Business Insider: 10 ways to build a stronger, better company

February 1, 2023 -  By
(Photo: oatawa/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

(Photo: oatawa/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy has a simple growth strategy: “Get better, and your clients will demand that you get bigger.”

I tell my clients something similar: “Bigger doesn’t make you better, but getting better will surely make you bigger.”

A top-line growth strategy can make you weaker unless you grow and strengthen from within. To avoid weak growth, consider the following steps.

Steps to strong growth

  1. Survey your team members repeatedly. Have them score their satisfaction working at your firm. Make sure to identify what can be improved. You can use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to underpin your research and track results. Plug the holes and then fill the bucket!
  2. Survey your clients. Some companies use NPS, but many use other approaches, like calling clients, focus groups and walk-throughs after project completion. Develop a rhythm for checking in.
  3. Wow your new employees and clients. Use a comprehensive two-day onboarding for employees. Give new maintenance and installation clients a “hug.” This can be intentional communication during the first 30 days or leading up to the start of a job.
  4. Share a compelling mission and vision. These should be inspiring and detailed. Share with your team and let them put their thumbprints on the implementation plans. When everyone owns your mission and vision, you maximize their passion and dedication. This step is so important for your team; most owners underestimate it until they do it.
  5. Help employees earn a living wage, be it with full-time employment, or earning enough money to start and grow a family. Develop a professional approach to each role, and ensure your people are constantly improving and growing their earnings potential.
  6. Take time off as an owner. I am coaching one gentleman who is planning to take off the month of July. While there are other leaders (branch managers) in the business, he has the critical role of general manager. We will set up the systems needed for the company to work without him, including virtual assistants. He is making the business more valuable and more salable through these efforts!
  7. Grow the performance of each division. I am a big believer in exploiting one’s strengths. Focus first on your strong divisions and make them even stronger. Many entrepreneurs skip this step! Then fix or sideline the weakest divisions. Use billable hours accountability and lean management techniques to improve margins across the board. All this will drive both bottom-line and top-line growth.
  8. Improve throughput. Teach your sales team to use throughput as a guide to their estimating, and you will see your resulting jobs become more profitable. Production managers can use throughput to guide and motivate crews. Use numbers to make everyone smarter.
  9. Align your incentives. For those using profit sharing, keep educating your team and connecting the dots. For those using incentives and commissions, keep them fair, believable and winnable or make the step up to profit sharing. The key is to align any win-sharing plan with your mission, vision and values to gain synergy and minimize friction.
  10. Promote a habit of learning. Keep your team members growing via active use of a career ladder, the books they read and the management and communication tools they acquire. Success is not an end result. Rather, it is a light on the horizon that you constantly drive toward. Growing companies maintain momentum by growing team members.

Business success is a journey you should enjoy. Follow these 10 inspiring steps to become stronger and better, and your business will grow bigger as a result

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Jeffrey Scott

About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit

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