Q2 2021

What’s Next? – Moment with Mary

Mary Scalco, DLI CEO.

That is the question everyone is looking to answer as we move into life after the pandemic. Now, my crystal ball is not crystal clear and as more states ease restrictions the picture will become clearer.

There are two schools of thought — one says business will be like the Roaring Twenties after prohibition and the other says the general public will still be wary after the restrictions are lifted. I choose to believe in the first scenario and there is something to be said for “If you believe it, it is more likely to happen.”

Now I’m not saying just because we wish everything will return to normal or prepandemic it will — but you can prepare and position your company in that regard. Yes, things will be different but one thing I learned this past year is how resilient and kind DLI members are.

Members have taken the opportunity to work on their businesses over the past year; I’m not talking about production, I’m talking about the business. Looking at their marketing, looking at their financials, and looking to where they want to be when the economy fully reopens.

Some members have changed their business models completely—no more retail locations only routes, for example. Some embraced social media after shunning it for years. Some have made it more convenient for customers to do business with them, and some have added new services above and beyond wash dry fold. Here is the truly amazing part: DLI members have been more than willing to share their experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly, with each other. That has been the true benefit of our weekly Peer-to-Peer Zoom meetings. Our weekly training programs have largely been possible because of the willingness of members and our Allied Trades partners to share their expertise and ask nothing in return.

So yes, the industry will change and your association will too but that is not necessarily bad. As DLI’s amazing staff rose to the challenge when the pandemic hit, we will continue to bring services and support as the industry moves forward. Brian Johnson will lead our first-ever virtual stain removal class this May. We believe this will be the first of many online classes. We are not abadoning in-person Resident Classes but see room for both. Our partnership with Diana Vollmer to lead DLI’s Inner Circle management groups brings business and management acumen in an affordable format to members. You can use the social media posts we share as-is or they can serve as inspiration for your own designs.

I would usually end a column at this time of year with a sincere wish of seeing you all at the Clean Show. Like other large, in-person events, the Clean Show was rescheduled until 2022. Instead, I hope to see you on one of our upcoming Zoom calls or virtual training sessions until we can resume our in-person events. Stay safe, stay awesome, and stay sharp.


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