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The Sharpest Tool™

COVID-19 | Customer, Employee, and Financial Health During the Pandemic

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
Al Levi, Founder of 7-Power Contractor and Zoom Franchise Company and Ellen Rohr, Chief Operations Officer of Zoom Drain share how home services businesses can weather the storm of COVID-19 with accountability, urgency, and communication.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello. And welcome back to the sharpest tool podcast, where we take the state out of marketing. This is our second special edition focusing on the coronavirus and its impact in the trades. My name's Josh Smith. I'm the host and vice-president of internet marketing for home services over here at scorpion. Joining me today is Al levy, the seven power contractor and founder of zoom franchise company, and Ellen Rohr, president of zoom drain. We welcome you both. I really want to thank you guys for taking time out of your busy schedules and joining me here on the show today. I know it's your second time on the sharpest tool podcast. A bit of a different experience right now, but we're here to discuss how home service businesses can weather the storm from company communications, to operations, to leadership. There's a lot of insights and advice both of you can share. So I'm really excited. So why don't we go ahead and jump right in. Welcome to the podcast guys. Hey,

Ellen Rohr (00:51):

Thanks for having us. I love being here with my partner Al Hey.

Al Levi (00:58):

Yeah, we, uh, we have a long-term love relationship. We agreed here. We would always date, never get married and it's worked out really well.

Ellen Rohr (01:07):

Alice might work husbands

Al Levi (01:09):

My work wife. Yes. And we've got a lot of great information to share with you. So I'm going to get through the stuff here is I don't play a doctor, lawyer or accountant on TV, and I don't play it in this podcast. You know, you do have to lean on your trusted advisors. This is not information, and I'm not shared with our own franchisees and customers that I have, but we do have a lot of good information to share with you. So stay tuned. Don't hit the button when you jump out patients with us. The other thing I'll share with you is that Ellen and I are going to share suggestions with you that if we were in your shoes, this is what we would be doing. Again, you have to decide what fits you best and who you need to be reaching out to. L you good with that,

Ellen Rohr (01:53):

With that? Now I think credible resources is been a big part of what we've been up to these last couple of weeks and kudos to scorpion for putting out content that is relevant and credible. So we're, we're happy to help in that capacity. We can

Josh Smith (02:09):

Let's first talk about how kind of owner operators should really prioritize our efforts right now. Al let's start with you. I'm kind of curious your thoughts on that time.

Al Levi (02:17):

In times of struggle, there is no playbook. Sometimes we were in the oil business, we went through an oil embargo. That's all we sold Josh. We had to deal with that. No playbook went through nine 11 and it was bad for the whole country, but particularly we're off if you lived in the tri-state area. So there was no playbook for that. And then of course, 2008, you know, we, we just hit the skids like everybody else's and it was working with clients and trying to get her through it. And what I would share with you is my dad's advice, uh, was that act like you couldn't be a business for awhile business decisions get easier. The other thing my dad was really wise about is we saved our money for times just like this. Cause we would become aggressive and Ellen's going to share about what that means financially. And so I want to just kick it off to you. I'll share a little bit of what that means because we all says money buys options. Wow.

Ellen Rohr (03:08):

You know, another tough time that, um, you've been through personally Alice, when Sandy hit your family business, plus 22 trucks in that storm. So again, this idea in the good times, it's easy to think that the bad times are never going to come. I want to share one thought about leadership that we've been bouncing around this the last few days is that I know from being a business owner, myself and the lessons that I've learned, and then working with lots of clients, working with our franchisees. I know that if someone makes a plan, implements, that plan make some progress, they're going to improve their company. And I have up until now, been comfortable with people finding their own speed that, you know, like if you say to your kid, you should wear a jacket today because it's 30 below and they say, no, thanks. And you go, good.

Ellen Rohr (03:59):

Don't wear your jacket. And they go out there and that evidence color, their next decision. What we understand that's different about this time right now is there's no luxury of time. You are going to survive and thrive. Only if you apply business basics with no excuses, you take extreme ownership for the situation that you find yourself in. And I think my role as a leader is to up my standards and the immediate consequences of people are going to do things that put themselves or the team at risk. And that can go all the way down to, you know, certainly I'm going to talk about the financials because that's the area that I helm. But even with your service techs, if you get them there, they're the PPE and the shoe covers and the tiebacks and the face shields. And they don't use it. That puts the entire team at risk. So if we have financial systems and if we have operating manuals and our team members, aren't using it, that puts everybody at risk. So it feels like Al you can, you can respond to this too. I feel like my leadership needs to step up in terms of accountability and consequences and just shortening the distance between here to there, here to operationalize.

