We’re now more than a month into the current Coronavirus pandemic crisis and I find it hard to concentrate in the same way I did before. Priorities and activities have shifted dramatically in family, wellness, friendships, business and other pursuits. For this writing I am focus on the impacts to myself in business and my business.
Though Louisiana Governor’s Proclamation 33 JBE 2020 Stay-at-Home Order left my business available to maintain its “open” status, my business is hardly truly “open,” like most folks’ I think. I am the owner of a small commercial New Orleans general contracting firm and the majority of my work is shuttered by the nature of the uncontrollable forces associated with the crises.
Here’s a quick timeline that most of you will recognize:
1) Distress and/or recognizance of the news, appropriate leadership reactions (following CDC guidelines and communicating with all stakeholders) and maintaining an “OK” business status.
2) Further uncontrollable developments and shifting to “OK-ish.”
3) Impacts and uncertainty prevalent, now “Not OK” business-wise and seeking government relief.
So, as I (and everyone in the world) have been going through this timeline, I share what I’ve been doing and what I will continue to do. (This is not an advice column; this is just to say…)
My stakeholders at my work can generally include three groups: customers, vendors and employees. What I’ve been doing and continue to do with all three groups is a simple telephone call campaign to “check-in,” not talk shop and ask how they’re holding up. It’s nice. It makes me feel good, but also allows folks who need to talk/vent/ share a willing ear.
Besides the call campaign, with customers I am keeping communication flowing — whether it’s regarding an active or shuttered project — with emails/pictures/calls/ status reports and so on.
With vendors, I am trying to pay as fast as I can. I am seeking their input on existing work, new work and eventually the “new normal” post COVID work-to-be.
With employees, I am checking in often (maybe too often, maybe not often enough), sharing my thoughts on payroll, progress and traction with the PPP & EIDL that I seek.
With all stakeholders I have kept in mind “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and “10 Strategies In a Crisis,” credited to Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach.
Since I have the actual luxury of keeping busy, I will be doing so.
With help from trusted resources, I am trying to imagine the work I can sell post-COVID-19. I am certainly not trying to sell anything right now, as I think that would be bad form, but I am preparing to do so when appropriate. I am assembling conceptual teams to “re-activate” shuttered business once the storm passes. (Think disinfecting cleaners, air conditioner servicemen, landscapers to control the overlooked and overgrown flora). I am hoping to conceive of components that may become the “new normal” in construction sites and improvement projects: sneeze guards, (both simple and elaborate), installing automatic door openers, new filtration and handwashing stations, et. al.
I am doing a little continuing education for myself with cheapened online courses. I’ve also asked my designer colleagues to send me some information on their wildest/shoot-the-moon type projects now while we “flatten the curve.” My company can price them up and it gives us some activity while perhaps bringing their most ambitious or high reaching projects a step closer.
Of course, we have our regular estimating and administrative duties that have carried over to me and my awesome staff working from home. All that being said, the most important thing I am doing right now is thinking and caring.
I care how I will change because of this unprecedented modern event. I am thinking about how I will change for the better, which I hope to do in all things outside of business (family, self, et al), but I also hope to change for the better professionally. I care about my hometown, New Orleans. I will be thinking about how my company and myself can be better and more active New Orleanians.
I care about how my company will fare and look on the other side. I care very deeply about my stakeholders and I will be thinking about how to better convey that to them, now and in the future.
Besides being the owner of Mayer Building Company, Mayer’s personal portfolio includes renovations at Le Petit Theatre, Harrah’s Casino, the Baryshnikov Dance Studio and the Matthew Williamson flagship store in Manhattan, and numerous French Quarter properties. Mayer can be reached at [email protected].
Recently our commercial construction project came to a successful completion, and we are open for business. I appreciate the efforts of Mayer Building Company in getting my premium coffee shop open early.
I brag about you and your people all of the time.. I get constant compliments on the building! Recently our commercial construction project came to a successful completion, and we are open for business. I appreciate the efforts of Mayer Building Company in building out our new offices on time and within budget.
Thanks again for a job well done! We have completed over 30 Cyclebars across the country in the past year. The New Orleans (Magazine Street) site was not only one of the best but working with Mayer exceeded all expectations. I look forward to future work with the Mayer Team.
Y’all did such a nice job. Thank you so much for your careful work. You’ve helped transform our space!
I just want to thank you and your staff for going above and beyond during this build out process. With us being in a different city, y’all have been awesome to work with. Y’all have accommodated every change within our construction window and have helped us greatly on things that couldn’t have gotten done without you and your staff’s help. Thanks so much. It is greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much for doing such a great job. The rooms look great and the inconvenience to us was minimal at worst. Your personnel was friendly and easy to work with. Fred was really great. We are very pleased with the result. Thank you and I hope to work with you again on another project.
I was concerned about doing a renovation at a place that was many states away from where I lived. I needed someone that I could count on and could handle every aspect of the renovation. I also required someone who was familiar with the permit requirements for an historical building in New Orleans….I would highly recommend Ryan Mayer to any potential client. I was extrememly pleased with the work he performed and would use him again for any additional contracting needs that I may have.
We are always excited to partner up with MBC to work on our new location developments or redesigns,
as we can always count on quality, timeliness, and most importantly, the right level of communication
in the client relationship.
As we grow City Greens, we look forward to working with the Mayer Building Company in the very near future.
It is with pleasure, and of my own initiative, I am writing this letter of gratitude
for the work you and your company performed at 4905-11 Magazine Street.
As the architect of that renovation, I worked closely with you, your superintendent
Fred Goodrow, and your staff during the months of construction. Your knowledge, experience, and good judgement, and that of your
employees, were critical in addressing these issues and contributed significantly
to the successful completion of the work.
Both the building owner and I are very proud of the results and are grateful to
you and your staff for a job very well done. I sincerely look forward to the next
time it is my good fortune to work with you.