August 26, 2020 / by Keith Gordon
NoMad Business Adapts and Succeeds: Zero-In
How a NoMad business owner adapts and succeeds in these rapidly evolving times is enlightening. We spoke to a number of business owners with offices in NoMad who are successfully weathering the challenges of business today. They shared their thoughts and insights.
In this series of articles, we hear from a variety of successful business leaders across various fields. Although some of their efforts are industry-specific, most of their winning approach can be applied to any business.
Among these successful Nomad business leaders, we spoke to Mitchell Goss, founder of Zero-In.
Over ten years ago, Mitchell Goss founded Zero-In, an innovative company that uses technology to solve challenging marketing and communication issues. Zero-In’s roster of clients is as diverse as it is impressive – from Shake Shack, Equinox Fitness, and Sweetgreen to Macy’s, Bank of Hawaii, and ShopRite, just to name a few.
Goss is no stranger to challenges, though a global pandemic is something new to confront. Expert at creative problem solving using technology, Goss is facing the challenge head on to ensure the continued success of his business and his clients’ businesses.
Empathize and Help Solve
Goss acknowledges that this is a uniquely difficult time and most clients have been struggling. Goss empathizes with them and has a strong understanding of their current situations. Constantly changing regulations and guidance are complicated for clients to understand and implement.
Clients know that Zero-In is there for them as they reopen. Fortunately, Goss has been able to keep the team of experts at Zero-In intact. The team continues to provide end-to-end solutions with a combination of consulting, implementation, and client support.
Many of the innovative solutions Zero-In provides are devised for in-store use or other public spaces such as digital menus for restaurants, interactive maps for shopping centers, video walls for fitness clubs, and large LEDs for advertising. While Goss is confident those needs will return, he is adapting and innovating to provide applications that address business demands that are unique to this moment in time.
Curbside Pick-up Solutions – Restaurants and Retail
Creative and effective curbside solutions are a prime example of how Zero-In is helping restaurant and retail clients to better serve their customers. It facilitates a safe, efficient curbside pickup experience.
How It Works
- Consumers who have ordered online, text when they have arrived and where they are parked.
- Customer fulfillment teams have a digital display so they can easily and safely bring the ordered items directly to the consumer.
Digital Queuing Via Window Display
Digital queuing is another application to provide customer service safely and clearly. This helps to better manage the number of people inside an establishment or store, in order to keep consumers and staff safe.
How It Works
- When a consumer who has ordered online arrives for pickup, a digital window display shows where they are in the queue and the current service status.
- When a consumer’s order has reached the top of the queue, the consumer knows they can safely come inside.
Goss goes on to describe other applications. Traffic counting and analytic tools are taking on a new form, morphing from use as an internal labor resource measurement to monitoring space occupancy. With tech-enabled cameras, safety guidelines are more easily followed. Companies can monitor and adjust permitted occupancy levels with dashboards and reports.
Temperature Check Kiosks
Zero-In is developing new offerings, too. Temperature check kiosks and tablets use infrared thermal readings that alert if an individual is running a fever. Goss points out that this approach is much friendlier than pointing a temperature gun at a person’s head.
All of these tools and innovative approached are designed to help establishments give reassurance to their staff and customers.
The onslaught of the pandemic has forced everyone to be creative and adapt. Though, as a tech savvy company, Zero-In has always been innovating. How it continually adapts and innovates is inherent in what this Nomad business has always done and will continue to do.
Make Positive Improvements
Goss admits to dreaming of a time his company could focus on internal things, not client work – though early 2020 was not how he envisioned it might happen. In the early months of the pandemic, Zero-In took advantage of the time it had during the quieter period. The team used the time to address internal matters – back-end functionality, processes, website upgrades, and more. As Goss puts it, “Basically Spring cleaning after a decade plus of being in business.” Now Zero-In’s operation is faster and more nimble than ever.
Dealing with morale was one of the most difficult things to manage – especially when no one could predict how long or how bad things might be. With everyone working at home, scared about what this may mean for the health of loved ones and for their financial situation, Goss checks in frequently. He makes sure the staff is on video calls as regularly as possible. He goes out of his way to continue to connect people to each other. When they can’t gather at their NoMad business office, Goss adapts and hosts a few Zoom happy hours.
Goss is realistic about what he can and cannot do for his staff. He wisely acknowledges that he can’t help employee’s personal lives. But he can make sure there’s a personal work connection, so that no one is alone. Those connections continue to be important.
He also kept encouraging the team to stay healthy: “Take care of yourself, eat well, exercise. If you have your health and your family is healthy, everything else can be worked out. Remind yourself to be grateful.”
To deal with his own morale, he tried to strip out the emotion and not let himself get depressed. He would advise himself, “Make the best decision you can. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” Dealing with ever-changing information was a challenge, but Goss made the best decisions with the information he had at the time. He never pretended to be optimistic – “Just focus and go.”
For Goss and Zero-In, it’s much better now than it was.
Back to Business in NoMad
Goss loves being in NoMad and gladly adapts to being back in the business office. Plus, he is close to many of his NoMad clients like Sweetgreen, Equinox, &pizza, Shake Shack, The Little Beet, and Melt Shop. “And Madison Square Park is still the park,” he says happily.
Goss shares that he spends so much time in NoMad, it’s almost more of a home than his place on the Lower East Side. He feels connected to the neighborhood and the NoMad community: “Its distinctive. And it’s as New York as it gets: sitting in the middle of street – of Broadway – eating at La Pecora Bianca. This is where I belong.”