Lemons into Lemonade

Every job has lemons. Subcontractors don’t show up, deliveries go wrong, or a piece of equipment breaks down in the final hour. Some days it feels like you’re standing in a field of lemon trees! And we’ve all heard the phrase “When life give you lemons, make lemonade.” But without sugar, ice, and a pitcher, putting this phrase into literal action would produce nothing more than sour, warm, and sticky liquid spilt across your table. What does this mean for you and your business?

Monarch Building, a residential building company, has an all too familiar story about dealing with lemons. It’s the first day of a new job, excitement is high, workers want to validate their excellent reputation, and then a new subcontractor accidentally breaks a window in the house. Sigh… How would you spin this unpleasant situation into something that will rebuild the trust that was broken with the window?

With a little bit of sugar, aka positive attitude, Tony Echea, owner of Monarch Building was able to speak to the homeowner and avoid a soured relationship. He took full responsibility for the mishap and even made the customer laugh when he said, “Well if a mistake was going to happen, at least it was made on the first day.”

Another key to Tony’s success is his resourcefulness, metaphorical ice that helps cool down heated situations. Although the broken window was an added cost to his bottom line, a contractor discount and completing the job a day early allowed him to keep his total costs the same.

While positivity sweetened the situation, and resourcefulness cooled things down, it was Tony’s overall ability to communicate that served as the pitcher holding the job and those involved together. He actively listened to concerns and was honest and transparent with his own messages that addressed the problem directly.

Sometimes life hands you lemons. Business can feel like a mess and things can seem sour, heated, and sticky. Well, it’s time to pull up your britches and get out your sugar, ice, and pitcher. Gather together your positivity, resourcefulness, and communication skills and get to work solving problems. Boom, lemons into lemonade.

What’s a unique problem you’ve encountered or solution you’ve developed?? Let us know in the comments below!!


Ethan Smith HeadshotAbout the Author

Ethan Smith

Ethan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the commercial brands Commercial Truck Trader, Commercial Web Services, and Equipment Trader. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to commercial dealers and their buyers.

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