I think there are a few things a new or young business owner should know about the struggles of growing a business. I often say that I think I’ve made every mistake in the book, and if you can find someone with that kind of experience, you can avoid making the same mistakes.
The People You Hire
One key component of a successful business is the people. Are you getting the right people that fit into the culture of your business? Are they competent, do they have good character, and are they talented? What skills do they have, and are those skills well-matched with the role they are supposed to fill? When a new business owner is just starting out, it can be challenging to put together a great team. The owner might just hire whoever comes along, or they might hire a good friend. Hiring someone who doesn’t know what they are doing—oftentimes out of desperation—is one of the worst things a business owner can do. Instead, develop a process to hire people, know who you’re looking for, and then go out and find that person. Do not compromise in this area, because I promise that if you find the right person, your life will be so much easier.
Longevity is Key
Once you have the right people, you have to take care of them, and taking care of people is expensive. It can be very daunting for any business owner, no matter whether they’re just starting out or they’ve been in business for many years. Business owners often say, “I don’t think we can afford that.” What you cannot afford is losing the right people who make up your team. You have to take care of them and keep them with you.
Grow With A Plan
Next, make sure you don’t get too aggressive and grow faster than what’s feasible for your business. Generally speaking, for every 10% of growth you’ll take away 1% of profit. That’s just because of the learning curve necessary for growth. When a company grows rapidly, they tend to find themselves losing money, which can be very problematic for the sustainability of the company.
Delegate When Necessary
It’s also very common for business owners and key managers in a company to be overwhelmed, especially due to the span of control. This is something we worked hard to improve within our business over the last several years. People can be very effective, efficient, and knowledgeable. But at the end of the day, we’re all human—nobody is superhuman—and we can all only do so much. When somebody is trying to control too much, somewhere someone is probably making a sacrifice for that control-minded individual. Be careful of that, and make sure you’re honed in on knowing what can realistically get done. Stick to that and delegate the rest.
Find Time to Grow Your Business
Finally, understand that it’s very hard to grow a business if you’re working in the business and not on the business. You have to give yourself enough time to develop strategies, systems, and processes so that the business can grow. If you’re always taking care of clients or doing the day-to-day work, it’s very hard to focus on growth.
If you have any questions about plumbing or HVAC, or give us a call at 540-483-9382.