Al Levi (05:13):

Yeah. Well, two things. Thanks for letting me jump in. And Josh we'll let you know when it's your turn

Al Levi (05:23):

Know pointed out, getting through the, there was no playbook for 2008 was a good thing I would share with you. I went out my first year through consulting and my brothers were dying to know what did I learn while I was away? And I told them, there are smarter people out there than us. Here's what I will tell you when we argued and fought. And we came up with a plan of action, we weren't stopping until it's done. And this is when you have to input this skill to work with, Ellen's talking about, it's not like we'll get around to it, you're getting through it. So there's a wall in front of you. You have be committed to getting through that wall over the wall, whatever you think, go get a bulldozer, but that wall's coming down. And with that attitude, things will work out. And again, that thing about the debts that is think like you're going to be in business for awhile. It easier.

Josh Smith (06:12):

How important is urgency in this whole thing? Like executing, not just executing, but executing with urgency. It seems like if you're not the first move or somebody else is going to be, and that could be, that can make or break the situation. Have you experienced that with some of the trials you've gone through in the past the 2008 crisis and

Al Levi (06:29):

Well, I'm always, I'm a planner, so Ellen knows that. And I still, I don't throw away my systems, Ellen and I talk a lot, you know, off screen and uh, all the time. But one of the things that I love about Ellen is she came up through the restaurant trade and, um, I should say it on one day, I said, what do you do when a bus rolls to do you just, you know, when you, she goes, no, we lean on the systems. That is exactly what we tell our clients. And in particular, our franchisees, you need your systems more. Now, now the thing is, you got to get down to it. If you don't have systems, just get some notes together, but get together and make a system and go what you got. We can always make it better tomorrow. Don't wait till you have a perfect system at this point.

Al Levi (07:12):

This is, you know, uh, you've got to get into action mode. I still believe in. So I talked about master project with last night, top 30, top five. You recall basically though. So now the top five is, go get a shoe covers, go get hand sanitizer, go get Tyvek suits. You follow it. We didn't throw it away with just optimizing that top five, because there's a billion things that are hitting you guys. And I totally get it. But ultimately the prioritization of that list of what you need to do, it's not these big lofty projects. Now. It was different in our particular case because we had so many systems as do our franchisees. And this was when we would really hit the marketing button because I'm on with scorpion. Exactly because the buys are better. All of these things better acquire companies in this particular moment, because we had the thought, when we come out the other side, there's going to be a lot of your competition that you've been complaining about out there, they're going away. And the question is, what are you going to do in that void? Because it's a great opportunity.

Ellen Rohr (08:16):

Mission at zoom drain is to demonstrate the best the business can be. That doesn't mean perfect. That just means better than anybody else. So what does best mean right now? So what are our two objectives and our two objectives as Al indicated as number one, that our team operates safely. Just a shout out to the frontline guys out there. You know, their, their families are sequestered at home. They're going out every day, guys and gals. And I just couldn't love you more and appreciate you so much. So our responsibility is to keep them safe. Keep our customers say septage was toxic. Yesterday is toxic. Today is like fire. Fire was dangerous yesterday. It's dangerous today. So in our world, it's more important than ever to use the protocol that we already had in terms of dealing with septage is the sexy word for it. So, you know, tightening up those systems and making sure that we're taking the extra steps of social distancing, like Al said, that has got to be drilled and enforced every day.

Ellen Rohr (09:18):

And then the second thing is the financial health of each franchisee and the franchisor. So we have to really get down to basics. So our updated game plan for our franchisees and the advice that I would share for, for anyone who's listening is now is not the time to let your accounting drop. Now is the time to stay up till midnight, if you have to and make sure that every sales entered payments deposits may bills are entered credit card statement. Everything is up to date and the standard is 2019. Those financials went better, be ready to go because even if you don't have to file or pay yet, if one of your resources is going to be the SBA or the cares act, you've got to have your financial house in order. So right now is more important than ever. And always good advice is to make sure that you have a balance sheet and profit and loss. Up-to-date the 2019 is closed, done verified. Each month is closed by the 15th of the following month. And that you can run those reports weekly. Now I want to pause a minute because I feel like this could be a soliloquy. Do you want me to share like the few numbers that are going to make all the difference right now?

