What confidence should UW Partners have in the business that we are involved with?
Wes’s opening question to Art Jonak – “With all your years of experience. With all your perspective from how other direct selling companies and how other businesses in general are operating – what confidence should UW Partners have in the business that we are involved with?”
Well, it’s a good question and it’s a fantastic question for you to ask, because UW has made so many correct decisions. It’s a harder question to ask if a company has not made the correct decisions. Let me set it up with a strange quote – one that boils my blood a little, but it’s a good quote – one that comes from Vladimir Lenin. He said, “there are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen”. And 2020 seems to be a year where decades are happening. I cannot remember a time since February 12th – I’ve been putting in 14-hour days. I’ve been so hyper-focused on business and on helping people – because we don’t know what the future holds, but to answer your question let me take a quick step back. A lot of people are comparing this to the 2008 financial crisis, and I don’t see it as being like the 2008 financial crisis. I see it more as being like the 2000.com bubble and more specifically as being like the 2001 9/11 crisis. People say this will be like a ‘V’ shaped recovery and nobody can predict where this will be. Once we know how we will get through the health part, so the rest will become clear. And then each economy will be different based on country, region, and type of business. So, if you look at Zoom, this is the best thing that could have ever happened to them. So, for Zoom, there is no ‘v’ shaped recovery. They went from 10m active users to 200m active users. We have to look at each segment and Utility Warehouse and the leadership there have I think done a fantastic job of looking at the different scenarios.
Shining example within the direct selling space - Art Jonak
Art Jonak continues, with Utility Warehouse, the first thing you have to do is to manage for survival and de-risk. UW has done that – getting as many people to remote work as they can – letting people work from home by putting in the technological stack that they need to work successfully on that. Let’s look at what we can do in the field. The incentives that have been into the field are world-class. Not top-class – world-class! UW has done a phenomenal job of de-risking and have done a phenomenal job of taking care of their people – keeping their people safe – both corporately and in the field. To me, UW is almost like a litmus test, so that when we look back two years from now and when the gurus write their books, UW could be on of those case-studies of how they got most of it right.
What’s really exciting about UW is that they acted early. Being ahead of the curve is leadership and gives more options. Feel good that UW has made the right decisions early. I don’t just think UW will survive. I think there will be a thriving part to this. This is a great example of what can be done with a home based business and a shining example within the direct selling space.