Yesterday our fearless leader David Crary joined Ruth King – an expert on the growth and management of service contractors’ businesses – to produce a show about the stages of business growth that most field service businesses go through. It’s fascinating, and worth talking about. So, in this post, we talk about Stage 1: The Start-Up (Revenue of $0 - $200,000).
The entrepreneurial spirit hits. It’s time to be your own boss, make your own profits, cash in on your own blood, sweat, and tears. You’re a solo owner-operator. You run the biz out of your truck, using your cell phone, and you take damn fine care of your customers.
And they love you for it! In fact, it’s probably your only method of “marketing”: word-of-mouth referrals. But it works. You’re focused on your customers, on your products, and on making the fix.
And, by the way, congrats on becoming a business owner. It takes guts, it’s risky. But you’re making it.
But there are a few problems here, if you’re looking to grow. While your overhead is really low (no office, small inventory, etc.), you’re also limited to the work you can do yourself. And there are zero breaks. If you – personally – are not working, there is zero revenue. After a while, it gets hard, especially as you begin to grow.
What do you need to grow?
Not much. Do good work, and build good relationships with customers. New referrals should keep coming in if you do that, so now it’s time to add another person… which means filling that person’s time, and ensuring they are living up to your customers’ expectations. That means it’s time for Stage 2.
A special thank you to Ruth King. She has a profound understanding of the stages of a contractor’s growth, and much of this series is inspired by her, and validated by our own experiences with our customers. We highly recommend learning more about her at TurnOnMyFinancialLightbulb.com.