GREAT FALLS — As a business that falls within the forestry and construction sector, The Good Wood Guys are considered an essential business and have kept woodworking since Governor Steve Bullock ordered nonessential businesses to close one month ago.
When businesses began closing last month, Susan Crocker, co-owner of the Good Wood Guys, worked with her husband and business partner Chris to come up with a new business plan.
“We met with our employees and decided that the safest thing for us to do would be to limit customers in the retail portion of the store and keep them completely out of our shop,” Crocker said.
Susan said since many of their customers are older and more susceptible to COVID-19, they chose to take extra precautions.
“A lot of woodworkers tend to pick up the hobby when they’re a little older and retired and so we had a concern for those customers as well. We're trying to do what we can to keep everybody safe-our staff and our customers,” Susan said.
Instead of treating their customers to coffee and a tour of their store, they’re limited to meeting patrons at the door.
“It doesn’t feel as friendly. So that’s a little odd for us,” Susan said, “A lot of people are calling first which is awesome because we can kind of prep them for the fact that we’re gonna keep them at the door and get things pulled for them so they don't have to wait so long.”
Susan added that since customers can no longer shop inside, they’ve seen business drop.
“Saturdays are usually our busiest day. We get lots of people that usually come in for our sawmill demonstrations and people will come in just to look around, plan projects and those things. And we really aren’t seeing people on saturdays. I think last week we had maybe 2 customers,” Susan said.
Fortunately, since their woodshop is still open, they’re able to keep working on orders. “Our shop is staying busy. We book jobs out so were staying busy on that side which is helping us along,” Susan said.
The Crockers also connect with the community via phone and social media, using call-ahead video streaming, and their gallery to let customers know what’s in store.
“Were really trying to look at alternative methods pivoting a little bit with what we do to reach out to our customers. We don't have many people here in person but we have been getting a lot of phone calls and again we're doing a lot of video sort of things so we're trying to reach out to people that way,” Susan said.
The Good Wood Guys already have several demonstrative videos on YouTube but this Saturday at 10 a.m., they’ll use Facebook Live to demonstrate a virtual sawmill demonstration, since customers can no longer visit the mill for an in-person demonstration.
If you’d like to place an order with the Good Wood Guys, call 231-9663 Or you can check out their website for a look at some of their woodwork.
The Good Wood Guys are located at 816 20th Street North Their current hours of operation are Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.