Best Practices, Framework, Operations, V9I3

Getting Together, Giving Back

This article has been a tough one for me to write. So many ideas but so few that seem worth reading have tried to take root in my head. 

As I looked for inspiration in all of the places I knew, including on the Shed Wife Facebook page, I began to think about some of my favorite shed industry memories. 

Those favorite memories have always been of times we have been able to give back to our employees and manufacturers. Whether it be our annual Christmas party or last year’s employee trip to Holiday World, we enjoy seeing our family have fun together and get to know each other outside of the office. 

I encourage anyone who owns a business to work to give back to your employees, salespeople, manufacturers, etc., that you work with. At JMAG, some of our most rewarding days are those in which we get to give back to those who do so much for us. 

Last summer we were blessed to be able to invite our manufacturers to Bowling Green, Kentucky, to drive luxury sports cars around a racetrack. 

If you really want to see people’s individual personalities come out, put them in a Lamborghini and watch them smile from ear to ear as they race around a track. After driving the race cars, everyone went to Top Golf for some challenging fun. 

The event itself is not really where the reward is though. The best time comes in seeing different manufacturers, some who are each other’s competition, share ideas and get to know each other. 

Many of our manufacturers have become friends at these events and then went on to visit each other at some point to see how they run a particular portion of their business. When we did this quite a few years ago, we sparked a friendship between two of our major manufacturers who became great friends and inspired each other in their businesses. 

I think we sometimes forget each individual person in this industry has a particular talent. Some people are better with technology, some have a great sales structure, and some people just build really cool sheds. 

Sharing ideas and helping each other is what will always make this industry different from others and I believe what makes it so strong.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize competition is key and everyone must put forth the effort to grow and protect their own business and ideas, but I also believe as individuals sharing our ideas and watching others grow them using their own individual talents can be just as rewarding. 

Last year, my husband and I lost a very good friend in the shed industry in Paul “Parch” Gingerich. Paul was the kind of guy who was constantly learning and growing. 

He began calling Jim many years ago thinking about starting a shed company and after quite a few years of conversations, we were able to see his dreams come to fruition. 

Throughout the years, he was the manufacturer of our group that we would send young guys to as they were trying to get started because he knew the struggle of startups and was always more than willing to help them find new ways to grow. 

Paul was just that guy, never being afraid someone would take his business but instead willing to help and know his return would not be in this life. 

I cannot imagine the void that Heritage Portable Buildings and Paul’s family feel as we know the hole he has created in our hearts. Paul will forever be in our memories and his influence on this industry and many of our manufacturers and employees will not go unnoticed.  

Giving back and creating lifelong friendships in this community is really what life is all about. Sometimes we get so caught up in what this guy is doing or how he is working against our business or has stolen an idea from something we wanted to do that we forget the importance of growing friendships and working together to grow the industry as a whole. 

Unfortunately, sometimes business has to be just that and our friendships must be set aside to ensure we take care of our own families, which always includes our employees, but the reward in this industry will always be watching it grow as individuals help each other learn new ideas and work together to make it stronger.    

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