Josh Smith (10:34):

Absolutely. I mean, I think our business owners would love to hear that kind of,

Ellen Rohr (10:39):

We use a report called the financial quick check, and if you're interested, you can get one from me does not exclusive to zoom. However, it is one of the things that makes us extraordinary is that our team uses this. And this is one of our requirements. Moving forward, that weekly, you want to know on a one-page dashboard report, the key performance indicators or KPIs from your balance sheet and your profit and loss. And there are no, there are no surprise sales cost of goods sold the gross margin, overhead profit in dollars and percentages. Job one is make money every month don't lose money. So if your sales are down, then you have to look at where you can control expenses. You're to play offense, more sales, defense, more expenses, sales minus expenses equals a positive number. At least not a negative number is job one right now another key performance indicator is going to be your cashflow position, which you find from your balance sheet.

Ellen Rohr (11:38):

So what do you have in cash and accounts receivable and match that against what you have in bills to pay right now, if up until this point, you were running with a minimal amount of debt. If you had plenty of cash, you are going to weather the storm better. And so that's where I feel the responsibility for our team members. And why we're on the call today is let this be our shining hour for making sure that this never happens to us again, that we're caught with our pants down as far as cash and profits. And we can use that to weather it out.

Al Levi (12:15):

I just wanted to jump in on that is I do want to go, you know, we're talking about zoom drain and I hope this comes across to you at home or wherever you are, if you ever get home. Cause I realize you're not seeing a lot of, all of what we're sharing here applies to you. And so, yeah, you know, in my particular case years ago, we have PPE is in the manuals. It's not like we woke up one day and go, what should we do about that? Now I do have to evict Josh when we put it in years ago, it was more of a CYA. Yeah. We had no idea that it would actually, in our particular case, it lowered these guys getting hurt. So they were always able to work. And when the injuries that were minimized, all great things. Well, of course now it really comes home, but I want to share the, just turn this just a little bit, the fact that you do all of this stuff and I'm the customer left in the dark, you struck out.

Al Levi (13:05):

So this is not the time to hide under your desk. I remember myself. There was times I would like to have crawled under my desk, but it's not helpful. You've got to lead from the front. You want to be out there. Cause if you're not talking to me, then I'm listening to every other voice and it's not going to be the voice you want. So I've got to share with my team first and foremost about what are we doing to protect you? How are we working? What have we done made some changes to how we collect the money, things like that. And just calling you to the higher task is I know it sounds weird cause we're talking about sewage, but we are the originators of how, what stopped the black plague from happening all these years. And if we fall out of our habits and sewerage or any plumbing, you guys have all seen the sign about the plumber protects the health of nation.

Al Levi (13:51):

That's not just some words written on a page that is a calling to all of us, right? Everybody has to make their own decision about going to work, but while you're here and while you're on my team, it's up to me to do everything in my power to help you work safe. And then I need to make that message to my audience so that my audience being my customers know what we are doing that way, what we've always done, but now we're taking it even to a higher level and demonstrating that in the videos or any of that other thing. Yeah, I think is what really will differentiate hate to say winners and losers because it sounds worse than it is. That's not what

Josh Smith (14:31):

We are transitioning beautifully into. Exactly what I want to talk a bit more in depth about. And that's communication. Let's talk a bit about that. Communication to your staff during this time. Why is that so important and how do you personally go about that? Let's start with you, Alan.

Ellen Rohr (14:46):

Uh, you know, one of our, uh, team members think Sam said the other day, that what he's learned about surviving and thriving in tough times is that you're going to have to make a decision. You're not always going to decide, right? And you can't live in self doubt, make the decision, get the evidence of that decision. And then you make another decision, but you can't second guess yourself all the time. And you're all going to make mistakes. So a tip would be assume people are doing their best, call them up instead of typing angry texts, you know, reach out and communicate with each other. So often our ability to communicate is what limits our understanding. And it's usually easier. You know, I I've loved being able to, um, use FaceTime and get the nonverbal cues. Is that what you were holding your phone up?

