What are your biggest business concerns surrounding COVID-19?
The uncertainty of the duration, as well as the fear of physically being near each other, which presents a new challenge of how do we connect emotionally in business.
What is your current business strategy for dealing with the situation?
Our strategy at Minotti Los Angeles and the neighboring MASS Beverly and ethos has always been that design is about people and their lives. As such, our focus is building meaningful relationships with our clients, especially the trade, and how we affect their lives. With clients and trade, our strategy is to make their work efficient clear and to empower them in their expertise. We have been developing software and a trade portal for the past 2.5 years in order to better serve and support the trade.
The trade portal will be a place on our website for trade members to register and have access to trade benefits, such as live inventory, special pricing, special promotions, access to 2D/3D files, maintenance/installation manuals, high-res imagery, access to download special videos, which will include supplier booths in trade shows to product training to videos of our showroom. Additionally, we are also planning to host special events for the trade, such as seminars, webinars and live events.
My business in the last quarter has been the clarification and focalization of both our clients and my team. Which, actually, the strategy has not changed, but has sped up the necessity while we work separately. So, this last week has made us intensify and speed up the actions necessary to achieve this goal in a shorter time frame.
We also have an immense amount of stock readily available in Los Angeles and have been sending our clients clear stock lists with imagery and specifications by specific category.
Sales have reduced significantly, due to the fact that all of our minds are focused on our health and we are under emotionally distress. Moreover, we have lost the connectivity of physically being near each other and communication. Factories have closed, so the ordering process will be delayed as we are all in the same boat worldwide. The factories will reopen, so it is important to get in front of the queue.
However, we are still able to deliver with our own warehouse and internal delivery service and personnel by taking every safety precaution using all technological resources available. Deliveries are still possible for clients who have previously ordered, and we are able to pick up and install. We also have an immense amount of stock readily available in Los Angeles and have been sending our clients clear stock lists with imagery and specifications by specific category. For anything new to be ordered, factories will be reopening this spring and it is essential to get in front of the queue. We will re-emerge and the clients who are the most productive anticipate and plan ahead which we are doing the same.
How do you think things will look in your industry a year from now?
The industry will become more professional with quality over quantity. Service will be vital more than ever. Additionally, the industry will evolve as more clients have become more international and now have access to more information than ever before. We have anticipated the globalization and have been building a software to be a more efficient resource to our clients.
What have you learned from other difficult times in the past?
To be honest, this is the most upending circumstance that we have had to face. Never in the 15+ years as an owner, have I had to close the doors at Minotti Los Angeles to the public. We have readily adapted to the circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic as our team has transitioned to be readily available from home as a resource to our clients and the community. Live inventory updates and video conferencing are additional resources we’ve implemented to be actively engaged during this time.
We are hopeful that the pandemic will be resolved in a safe and timely manner, as we are staying informed on the current updates to further strategize the best steps moving forward.
Safe–and entertained–at Home: What business leaders are doing with their downtime
Barley green tea, seven different online news magazine, John Hopkins, CDC, in-line and any Cuomo announcements. Then meditation to cleanse, followed by yoga or a jog. From 10am-1pm our entire team joins for different division pow wows to assign work, answer questions, create ideas. My partner, Lars Hypko, and I are in the trenches with our team. Lunch at 1:30pm with family and partner. Rest of day is flexible with work and/or a jacuzzi, bike ride around the neighborhood, then happy hour! After ensues a long dinner preparation and family dinner.
I love Ignant, which is inspiring!
What are you doing to spend quality time with those you’re sheltering with?
Tea time, mani pedis, lots of chatting with my mother, whom I moved in with us, and learning about seniors and their amazing lives. Lots of respect!
What are you doing to stay healthy mentally and physically?
Vitamins and exercise!
Where are you dreaming of visiting once things are back to normal?
Tahiti! Italy! Milan Fair in 2021.