Brad D. Smith & HERD 20-20 Webinar Recap

In a recent Q&A interview with Marshall University as part of the HERD 20-20 webinar series, Brad D. Smith provides his perspective as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and education-focused business leader. Brad offers his insight on multiple topics related to large and small businesses surviving and prospering during the pandemic, and he discusses how other corporate leaders are developing and deploying strategies for effective recovery.

Brad believes that the unlevel playing field between small and large businesses amidst this crisis has made growth harder for many. Small businesses, especially, have the opportunity to adapt quickly to new customer needs despite the additional difficulties many face at this time. If businesses are able to strengthen their services locally and adapt to new ways of meeting customer interest, it’s possible to stand out even now.

According to Brad, one of the biggest challenges businesses face is suffering short-term losses while trying to provide for customers. “Give to get,” Brad says. “Your first priority is to take care of your customers, and that means giving them extended terms, deeper discounts, and in some cases free services. Now this is painful for a business owner in the short term because we’re struggling as well, but…it builds customer loyalty and retention and it builds positive word of mouth. We leveraged this exact approach at Intuit…because our customers remembered our empathy and our willingness to support them through difficult times.”Brad also discusses how students can still find ways to enter the workforce and the future of remote work. For more of his entrepreneurial and philanthropic insight, check out his LinkedIn. To hear the full webinar, watch the interview below:

For a snapshot of the interview’s topics, read the following timestamp guide:

02:40 – Brad D. Smith introduction

09:14 – Among conflicting economic signals, what should entrepreneurs learn from the current status of the pandemic?

11:42 – What do you see as the future of work in terms of working at home?

14:32 – What effect do you think these uncertain economic conditions will have on businesses? 

17:26 – Should a company be more local as opposed to global, and what are the risks?

19:49 – What is the role of the economic development bodies to bring the economy back on track?

21:59 – What should small businesses do to adapt to this new world?

23:30 – What are innovative strategies companies can use to regain and maintain customers?

25:20 – As a CEO and corporate leader, how do you make an effective plan for getting reliable information from different geographies pertaining to the pandemic?

29:45 – How do we bring back hope to students in terms of potential for jobs?

44:28 – What is the state of venture capital in this current economic climate?

52:00 – Do you have any good advice to entice employees to return to the workforce when they are making more on unemployment?