Growth—it's what most business owners strives for. (We actually had an interesting experience with a dental office owner who said that he was just riding the waves until his impending retirement, so we truthfully cannot say ALL businesses.) Attaining and surviving growth, however, is a true struggle. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics about 20% of businesses fail within their first year and 50% in their fifth year. If you have ever searched the internet looking for information about why businesses fail, the reasons are all over the map. These reasons range from inability to generate traffic to poor financial management. But what about the other percentage of businesses that do succeed?
We were curious about this flip-side. What does it takes to successfully remain in business? Instead of passing down secondary information from the internet abyss, we decided to branch out and gather insight from another direct source. Our information comes from someone who is currently navigating his company through rapid growth, with a vision to keep everything moving forward with strategic momentum.
The individual that we are speaking of is fellow community member and business owner Chase Landry, who has operated his company Chase Group Construction, LLC for over a decade. Due to a growing economy and his ability to provide top notch service to his customers, he has seen a recent uptick in business that has nearly doubled his annual revenue. This kind of growth can be staggering, but Landry has taken it in stride.
Want to know how he has done this? Here are his top three suggestion steps for successfully navigating your business through periods of rapid growth:
1) Secure a line of credit prior to growing to be ready for the growth period.
In other words, don't wait until you need the additional funds to ask for it because you will find that it will be more difficult if you have already maxed out all of your financial resources in the eyes of a bank or lending company. The point of a line of credit is to use it when you are waiting on project payments to fulfill payroll or vendor liabilities. As a company you are sometimes required to perform certain milestones prior to being paid and those milestones don't necessarily line up with your weekly and monthly liability obligations. This means you have to find a way to bridge the gap hence a line of credit (LOC).
2) Hiring great employees is a great thing to do, but you will actually find out that firing bad employees is more valuable to your company.
Many companies do not do a good job of this. You have to hold employees accountable and make changes when necessary. Having bad employees can hurt your company in many ways such as lower production, poor quality output, bad customer relationships, and even stolen property. As an owner of the company, you will not always be the most popular person. It is your responsibility to make the tough decisions, and, in general, most people do not like change.
You have to think about your staffing decisions in more black and white terms while keeping your company goals in mind. If someone doesn't fit in with helping you to achieve your goals, you need to part ways with them. Hopefully, your agreement with your employees is to pay them a wage in exchange for performance of a certain job within a set of rules. When an employee breaks the rules, they are breaking your business agreement which essentially affects cash flow. If you must let an employee go for the betterment of your company, it’s not personal rather it's just a part of doing business.
3) Stay ahead of the technology train!
Always look forward to what is on the horizon that will help your business grow. There may be a scheduling program that helps you stay on time or a new estimating software that makes your life easier, but there is always something that you are not familiar with and will enhance your business life. The point is to always be looking for technology that can speed up or advertise your business.
There are many software companies that now offer E-signature which has really helped me in the past while getting customers to literally sign documents on their smartphones. This particular idea is not new but has helped me grow over the years and you would be surprised to know how many people have not heard of it.
However, a new program will not solve all of your problems. Technology should enhance your business’s abilities and not be the "end all, be all" for your entire company. In other words, you need to be good at what you do, but utilize technology to give yourself an edge or time savings.
Other pieces of technology Chase has used to help his company are:
Trello ~ Is a cloud-based project management software that is used to create task and "to-dos" on boards with your entire team making the task responsibilities much easier to handle and perform. It is basically a bunch of yellow sticky notes in a virtual place that is always accessible by your team by phone app or computer.
Authentisign ~ Is an e-signature program to easily share a document with signing parties to digitally and legally sign documents over your phone or computer.
EFax ~ Should be on every companies list. I can't believe faxes are still around, but at least EFax makes faxing a little easier. Efax is simply faxing over the internet using a login and password.
Wise words indeed, Chase. We absolutely agree with these sentiments, being proactive and not reactive is what will keep you in the game for the long haul. So to summarize; following these few simple steps can help you to set your business up for success—attaining a pre-approved line of credit, making sure that you are only keeping the right people on your team, and utilizing technology that can keep you on track and operating optimally.
Having problems keeping up with your call traffic due to business growth? Reach out and talk to us about some solution options to help with this: