There are tens of thousands of building and facility services companies in the US. They exist in every part of the country and every size of organization. Unfortunately, many don't survive. Even if they start off well, they fail in the long run. This is due to a number of issues that crop up along the path to growing the business. The following five points will describe the qualities that make up a successful business and what you can do to get yourself back on track if you start to falter.
They identify the problems and fix them
I have owned and operated multiple businesses. Owning and managing a small business is very hard. The best way to make it easier is the understand the problems you have and addressing them. In order to address an issue, you first have to analyze and understand the issue. What are the root causes of the problem? Why do these problems exist? What do they mean? These problems could be within any aspect of your business. Instead of burying your head in the sand and hoping the issues will go away, I think through the problem and completely understand it. After I understand the problem, I sit down and research it. Is this a problem inside or outside of my team? Is this an issue I control? Once I completely understand the issue, I build a plan to address it. At times, this process can go very quickly. Other times, it can take weeks. The key is not to avoid addressing the issue. Spend the time and focus on solving the problem and your business will run much more smoothly.
They focus on customer service
Most successful service businesses understand that they will get more business if they have good customer service. It goes without saying that good customer service is critical. The best way to develop it is to get feedback from current customers. Answering questions online, looking into complaints, and finding out what others think about your company are all good things to do. If you don't focus on customer service, there is a very good chance you will lose business in the long run. If you are losing customers, you cant grow your business and can stagnate simply bringing in replacement sales for the contracts you lose. Once you know your clients and listen to their concerns, you know exactly what they are looking for. It is then your mission to provide the best service you can provide and ensure your customers are telling their friends about you.
In order to build an effective organization, it is critical to make the right hires in your leadership roles.
They effectively manage their staff
It's an old story and one that applies to every business, regardless of the scale. Management makes or breaks any business. It is where the buck stops and, if you have a staff of staff, it is the leader's responsibility to know how the employees function and how well they are performing. No business can be successful without effective management. Even with the best staff, poor management will ruin effective teams. Most businesses that fail have significant flaws in their culture and leadership, which is built by, and manifested through, the managers. In order to build an effective organization, it is critical to make the right hires in your leadership roles. They should embody your vision and work ethic in order to build the culture you want within your company. With the strong culture built, they can focus on helping your staff and not controlling them.
They manage their cashflows
A good business takes care of its cashflow. If you spend your income as fast as you earn it, the business can't grow. This is a common mistake that many people make. Unfortunately, it is one of the largest reasons why companies fail: they run out of money. When the customer base reaches a certain size, they fail to analyze their financials to ensure the make money from the services they are selling. Many companies actually lose money on every product or service they sell because they never adjusted the pricing to the new realities of the business. This is where a company's accounting department comes into play. A good business manager looks at how much money is coming in, how much is going out, and what the actual costs of running the business are. Without a solid financial process, you may have a team and customers, but still go out of business.
They understand the business they are in (ie why their customers pay them)
A lot of companies find it very hard to make the connection between the work they are doing and why their customers buy it from them. People lack an appreciation for what their product or service really is. This is because they don't really understand why people would want their service in the first place. There is an old example of asking why a person buys a drill. They are not buying the drill: they are buying the hole. If you are able to truly understand the business you are in the reasons your customers buy from you, then you will be able to substantially grow your business. If this topic interest you, I would highly advise learning about the Jobs to be Done concepts in the book by Bob Moesta.
Running a business is hard. It is made harder by the road bumps you deal with along the way. Focus on delivering the best experience for your customer, but fully understand the business you are in. Without clarity, you may be sinking without even noticing it. If you are looking for some help in providing exceptional customer service and collecting the right data to help manage your business, reach out to us and we can help you build best of breed processes and drive top line revenues.