By Kristy J. O’Hara
Smart Business San Diego | May 2010
Full article: Driving through the recession
Vistage member Brian A. Rott, president and CEO of Cart Mart Inc. and Superior Onsite Service Inc. shares his journey through tough economic times how superior customer serivice, attention to relationships with customers and suppliers and how Vistage helped him through it.
Share problems with other leaders. People should join an organization like Vistage or whatever may be in their area. Joining a support group like Vistage to get advice and insight and support from other CEOs is an absolute huge necessity for a lot of companies in this business climate. I’d recommend that people go out and search for a group that they can bounce ideas off and learn best practices and so forth. You’d be surprised how much confidence you can get back into your own course of business by meeting with other owners in a scenario like Vistage where you can really be yourself and learn about your weaknesses and strengths and the best ways to navigate this business climate.
I personally joined Vistage … and it’s changed my business and the way I do business as a whole. Having peer groups allows you to get specialized ongoing support for the normal issues that bother us, and it could be the littlest things and just having the opportunity to meet with our business peers. It teaches us that we’re not alone and shows us that there are others like us in the same position.
My grandfather, he’s 90 years old, so you can imagine he’s very set in his ways. For the first 30 years of business, he didn’t listen to anybody. It was his decisions, and he was driving the boat — ‘How dare you tell me what to do.’ I spent the first 10 years of my career here trying to get him to consider to put up a Web site — ‘Who’s going to go on the Internet?’ Going into a peer group has been tremendously advantageous to me of learning what’s out there. … This is the kind of stuff we work through every day. We all have to sort of get back to the drawing board in running businesses nowadays and those are important places you can get resources.