If you could make a change in your business to increase proﬁts, you’d do it. But what if you could invest in your employees to save a life?
It’s a question Jeremy Hanford posed at a recent Dealer Strategic Planning 20 Group meeting in Torrance, Calif. Hanford owns Hanford Tire and Service Inc. in London, Ontario. His wife is a ﬁgure skating coach — active, ﬁt, healthy. But a rare condition called sarcoidosis caused her to go into cardiac arrest one day after work.
Two people nearby knew CPR. One froze while the other jumped into action.
“If he wasn’t there, it would have been a totally diﬀerent outcome for my family,” Hanford says, who took his experience and turned it into a business practice. He invested in CPR certiﬁcation for his employees and deﬁbrillators for his stores to ensure there are at least two people on the clock who would know how to help in case of an emergency.
“Sometimes it’s not about the money,” Hanford says. “Investing in your staﬀ to know CPR and buy a deﬁbrillator, it’s not about proﬁt; it’s about being a human being and the possibility of saving a life.”
Hanford presented his case to his fellow DSP 20 Group members. It sounds like a personal plea, but it’s not unusual among this group.
When his wife was in the hospital, DSP 20 Group members decided to use some of the group’s funds to buy gif cards for meals and supplies to help Hanford’s family get by. They oﬀered to work in his stores to keep his business going. Members helped roll out a new software system he was planning to implement so his business plan would remain intact. They were there to provide a helping hand in whatever way he needed.
“It was an amazing outpouring of support you’d only expect from a best friend or your family, and that really signiﬁes how much of a family these groups are,” Hanford says.
So when he spoke to his fellow members about the eﬀect they can have by ensuring their employees are CPR certiﬁed by purchasing deﬁbrillators, he had members’ full attention. He sparked a conversation among members. He made an impact.
Later that evening, he received a text message from a member who was struck by Hanford’s message. “He basically said, I thought about what you said — it’s not about the business, it’s about humanity. I’ll do my part.’”