Best Practices, Finishing Touches, Operations, V6I4

Industry Experts Share How to Create a More Resilient Business

(Photo courtesy of Liberty Sheds)

As an industry—and society—COVID-19 pushed us all out of our comfort zones and into a virtual way of conducting daily life and business unlike anything we have experienced. 

One of the major takeaways is that we are more resilient than we often think. 

I recently spoke with two shed industry specialists to gather their top lessons learned from COVID-19 and how these tips can be applied moving forward to ensure your business remains resilient in the face of change.


It’s unlikely the strategies you planned prior to a crisis are still the most relevant, tactful approaches to successfully running your business amid changing landscapes. Identify new key areas of focus, evaluate which existing tools could be beneficial, and understand where you need to adapt in order to drive business forward in the face of uncertainty.

Arlan Riehl, partner and operations manager at Liberty Sheds, says that when re-evaluating their plans at the start of COVID-19, social media had already been identified as a growth area for the year. 

However, knowing the importance of digital communication during social distancing, they shifted timelines to place a higher priority on increasing their social media presence to best communicate with current and prospective customers.

Casey Wiggins, owner and sales director at United Portable Buildings, further advises to actually increase your marketing budget during unprecedented times if you are able. 

“By doing this, you’re setting the stage for your brand to come out of a crisis just as strong or even stronger than before,” he says. “At United Portable Buildings, we quadrupled our marketing budgets during COVID-19 (specifically on social media). The results were an increase in Facebook engagement by approximately 400 percent and sales five times higher year over year.”


Riehl and Wiggins say social media was vital in driving business leads and website traffic during COVID-19, and recommend fellow shed dealers invest in a quality presence in order to stay competitive even as “normal” business operations resume.

Wiggins says United Portable Buildings utilizes resources in Facebook Business Manager to create contact forms to gather information from users interacting with their posts. He recommends keeping these forms brief (around three questions) to prevent losing customer interest. 

He also suggests focusing on key information only (such as their purchasing intent and timeframe) in order to accurately prioritize leads. Afterward, his sales team follows up via texts, emails and calls to offer a personalized shopping experience for customers.


“Traditionally in the shed industry, business-to-consumer dealers request the exact physical shed to show on their lot and consider this to be a key element of the sales process,” says Wiggins. 

“Moving to remote sales as a result of COVID-19 proved to our salespeople that not only can they sell sheds without having the physical building to show in person, but they can actually beat sales records.”

Online shed visualizers are a valuable tool to assist with digital sales, allowing consumers to design completely customized sheds with simple clicks of a button. 

For example, LP® Outdoor Building Solutions® offers a shed visualizer tool that provides flexibility to design sheds with various style, color and material choices free of charge. This provides a level of customization that often cannot be found with pre-designed sheds on the lot.


While digital resources such as social media and online visualizers clearly had their place during the time of social distancing, they are also indispensable assets to creating an overall resilient business model because of their ability for quick messaging pivots. 

For example, Riehl says Liberty Sheds was able to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape amid COVID-19 by promoting its virtual ShedDesigner tool and contact-free home delivery service.

“Look for ways to amplify your business’ reach through relevant sales opportunities,” he says. “For example, during COVID-19, we appealed to the increased interest in home improvement projects as consumers were spending more time around the house through our messaging. 

“We also used compelling assets to communicate a shed’s ability to fulfill heightened needs, such as a remote workspace, gym or play area for the children.”


COVID-19 has proven we are a resilient industry. Based on learnings gathered during this experience, we now have new insights to help us successfully adapt to changing landscapes in the future—whatever they may be.

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