Al Levi (15:35):

That's why I was holding my phone up. See how good she is, Josh. She ran it. But 70% of our communication is non-verbal

Ellen Rohr (15:43):

So Al and I are on face time with each other while we're on this path.

Al Levi (15:48):

And while you are typing, I'm starting to read into that and that's dangerous. So what Ellen has given us a great habit here, but you've got to make that personal connection. One-to-one with your staff. Yeah.

Ellen Rohr (16:01):

Even with the PPE, one of the things like we've had this in our manuals, we've trained on it, but we've never had to use it to the level that we have right now. So even, you know, getting the incorporating from good resources, like the CDC and I app and getting some conversation going with the team, like the idea of the face shield is to keep the stuff off your face. Like if you put one of those masks on and you leave the mask on all day and it gets dirty, now it's holding stuff on your face. You want the stuff off your face. So like those kinds of nuances take just reiterating the training to an obsessive level and then holding guys accountable for doing that. But being, being kind, you know, the relationships are everything, you know, in business and in life. And it's important to do what you can and, and give each other a little bit of slack when people are stressed, they're going to operate at their worst, your customers, your team members, each other, you know, be kind.

Al Levi (16:58):

Yeah. Yeah. But I think the communication end of it is you've gotta be out front of that. And, uh, it is tricky. So if you do need to go again to your trusted advisors, to make sure that you're putting out what it is, only speak to what your intent is and what you can really do and watch. Unfortunately, I know I was listening to one of your buckets, be careful. It's not so much in our thing is about we, we can't protect you from COVID-19. We can minimize the spread and do a bunch of different things. That's what I'm waiting to see out there now, because I do watch obviously involved with HPAC and you don't have a filter that does that. So be careful.

Josh Smith (17:34):

Yeah. I think it's really important to make sure you're not blurring the lines because I can cause confusion in the consumer base, which can damage your business reputation longterm. You know, I'm kind of curious to what, now that we're on this topic of communicating internally with people, we talked beautifully about the strict running of our own standards in times of crisis during leading, leading in times of crisis with that, how do you find the balance or how have you both found the balance of heightening those standards and the strength at which you attack those standards, but also balancing that with the love aspects, Ellen, to kind of back to how you're communicating with people, to get them motivated and inspired. We talk a lot about leadership in times of not crisis and leading in crisis is quite a bit different. And I think often we can have a bit of a relaxing of those standards over time sometimes. Right? So how do you go about balancing that while still motivating and inspiring the team?

Al Levi (18:35):

I'm going to jump in really quick. This is what Ellen and I are. Personality wise, come at it differently. And we respect each other. Mom is a lot of love and I love him too, but it's going to come a little differently, Josh, including my clients who will all attest to that, you know, Ellen was talking before about, you don't want to take your coat, but you deal with it. I'm going to chase you up the street with your coat and I'm going to put 10 coats on your bed. So that you'll know that you're never going without the coat. It's a different style. It's not so much the style as much as the way that you are conveying that message. And I do recommend that you keep the rest of your very short. Sure. That's all that we can absorb. When I came out of dental Carnegie training, which is tell them the three things, cover the three things and make sure you end with those three things. Don't give me things to reprocess right now because it's just going to overwhelm me, especially with any, any given time.

Ellen Rohr (19:26):

I deal to that. When in peace times, maybe we can relax. We can spread out the time zone. That's not what we have right now. So I think that, that people are going to understand that you can get hurt physically and financially if you don't perform. Right. And so, and if you were in financial challenge before now, um, now's the time like it's okay. The point of power is right is right now. But um, I heard from Jocko Wilkins do listen to him. It's not what you teach and preach. It's what we tolerate. And so at some point the standards just have to be the standards and you know, that's what you, from every leadership position in the company, you have to decide who you want to be. And these are the times that make us better. No doubt about it. I do have some about like communicating the why is so important. Like why we are going to adhere to these standards is to keep them safe, is to keep our customers safe and why we need to be all over these financials is because you got money is executor says money. Isn't everything, but it's right up there with oxygen, you know, it's right there. So that's the why. So I think that also helps an Al you're very good at the data slowing down long enough to communicate the why you should have your jacket on to go back.

