Coffee with Leaders: Cydney Davis-English
The serial entrepreneur, who co-owns The English Garden Florist of Raleigh and Two Maids & A Mop with her husband Warren English, discussed the importance of being a strong leader and creating opportunities in this unprecedented time with Chamber members at our virtual Coffee with Leaders event on Sept. 16.
Cydney shared her mindset on “pivoting with purpose” during challenging times by implementing a tried-and-true list of methods that have not only sustained her businesses, but helped them thrive.
“When the pandemic hit, we started off in limbo like many other business owners in the area. Our supply chain was interrupted, clients were calling en masse to cancel or reschedule services, and we didn’t know if we’d be able to keep our full staff employed,” she explained.
Her solution? Focus on the three C’s of business: coworkers, customers, and community, and get creative.
Across both businesses, Cydney preemptively implemented sanitization and social distancing methods to protect her employees, reached out to clients to retune contracts and offer customized services, and collaborated with her vendors and other local business owners to provide unique and mutually beneficial products.
This focus, coupled with an open mind and willingness to take risks, led to the creation of a number of avenues to overcome obstacles and maintain profits, including flower bouquets paired with spinach leaves from nursery vendors, toilet tissue rolls from her cleaning company, and handmade masks from partnerships with a local boutique.
The key, she shared, is finding what you do well, and doing more of it.
“It’s important to acclimate yourself to each challenge by viewing them as opportunities,” she said. “What’s going on around you? What are your customers looking at? What do they need?”
Cydney encouraged business owners to utilize the tools at their disposal, especially social media, to know their consumer base, evaluate who they are not reaching, and show that they are listening.
“By nurturing and organically growing our social media presence, we were able to tap into additional markets by offering more affordable options for our community, such as a la carte cleaning services and flower bouquets at lower price points,” she explained.
Of the utmost importance, she added, was to maintain communication with clients and to walk a mile in their shoes when formulating solutions or refining contracts.
“If you can’t provide a service as intended, think about what you would want, and be willing to engage openly and aggressively,” she advised. “Don’t dodge in an already stressful time, being steady and transparent will help keep customers calm and open to alternative solutions.”
We want to thank Cydney for sharing her perspective and methods with us.
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