A total of 13 businesses from the Home Services and Personal Care industries joined our fifth roundtable discussion sponsored by SRP and in partnership with Mayor Brigette Peterson, team members of Gilbert’s Office of Economic Development, the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, and JW Rayhons of Joshua Development.
Our goal was to hear from businesses who were impacted by the pandemic related restrictions and to learn what challenges they are currently facing to gain insight into their expectations in the year ahead. Regarding their expectations of this roundtable, business professional shared they chose to attend in order to listen to each other, learn how they can partner to better support each other, and to get new ideas from businesses experiencing similar challenges.
Businesses shared the biggest challenge their business is currently facing; attendees expressed the following concerns:
- Staffing continues to be an ongoing issue. Many home service businesses mentioned being busier now than they were prior to the pandemic, though they are struggling to find the staffing needed to keep up with the workload.
- Distribution and supply chain issues are causing increased lead times to start new projects. One business mentioned they are now stocking up on products/supplies to ensure they have them available when needed. However, this also means they are spending far more than planned to buy more items in bulk.
- Businesses in the personal care industry are experiencing difficulty in attracting customers back into their businesses. Gilbert area continues to see a sharper decline in customer activity than other surrounding cities, according to one business owner who has multiple locations.
Next, attendees discussed the trends they are seeing within their industry:
- Many skilled trade/home service businesses are seeing significant growth in their industries. Business leaders foresee continued growth with no signs of slowing down, increasing the need for a strong talent pipeline.
- Some personal care businesses are seeing an increased focus on providing digital options and content (ex. Telemedicine or virtual class offerings).
- A representative from SRP mentioned seeing increases in new business power needs. SRP continues to support residential and business growth through their power needs and are seeing record numbers.
Looking to the year ahead, businesses shared their key priorities and goals:
- Business leaders mentioned focusing on educating the customers and creating a quality experience to encourage repeat business and new referrals.
- Being strategic and intentional with their company goals; measured growth.
- Focusing on increasing their supply inventory and a steady flow of product from their suppliers.
- Creating additional promotions for their product/service, and retaining those customers as ongoing clients.
In closing, attendees shared final comments and thoughts on resources that would most benefit their business:
- Businesses are looking for more ways to connect with power partners. Looking for direction in this area from the Chamber and Town leadership. Ongoing opportunities for power partners to connect is ideal.
- Smaller businesses are looking for more ways to gain exposure and suggested larger corporations could help by sharing promotions with their employee base.
- Business would also benefit from learning how to become a vendor for our larger organizations.