Al Levi (20:45):

You know what? Tourniquet can keep you alive. But if you leave the tourniquet on too long, you're going to die or at least get, you know, lose the limb or something to that nature. So right now you can use a tourniquet. If you need to get through this process, the better you are, the less you're likely to need that, but be aware it's just a short term fix.

Ellen Rohr (21:05):

I was just going to say, as far as communicating to one way we can help our team members is to make sure we're doubling down on our communications with our customers. We used to communicate to our service tax. We want the customer, their show, the customer, the camera, right? Have them Joe, and tell what you're doing. And now it's social distancing. So this is new for the techs. It's new for the customers and the service coordinators and dispatchers can help us communicate that. But I have to tell you a funny story. And the person who told me should know better, it should know that I'm a member of the press and that this is now going to go, uh, why it was not a company we work with directly, but a sister company and their service tech arrived at the door. And Mrs. Fern Wiki opened the door and sprayed him with Lysol. Now, all she had to do was be six feet away in the other room could have left the door open, you know, and not only was that rude and violating it just like we have to take responsibility. Extreme ownership has responsibility for the whole situation. So we can up our game too, and how we communicate to our customers.

Al Levi (22:16):

Yeah. I think the training of a customer is a really excellent point that you had here. You know, I did this years ago when we first got our service, you know, our customer service rep, which we call service coordinator, was getting the scripts lined up about the experience they were going to have. So we were already in this process of training customers. So now we just had to add a line Josh to our full-out manual to adjust to this situation and explain how we do business and what we're doing now to do. And it's not like we had to write a whole long script. It was just all the things. So what are my franchisee? They asked me about, well, how do we do this presentation on this? I go, well, I work with a company up in Colorado and nobody lives there. They're all rich.

Al Levi (22:55):

They got six ounces or more somewhere around there and we have to present to them. I said, we use, um, so when we get to the job, we tell them ahead of time, before we arrive, we need to show you what's going on. We need to be able to demo. So we need somebody we can do. We're gonna do FaceTime. So you know exactly what you need to see. Now, years ago, I did this before that when guy would go up in the attic or down in the crawl space and those people on the east coast, they're not coming with you. And so if you can take the camera and come back and show them, or in this particular case this and share it with them because otherwise they don't see the value of it. They're afraid, but they don't need to be, side-by-side talk about social distancing coming back. Well, they go, yeah.

Josh Smith (23:35):

And what are some, uh, what are some things home service businesses can do right now to really keep customers for a lifetime to really instill that trust and build their brand with people being the expert. What are some of those things that you're

Ellen Rohr (23:47):

Finding?

Al Levi (23:50):

Yeah. I think, you know, you have to pull the curtain back for those who are old enough to know the wizard of Oz was told to me years ago, our good mutual friend, Dan Holohan industry giant was said to me, here's what the story goes through this. Josh. So watch the time I told him one day, I says, I can't believe that customer quit. I was at their house myself at 2:00 AM and they quit. And he said to me, what you don't understand, Al is your customer doesn't know that you're the only one that can do that. They don't know how the magic works. They just assume everybody can do that. And that really changed my approach to customers about proactively communicating about how the magic happens. So if you're doing all of what we just described and our apartment gym just shot a phenomenal video to pull back the curtain and show them what we already do about how we've always sanitized, but even to a higher level, how they wear the face shield and mask, which we've always done, but we're stepping it up. So we're pulling that curtain back and proactively communicating that with our customers to show them what we do all of the time. But in particularly these times, yeah,

Ellen Rohr (24:57):

We're going to test each and every point of communication. The word I like to think about as leverage with your team members, can we leverage that moment to share the why can we leverage that moment to give them some coaching or some constructive help on something they may not be doing well. And with our customers too, you know, even just a sympathetic, like when you answer the phone, there's the script. But when, when Mrs. Fern Wiki says, you know, my kids are here, I've got 11 people in my family. We're driving each other crazy. Could you bring a roll of toilet paper? One of our franchisees is bringing toilet paper to the, I love that.

Al Levi (25:36):

So good. You know, just

Ellen Rohr (25:38):

Like

Al Levi (25:39):

It's before any of you out there saying it gets wrapped,

Ellen Rohr (25:43):

It's just like these little moments of humanity. Like could our first interaction with a person be a human interaction.

