In this 5th of our 5-part series on common challenges in a restoration business, we focus on scaling your restoration business. If you missed our 3 previous installments, you can check them out – Hiring, Lead Generation, Profitability and Consistency.
Many independent restoration business teams push for growth at all costs, but this is short-sighted thinking. Raw growth for the sake of itself can quickly become unwieldy and difficult to manage. When it is provoked, the business will start to burn through cash and resources recklessly. Suddenly, there won’t be enough hours in the day to get everything done –let alone find, hire, and train competent employees to help you get ahead of all the new business! Unchecked growth will cause service quality to fall, business operations to flounder, and employee morale to falter under the chronic heavy workload and long hours.
Now, before you come away thinking that all growth is bad and should not be provoked, let’s be clear: growth itself is not the problem. Growth is what every restoration business owner wants to happen. It inherently creates greater business valuation, higher incomes, and more opportunities. All of that is good! It’s how that growth occurs that makes all the difference.
That’s where scaling your business comes in. Scaling is the sensible, controlled management of growth in your business. It is sustainable by definition, meaning your revenue growth far outpaces any new costs incurred to attain it. If done well, scaling allows you to avoid the overwhelm that can occur when rapid growth happens. Here’s how you can address this:
Plan Early for Growth in Your Restoration Business
The earlier you plan, the easier it is to scale your business as growth occurs. Taking time to mentally decide where you want to go with your business in the next 5, 10, and 20 years can help you chart a course to get there. Doing the work of planning now allows you to set up systems and procedures in advance of growth so that when it happens, you’re ready for it.
As you plan for future growth in your business, be a visionary. But be mindful about what is genuinely achievable. Understand your limitations. You can easily bite off more than you can chew if you don’t properly account for the time and resources needed to meet your growth goals. Growth is essential, but not at the cost of business viability.
Fix Restoration Business Problems in the Right Order
Let’s say you have two problems to deal with right now:
- You’re hungry
- Your hair is on fire
Which problem do you handle first? If you answered, “Get some lunch,” then you actually have a third problem: you don’t prioritize well! All kidding aside, business growth is an ongoing exercise in change management and prioritization. Scaling your business can help to minimize the growing pains, but it doesn’t lessen the constraints you will inevitably experience as you grow. That’s why you’ll need to wisely prioritize where to focus your time and resources to solve problems.
To do this, you need to know what problems are happening in the business. Then, evaluate which of those problems are impacting profitability and efficiency the most. Ask yourself, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how crucial is it for this problem to be addressed right now?” Begin with whichever problem is the most important and urgent to fix. Once you’ve done so, move down the priority list, fix the next one, and so on until you’ve completed your list. Be strategic and relentless about it. Remember that some things are urgent but not critical to fix right away. Don’t confuse the two; prioritize wisely.
Customer Experience is Always a Priority for a Restoration Business
Efforts to scale your restoration business won’t get very far if you make your customers feel like an afterthought. Don’t do it! Customer experience should always be one of your highest priorities because it is among the most important factors to building a profitable brand. Prioritizing your customers requires you to become an expert in who they are and what their needs are. Conduct target audience research, hold interviews, run surveys and polls, ask questions, etc. Put in the work to help you to gain competitive insights about your customers the solutions they’re needing.
You should also try to learn how customers experience you. Where is your business falling short in their eyes? What do they think would improve your services? What do they wish you understood better? Once you gather enough responses, you’ll start to see trends emerge in that information. These insights are hugely helpful to guide your efforts to scale. You’ll learn what’s working, what isn’t, and where growth opportunities are available.
Take Care of Your Team
Your people are another type of customer. As employees, they buy into your leadership and vision by coming to work every day. But, they can choose to leave at any time! Treat them well, and they’ll pour their hearts into helping you build the business. They are powerful brand advocates that should be taken care of as much as any paying customer. You’ll never be able to scale to size without them.
Time to Level Up Your Restoration Business
There’s an art to scaling your restoration business well. You can go it alone and figure it out as we did in our restoration company, Power Dry, or you can learn from our mistakes and save yourself years of struggle. Download our complimentary guide to learn more: 5 Business Challenges Independent Restoration Company Owner Struggles With…And Ways to Address Them.