Jan 4, 2023
MC Fireside Chats - January 4th, 2023
In this episode of MC Fireside Chats, outdoor hospitality experts discussed various trends and provided insights regarding the sector.
The discussion kicked off on how businesses can prepare for and come back from a long break like the recently concluded holiday break and how culture can define a company for its employees.
One way to reward staff for their contributions is to give them a break they deserve. The group noted that executives chose their work when they started the business and, therefore, may have to work during the holiday break.
“So it's different. Like, and I told this to people I talked to today. It's different for me. I'm the owner. I signed up to do it. Randy's the owner; he signed up to do it. Mark's the owner; he signed up to do it,” Brian Searl said.
Randy Hendrickson, Founder & CEO of the Intrepid Group, suggested improving the company's culture, including managing staff and creating a positive work environment and customer service.
Casey Cochran, the Vice President of Business Development at Campspot Software, emphasized the importance of setting expectations for the reality of the day-to-day job of being an executive and owning a business and how this can benefit the company.
Randy also pointed out that people stay with a company not just for the brand but for the managers leading them and that a healthy culture and leaders who reflect that culture is key to success.
“It's also interesting, I mean, there's a number of studies I've read over the years that people don't always stay with the company because of the company brand itself. They stay because of the relationship they have with their immediate supervisor,” he said.
“And when you think about that, kind of makes a lot of sense, right? Because they're not reporting to the brand every day, they're reporting through their immediate supervisor. So there's also kind of a top-down thing. I think the culture is paramount, absolutely paramount.”
Casey noted that money matters as employees still need to make ends meet at the end of the day, and that incentivizing staff could lead to increased revenue for the company and improved behavior among the people.
Mark Koep, Founder & CEO of CampgroundViews.com, added that incentivizing staff encourages them to work more, not just the required deliverables and tasks assigned to them.
Randy emphasized that a company's culture is not just about its size but about its mission. Casey also mentioned the importance of finding the proper role for staff members, considering their strengths and capacity to fill a need, especially during times of change.
The discussion then shifted to how the RV Industry would fair this year. Mark said a recent RVIA report showed data that wholesale numbers are down as 2022 ends and asked if international tourists can either save or balance the numbers to help the industry.
Brian Searl, the host of MC Fireside Chats, mentioned that RV sales might be low, but they are still higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to an RVDA representative the show had last December 21.
“[RVDA representative] said, you know, that yes, RV sales are down, but what they're really doing is normalizing from 2019 over pre-pandemic. Right. And maybe that's a buzzword; maybe it's not. I tend to believe him based on the numbers that I'm looking at. Cause you can see they're up still over 2019, even though they're down 50% now,” he said.
Randy emphasized that RVs are not just for camping but can also be used for traveling and accommodation while traveling around the country and that this trend is driven by demographic and customer behavior changes.
Casey mentioned the impact of the shift to remote work on many businesses and the need for companies to adapt to this change in terms of finances and logistics.
“Now, I think all of us would agree that we're big...