After doing a recent seminar in Columbia, South Carolina, I had the opportunity to interview the CEO of another company that is succeeding in the current economy.
I spoke with Buddy Smith, the CEO of CMH Services (www.cmhservices.net). They supply companies with a variety of fork lifts.
The company was founded in 1968. For 42 years CMH has been a dealership that primarily represents gas and electric forklifts. They sell to commercial and industrial businesses, distribution warehouses, and manufacturing plants.
Although the company is doing very well now, it wasn’t that way in the past few years as CMH struggled with the economy.
Buddy told me that, “Beginning in late 2008, and all through 2009, we saw a tremendous drop in demand for our services, as most of the country did. It was quite a tough time for 24 months or so.”
When I asked Buddy what he did to move his company out of that challenging time, he said, “We did a lot of things. But, mostly what we did is we tried to stick real close to our numbers. We tried to stay ahead of this thing by forecasting where we thought our sales would be. We made some assumptions in terms of the drops in sales and we acted accordingly. That meant managing our expenses very aggressively.”
When I noted to Buddy that I see many people getting in trouble when they don’t lower expenses during challenging times, he related: “I think sometimes people are just caught off guard and it becomes too late to do anything when you get in a panic mode. We didn’t want to do that. We saw this thing coming early. We began cutting non-essential expenses just as quickly as we could and, fortunately, we were able to stay ahead of it. In fact, we made more money in 09 than we did in 08.”
When I walked around the CMH plant I felt a very special spirit among the employees. I asked Buddy about the secret to his success. He said, “You want to get the right people on your team and put them in the right spots. That’s something I’ve worked really hard at doing during the last four or five years. We just have an excellent team.”
Buddy told me that one of the things he did not want to do during this recession was cut people because he felt that, at some point, the economy was going to come back and he wanted his team to be in place and be able to perform when business did come back.
When I asked how much his positive attitude plays in helping his employees attitudes, Buddy related, “I think my positive attitude helps and my negative attitude hurts. So, I have to be careful. I’m trying to lead with confidence. I’m trying to portray a positive attitude even when things aren’t going well because I know I’m being watched pretty closely.”
If you’re on the East Coast and you need a lift for your business, this would be it.
You are special. You are unique. You are destined for greatness. Have a powerful day!
An Uplifting Affirmation
I lift my own spirits every day because I have a choice