How to Keep Your Business Off Life Support

A polite reminder that complacency kills

By Alan Wolf, YSN

A few years back I visited Best Buy headquarters to interview their CEO and his top lieutenants.

Between meetings I was taken on a tour of the facility. Not unlike AVB’s visit to the Googleplex in Mountainview (see YourSource, February 2018), what I found was a mini metropolis: Food, banking, daycare, dry cleaning … anything and everything to keep employees on-site and working around the clock.

Anyway… the last stop on the tour was especially incisive. They called it something like “The Emergency Room,” and that’s exactly what it looked like — a room filled with hospital beds and IV drips, only each “patient” was a current or former retail competitor. Over there in the corner was RadioShack; lying here on life support was Sears; and in a third bed, rest in peace, was Circuit City.

As my hosts explained, the Emergency Room served as a reminder to all Best Buy employees that complacency is a killer. Each of the national chains represented in the mock ER had at one time or another been a dominant force in retail. But due to bloat, laziness, greed, lost vision, overexpansion, or a false sense of invulnerability, they rested on their laurels and were pushing up daisies.

“What’s this got to do with me?” you might ask. Well, plenty. Thanks to the tireless efforts of you, your employees and AVB, BrandSource has been kicking butt in the marketplace. As merchandising VP Chad Evans noted during a recent Full Stack MarTech webcast, BrandSource dealers continue to outpace the competition in home furnishings and appliances, with share gains of 10 to 30 percent in 2021.

But with the new year upon us and no letup in sight for home goods demand, this is hardly the time to rest on our retail laurels, either as dealers or AVB staff.

Certainly the last thing anyone needs after after 18 months of endless days, overdue orders, backlogged deliveries, and customer complaints is me preaching from the comfort of my office chair. But don’t just listen to me; heed the advice of AVB CEO Jim Ristow. Speaking last summer at the aptly named “Double Down” Convention21, he implored you, the members, to keep your feet planted on the gas pedal and to let the world know, “We are not giving the business back!”

Otherwise, my friends, there’s always room for one more at Best Buy headquarters.

Alan Wolf is a senior communications specialist for AVB Inc. and a chief contributor to its YSN news site.

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