Al Levi (25:52):

I love Ellen because she reminds us about the heart and, uh, that, uh, that you think, oh, why do I have to do that? Well, you don't have to do it, but if you want to go next level and what Josh was talking about, customers for life, show them empathy, show them that you're listening. Those are the most key skills. And what are you doing to look out for them?

Josh Smith (26:12):

Yeah. Reminds me of that. Old saying that people don't always remember what you do, but they remember how they made you feel

Ellen Rohr (26:17):

My Angelo. So that, yeah,

Josh Smith (26:21):

Exactly what comes to mind here. What's your home service businesses implement right now in their operations to ensure that they're weathering the storm and coming out the other side in a really positive manner.

Ellen Rohr (26:35):

Can I take the financial piece out? Okay. So right now, like don't, you have an inbox full of COVID 19 responses, right? The subject line. So what you want to do is find some responses from these credible resources, go straight to the source, sba.gov. If you go after hours, it's less likely to crash. So 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM is a good time and get your ducks in a row for the disaster loans that are available or going to be available, find out what you need, because there is a path to walk in the cares act. There looks like there is going to be some relief for payroll. So if you continue to pay your team members and you get a loan assistance for it, you are going to have that loan forgiven. Now there are qualifications, you know, can help you sort through, this is your CPA and your financial planner, the local resources that you have are also something that that team leader would be aware of. So probably in your in-basket is from your CPA and interpretation of the new opportunities to get relief or stimulus, you know, from the stimulus package. And those guys can help you navigate it specific to you. And I would do that whether or not you have any intention of capitalizing on it or need it. Yeah. So that's one thing. Totally.

Al Levi (27:57):

Oh, what else? What do you got? I would say that, you know, being on a practical level here, it's really about PPE personal protection equipment, whatever you have, beef, whatever you don't have and you really need, need to be resourceful. And you know, just can't go, oh, I called, they don't have it. You know what? That's not what leaders do. We'll find whatever they need to do. They'll meet network. Talk about something that's emerged, which my dad also impressed upon us is we belong to pretty much every alphabet soup organization. They are shining at this point, but this is also, I had a great network of friends and even friendly competitors that we would share information at this point about. Here's what I went to. Here's where I checked down. I went to an auto shop auto zone or whatever, and found some of this stuff because you do need to be doing this all the time.

Al Levi (28:43):

There's stuff that they need to be wearing. I always make the laugh about it. If I had more of these glasses years ago, Josh, when I was using the saws, all my eyes would be blind from all the shrapnel that fell down and just the things that I should have done it. That is probably the first most important thing. Second thing is if you have a CSR script, it just needs a tweak to fit what you need to ask now and how you prepare the customer so that you don't have your texts being sprayed down with Lysol. Now there's going to be somebody weird out there. I can't protect you a hundred percent, but let's talk about the 80 20. We're trying to cover the 80% here and let the 20 go.

Ellen Rohr (29:20):

Uh, you know, a couple other things on the, on the resources I have to reiterate. Thank you. You know, a lot of times you think, why am I in all these associations? The one, you know, I add mode ASC that nap, HCC, franchise.org has been amazing. And the magazines Peeling down, you know, calling the wheat from the chaff here and coming up with real resources. These guys have so stepped up and, and we are grateful, you know, also furlough lay off, paid sick leave. None of these new requirements are going to be easy. You know? So, uh, if you have a human resources person, great, but otherwise you're going to find those people by working those relationships from your associations, from other business owners, or maybe from your, your CPA and your lawyer right now.

Al Levi (30:08):

Yeah. They want to open up an area. It kind of sent me back to Josh. Josh was asking about how do you build long-term relationship with your customers? Yeah. Well, I know you've all bowed that your most important customer is your staff, your people, right? Well, I'm really interested in the long-term relationship with them. So this is where we find out who you really are. This is where we find out who you really are. I know we gotta be careful at the time, but I do have a story that I like to share, which is why was the New York city union shop? We had negotiated a contract. This was back when inflation was really a word that people have worried about and inflation was going crazy. And we had them locked in at a certain price. And my dad came to me and my two older brothers and go, we have to open up the contract again.

