Is anyone else still catching up from how busy we were in June? Wow! That’s one for the record books.
In case you missed it, the HARDI TRENDS report showed a 15.9 percent increase in sales compared with June 2015. I hope you all were fortunate enough to enjoy such a rewarding summer.
Just a few short weeks ago, we capped off another successful Focus Conference series with the Strategic Leadership conference in Newport, Rhode Island. The event was packed full of insights. I’ve already begun to take a closer look at ways to improve that will ultimately add to the profitability line for Meier Supply. Plus, as with all HARDI events, it was an unforgettable time catching up with so many industry friends. It was the perfect way to put a bow on a very successful season.
We should have known good things were to come this summer when, back in May, we held HARDI’s most well attended Congressional Fly-In to date. That sort of enthusiasm for advocacy is critical to our voice being heard as we continue to fight for fair regulatory practices.
We’ve had more major regulations from the U.S. Department of Energy in the past two years than we’ve had in the previous two administrations combined, so it’s encouraging to hear about HARDI members who have parlayed the Fly-In meetings into follow-up visits with their representatives. My hat goes off to those members forging strong relationships with their elected officials. It’s critical that our leaders in Washington continue to learn about the struggles and concerns of small businesses. We are the backbone of America. We are the job creators. (Since the recession, small businesses have been responsible for creating nearly two-thirds of all private-sector jobs.)
Let’s keep that advocacy momentum going. As we close in on Election Day, be sure to encourage your employees and customers to vote. From the presidential candidates down to your own local issues, there are countless reasons to head to the polls on Nov. 8 and cast a ballot (not to mention, it’s a fundamental duty of ours as Americans). Need a resource? Check out hardinet.org/hardivotes.
Looking just beyond Election Day, I’m thrilled for the HARDI Annual Conference in Colorado Springs this December. Our theme this year, Elevate 16: Commit to the Climb, addresses the ugly truth about success: It’s not easy, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.
Success takes grit, determination and commitment. It involves tough decisions and sacrifice. You develop a plan only to encounter curve balls. So you revise your plan only to encounter knuckle balls. It will test you. But, ultimately, it will reward you.
This year’s conference will bring back the track format introduced last year. The tracks this year are Actions, Analytics and Assets. Actions will focus on how we operate; Analytics will focus on using data and benchmarks to develop insights; and Assets will focus on the resources we have to generate a competitive advantage. Head to elevate16.com to learn more about it and to register.
Finally, with my presidency nearing its end, I want to quickly thank all of the HARDI members that have opened their doors to me over the past year. I’d like to also thank my team at Meier Supply for picking up the slack during my year of travels (or maybe they were happy to have me out of the way!). And finally, a huge thanks to my family for keeping their smiles despite my many days on the road. I’m very fortunate to have all of you in my life.