Tough times can bring out the best in people. Sure, they can also bring out the worst. But more often, it’s life’s challenges that create the opportunities that allow us to learn and grow.
Clearly, 2020 has had its share of those lessons. At Shamrock, we’ve had to pivot, regroup, expand. And the truth is we’re better off for it. Here are our biggest takeaways from the last 12 months:
Mindset matters. None of us has a crystal ball, so we didn’t see the pandemic coming. But after it hit, there was one thing we knew for sure: Standing on the sidelines was not an option. There are a lot of businesses that have closed their doors, and that’s difficult to stomach. At Shamrock, we saw some of our product lines greatly diminish over the past 12 months. But it was our job to figure out how to overcome those challenges by focusing on other solutions that could help our customers build their businesses and drive revenue.
We’re better together. When things started to go sideways in early spring, our sales team began to lean on each other. And it’s actually the best thing that has happened to us: Instead of operating in silos, or falling into comfortable patterns, we saw individuals step out of their comfort zones, embracing collaboration and eagerly sharing.
Our sales team started to meet weekly to focus on the ultimate charge: What can we do to help our customers get through this? It allowed us to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, offer help, and force new ways of thinking. It was survival mentality: the adversity made us circle the wagons and look inward, which created a stronger, more unified team.
Focus on fundamentals. In any industry there are best practices, training opportunities, continuing education, process tools, etc. When times are difficult or uncertain, that’s the best time to focus on these fundamentals. At Shamrock, we used 2020 as an opportunity to grow our core strengths: We invested in additional digital marketing training, certifications and technologies—and we engaged our team in the process to help them develop and enhance their skillset, which in turn, provides a greater benefit to our customers.
Relationships are everything. Shamrock has a strong, worldwide supplier network—relationships that we’ve built and nurtured for 35+ years. When the pandemic hit, we reached out to our vendor partners to get our clients the products and solutions they needed most. This is where strength of supply chain was exposed: We were fortunate to be able to rely on our suppliers to answer the call for our customers and also to source other products to serve our communities in need.
Opportunities are earned. During difficult situations, it’s even more important to keep your nose to the grindstone. As customer needs shifted as a result of the COVID pandemic, we were able to pivot and build specific aspects of our product and service lines. This gave us the capital to invest in acquisitions: Last year we welcomed two stellar organizations as part of the Shamrock family of companies. The result is a stronger market position with enhanced expertise that benefits our customers nationwide.
There’s never been a year quite like 2020—and for so many reasons, we hope there never will be again. But we’re ending this year with an optimistic outlook and the satisfaction that comes with knowing that it takes a team to drive success, and we’re lucky to have a darn good one.
Here’s to another year of learning and growing!