At a time when many businesses have closed their offices and sent their staff home, Independent Builders Network have continued to operate seamlessly with its members.
Utilising new technology from the out-set, IBN have been actively working on many projects to keep the members up to date and ensure their ongoing operations over a period of uncertainty.
These activities include working, guiding and advising of how the Federal Governments stimulus package works to ensure that those eligible would get access to the initial Cash Flow boost and Job keeper allowance.
Each state offers different small business incentives, which many did not know existed. IBN head-office provided guidance and direction to its members as to their eligibility and the process that needs to be undertaken.
Over the last 3 months IBN has been running regular zoom meetings open to all of its membership base. These meetings covered relevant topics to ensure ongoing viability and included
-NDIS training and development on construction as a means to increasing builder opportunities in a growing market
-Trade sharing between the network
-How the virus impacts on a companies HR and OH&S responsibilities
-Regular head office updates
The IBN head office team maintained regular communication on a one on one basis with all of its members to ensure that each individual business is working through this period and endeavoured to address any queries that the builder may have.
Several big question asked by our members has been:
-Supplier products availability
-Product price increases
-House pricing effects
-What we can expect for future builds
As a national network with agreements in place a lot of the suppliers we have on board were unable to increase pricing due to agreements being set out and pricing file locks.
Most importantly was were products going to be available due to shipping constraints and increased panic buying from volume builders. Due to the quality suppliers and products we use the IBN membership base have seen no shortage in any of our products so have not been forced to have awkward conversations with clients at a time many have looked for excuses to cancel contracts.
Our house pricing has continued to be updated so we continue to offer the regular competitive pricing to our clients.
Future builds have continued to progress with members having a dedicated leads department to help work with the many client questions and keep track of there requests. While home shows and ag-shows have been cancelled, we have invested heavily into increased digital marketing to procure work or grow our members brand locally. Facebook, Instagram and a professional website has never been so important which we have utilised to great effect and made available to our membership base.
Something we have been very proactive in is making sure we continue business as normal so when we get back to life as it was, we have grown our business through the toughest time that some will ever experience. How did we do this?
-Review business setup and see how we can expand
-Update marketing collateral and continue creative as normal
-Utilise Social Media avenues to better equip to the local challenges
-Update website to include new sections of value for members
-Continue supplier negotiations and improve product selection
-Stay up to date with business changes and government rule enforcement
-Keep planning our display progression to take full advantage when normal again
-Plan for new designs to introduce to the market
-Grow the facade library for clients to select from
-Bring on industry experts to explain to members exactly what is happening
-Through Zoom we have maintained meetings and had great networking conversations
We are ready for the future and most importantly continue business life as normal. At a time where some have never been so alone especially small businesses, we are showing the importance of being part of a network and continuing business progression. We are proud of our member achievements and look forward to continuing this with current and new members.