While Thanksgiving has long passed and the flurry of the holidays is in full swing, I remain truly thankful. Our Members, both large and small report growth in 2018 and optimism about a thriving economy in 2019 even with current political uncertainty. In spite of illness and loss that affected our business family, we have much to be thankful for as the new year approaches.
Our commitment in 2019 is to work even harder to provide support and services to help Members gain competitive advantage. We are thankful for each of you and each opportunity to help you save time and dollars. Most of all, we are thankful for your contributions … our Members and Preferred Suppliers have a wealth of knowledge and a willingness to share that knowledge with others that benefits all of us and continues to amaze me.
Speaking of sharing knowledge, Member Mike Watson of Benson Laundry, located in a highly competitive market, shares his growth strategies and his approach to addressing software needs that is now benefiting other laundries.
Economic growth created concern about finding and keeping the very best staff. Several articles in this issue address HR. Fred Anderson, who moved from Member to Consultant in 2018, contributed an article on training and retention written from the laundry perspective, but each point also applies to distributors. Consultant Bruce Hodes offers tips on “Creating High Performance Teams” and John Donovan of Fisher Phillips addresses accessing criminal records in hiring.
An area that needs focus in 2019, is spreading the word about the many benefits of working with local independently owned distributors and laundries. Kevin Rehberger of Fortune Web Marketing offers tips for those starting search marketing. And Mary Ellen Sokalski shares feedback from promotional product distributors on ways to find prospects.
Again, I am so grateful for each Member, each Preferred Supplier and each Universal Unlink staff member. Your commitment to working together to strengthen independent businesses all across the USA and Canada is making a difference; we literally could not operate without the combined efforts of all of you. Our staff, Gayle, Karl and I wish you nothing but the best as you celebrate the holidays and look forward to working with you in 2019