Rising Above with Authenticity
By Rod Bolls, Boxwell
From supply chain woes and freight rate hikes to congestion at the ports and employee burnout, the storage industry has endured a lot over the past year. So how do we overcome the unexpected challenges we’ve faced? Often, the best way to rise above the unforeseen in business is simply by staying authentic. With honesty and creativity, we can come out ahead during these changing times. In the words of Leslie Higgins on Ted Lasso, “I suppose the best brand is just being yourself.”
In theory, being honest in business should be easy. Having direct, one-on-one conversations is the most effective way to conduct business and learn about what your customers want. Consumer habits and information gathering is constantly evolving. Customers want to know that they’re getting the best product or service for their needs. And they value face-to-face, phone and email interactions. For customers to see a brand’s value, businesses need to be upfront and honest. When you’re honest and authentic, it simplifies the process of marketing. Strategic Account Manager for Boxwell, Laura Brooks says, “Focus on what you can control.” When your product or service is solid, everything else will fall into place. If lead times have increased because of the supply chain issues, let your customers know, for example. When everyone is operating from the same information, we can have open, honest, and transparent conversations with each other.
Companies with a culture of honesty and innovation empower creative thinkers in changing times. It all starts with your team and flows to your customers, partners, and community. Employees want to work for a company whose mission goes beyond the bottom line. Be sure that your company’s core values include the qualities you’re looking for in your employees. Leading by example can help you achieve a well-rounded company that fosters healthy and happy employees. Think about what qualities have served you well. And view things from everyone else’s perspective. How does it feel to be in their shoes? Also, don’t just live for the work you do. Business leaders should aim to live multi-dimensional lives. A well-rounded leader considers the effect they have on others. This includes the impact they make with family, friends, employees, partners, and community. Set the example that a balanced life is essential for a happy life. Less burnout will occur when employees feel valued in and out of the office.
For innovation, it’s important to take risks and learn from your mistakes. Leaders need to inspire their team to take chances for change. A lot of businesses are driven top-down. But true innovation comes from looking outward at the world around us and listening to the needs of our consumers. What are people searching for? What are the different ways you can provide it? Businesses have needed to pivot over the past year. Think about the changes we’ve seen recently. When people needed essentials, grocery stores started to deliver. When people ramped up their fast-food consumption, chains started putting in extra drive-thru lanes. Gyms started to offer virtual workout classes. Doctors offered online visits. Pretty much every sector of society has been affected by the pandemic. And many industries have risen for the challenge.
The storage industry is no different. It has proven itself as a leader in innovation under the circumstances. We got creative! For example, when operators needed to act to keep clients safe, they installed hands-free entry and security systems. They gave virtual tours of their facilities to attract customers. They hired extra cleaning staff and ensured a sanitary experience. They also set up management software for online contracts and billing. Operators communicated less in-person, and more via text, phone, video chats, email, and e-newsletters. The process of improvement is innovation. No matter the industry, all companies need to seek out ways to reinvent themselves and their products. Technology shows no signs of slowing down. For businesses to stay relevant, it’s imperative to keep up with the times and change how they do things if needed. The demand for storage facilities has only increased, and the need for innovations continues. Even without a pandemic pushing a shift, consumers are changing how they decide upon a brand. Therefore, businesses must prepare how they will react.
Sure, manufacturing activity has slowed, ports are full, and deliveries are taking longer and costing more. We’re all feeling it. On the bright side, business activity has picked up since the shutdown. And an easy way to rise above the unpredictable changes is to stay authentic and creative. When creating a company culture of transparency and innovation, consider your work environment and core mission. Innovation doesn’t have to involve a new product or process. Sometimes it’s just a new way of marketing or communicating. Maybe it is simply being steadfast to honesty and open to change.
Since 2015, Boxwell has been designing, manufacturing, and distributing customizable storage solutions for businesses around the world. Led by Founder and CEO, Rod Bolls, Boxwell’s mission is to raise the industry standard by continually exploring new technologies, services, and features. The Boxwell team works together with one goal in mind: to stay true to their product and listen to their customers, partners, community, and each other.