Al Levi (30:51):

And so we said what? And he goes, yeah, it's unfair to the guys. And we look at it like, so, and my dad says, you boys have a lesson to learn. This will pass. And everyone will remember what you did or didn't do. We're going to open up this contract. So we actually hooked up the contract so we could pay them more. You with me, Josh. So anyway, you know, very much more brilliant than any of his sons years go by. A lot of guys had left, but the ones that stayed anyone new that came, the first thing they got told by these guys is what Irving did for him during that period of time. And that the Levy's, aren't just about dollars. They're really serious about people. My dad, when we were little boys, he used to take us to wakes and do the things that I didn't want to necessarily go to. We used to go to the hospital to take care. He said, you know what? If they were robots. So this was before turbo. He said, they go work for somebody else. They are members of our family. And I'm asking you, I don't care what size company you are to treat them as family. Now you do have to do like Ellen talks about, and I even mentioned tourniquet. You need to know from a financial standpoint, what you can and can't do, but if you can at all think long-term

Ellen Rohr (32:05):

Okay. So let me, let me play on that a little bit too. Um, I heard this from one of the seminars, you know, there's a lot of information. It franchise.org, put it on and it was great. And in any situation that becomes a stressful on a grand economic scale. Like we are right now, no one entity can bear all the burden. You know, even if, even if you were so financially solvent and you had stockpiled a ton of money and you have no debt at some point, you're going to put your company at risk. If you continue to give in a one-sided, does that make sense? So really in any challenge like this, everyone has a role to play and communication is going to be really helpful and we're going to make mistakes, but this is the point that the owners, the associations, the franchise, or franchisee team members, family members, benders the government, everybody has a role to play and no one chain link can take the whole burden. So there are going to be some challenges to sort this out, but know that it is going to take some, give and take. As we progress here. And even with team members, give people the benefit of the doubt they're doing the best they can under stressed in situations. I just didn't have been instructing my team members today. If I do something that doesn't make sense, just call me, just ask let's hammer these things out and see if we can preserve the greatest good on the greatest number of levels within our community.

Josh Smith (33:35):

Absolutely awesome. Like I want to thank you both for again, joining me today. I think there's a lot of good information for all the business owners out there. Is there anything you want to send away our listeners with in closing, just in terms of advice, extra tips, what do you got

Ellen Rohr (33:50):

Again? I just, I think I want to leave my last words as I got it. Pretty easy. I'm in my nice office. I am not personally a high risk situation. I almost feel guilty about that. And I just want to shout out to the people that go out every day. You know, our guys to the healthcare workers in the grocery store, there are people out there who are essential providers of services, and I am super grateful for you today. So thank you.

Al Levi (34:20):

I would just share is that, you know, this shown, there are many heroes in our life. You know, we didn't think about the Costco people, doc, and shell and other people that are out there in front lines. And speaking to us as contractors, there's a reason we're essential workers because we are essential. This past is. I want you all to remember that we need to charge the right price. We are essential. And yeah, this isn't about taking advantage of people. I'm not talking about anything like that, but the reason you have to be in business now, this is why you have the money to buy all this stuff. The PPE, this is why you have to get the systems in place. You don't owe it to just yourself or even your staff. You all went to the community you serve. I'm calling you out to your hierarchal. Yeah. A little choked up

Ellen Rohr (35:16):

With you guys today. I feel like I needed this today.

Josh Smith (35:20):

Yeah. You know, I think too, I've been thinking about this a lot over the past couple of days when it comes to trials like this, that we face with respect to business and just life in general, just from a human perspective. It's so easy to get down on our luck and feel down, feel like we're getting our teeth kicked in. And I just hope everybody starts to recognize that through trials. These are real really. I see them as transformational opportunities, transformational as business owners, transformation as leaders as professionals. And so there's one word of encouragement there. It's seek out that as the opportunity because the other end of this, we always go through it. There's only two types of people, those going into a valley and those coming out. And, uh, so this is one of those valleys that you weather the storm we'll get out of it together, better than ever.

Josh Smith (36:05):

When we have that mindset that you guys are talking about so eloquently. So thank you so much for sharing your hearts and minds with us. We really appreciate it. We'll be bringing more of these updates to you with respect to the coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic that is plaguing the nation right now with some of our wonderful thought leaders like Allen Allen. So stay tuned for more of that checkup Scorpion's resource page, where you can get information on the latest updates and trends of what's actually happening with consumer behavior and how it's affecting your business. And until next time from all of us here at sharp stool, we'll talk to you then. Thank you.

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