase of over 400% in one quarter due to the sudden influx of clients. Thanks to a weather eye on industry events and a lot of extra work on the front end, we were able to manage the high demand and actually retained the majority of the clients who came on initially.
It might be a bit exhausting.
But keeping an eye on current events in your industry will afford you opportunities where others see only challenges.
If you’re a CEO, you are constantly turning challenges within your company into opportunities. Take the time you use keeping up with current industry events to do the same thing.
If a particular aspect of industry service that is being challenged lately, take the opportunity to dive into it within your own company and blow your customers out of the water. As you continue to do that, you will find more and more customers gravitate towards you by word of mouth.
The trick is that people talk about what is currently happening: the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you can be “the good” in that conversation, your reputation shoots through the roof and your potential clients grow in number as well.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.