The new year is almost here–What are your goals for your business in 2016? Rather than wait until 2016, consider your goals now so you can step into the new year with a clear head.
Moving Forward in 2016
A business should always be moving forward; staying in one place might be “fine” but it’s not great. When you first established your business, I’d bet that your ideal was not to have a fine business. You wanted to do things differently or better than the status-quo. Have you succeeded in doing that? How you measure the success of your business may vary. You may strive to introduce a certain percentage of customers each year, or you could measure your success in the ability to hire new employees as you grow. If growth isn’t your intention, perhaps your goal is to do a more efficient job at what you are already doing to allow more free time, or reduce stress on a daily basis.
Jeremiah has mentioned several times that he grew up watching his dad test backflow devices and learning about irrigation pipes. He’d sit along in the truck from place to place, reading the map aloud to tell his dad where to turn, and make conversations with the home and business owners along the way. When Jeremiah and his dad would arrive home, his mom would soon follow from her job as a hair dresser and they’d sit around the dining table after dinner to plot the route for the next day and stuff envelopes to water districts and customers. When the idea of C3 came to fruition for Jeremiah, it was because 25 years later, his dad was still spending too much time at the home office desk long after an 8-hour work day, printing invoices, stuffing envelopes, scanning bft reports to email. Things had changed, but little. With the success of acquiring customers, Jeremiah’s dad was not deciding his next day in a Thomas Guide, but he was struggling to be efficient to get everyone tested and billed. Initially, Jeremiah judged the success of the business by how well his dad’s business had taken up the application.
What Does Growth Mean to You?
Now, C3 measures success in a broader way–by customer satisfaction, and by how well and quickly we can implement customer’s ideas into our application. Eventually, our success goals may change, as C3 continues to grow. And we want to grow-I think most businesses do. I worked at a successful small-business restaurant for five years, managing the retail side of things. The owners were hands-on and created the business from the bottom up, with no intention to expand beyond the walls of that restaurant. However, they always wanted to grow. They measured their growth success in various ways– like by being able to hire a cleaning crew 3 years into the business, instead of cleaning it themselves each night. Then they measured their success by how much they donated back to the community in the form of food and fundraisers. Their customer base hadn’t expanded greatly after the first several years, but what they had done was make sure their team was trained well, and waste was reduced greatly from the beginning of the business throughout the years. So, what’s my point? Being efficient can improve a business without ever needing to expand upon the customer base you already have.
What can you do to manage it better in 2016 than you did in 2015?
How can you grow and create success within your backflow testing business? I’ve mentioned in past blog posts a couple ways to increase your efficiency–consider reducing paperwork, offering a week’s worth of backflow tests to your testers, and a few other options. What about considering only calling the customers on your annual backflow testing list on a certain day each week; calling on a Friday to let them know that your tester will be out the following week gives them time to call you back if they have any questions or concerns. Schedule emailed invoices to only go out on Mondays or Tuesdays, so that the customers can get back to you before the end of the work week. If you’re still sending paper via regular mail, avoid Mondays and the lunch hour to cut down on wait time for a roll of stamps. This goes for banks too–if you’re making deposits avoid Fridays and the 1st, 5, 15th, and 20th of each month: all typical days that people are paid and will be lining up at the bank.
Doing business efficiently will automatically reduce your stress. It might remind you of your initial goals when you set up your business, or it might be a year to revamp some goals. Whatever the case is, we’re with you all the way.
If you haven’t already, Start your free trial at C3 today.