I believe that culture is an incredibly important piece to any successful company. I can tell in our own service business when culture becomes a challenge, how I feel it, and when I know something must be addressed. I have a way of “feeling” the culture in the building when I arrive home from one of our trips.
Many people don’t speak about culture or do too much training regarding culture improvement because it’s an intangible thing that is very difficult to measure. Or is it? How do you measure culture? How do you define a profitable culture? What is the culture you’d like to have in your business?
Earlier this week I was training in a company that has experienced back to back record breaking sales months. I could feel the energy in the technician meeting room as soon as the technicians began filtering in. Remember, this was 6:45 am and I’m talking about feeling technician positive energy! It’s not easy to explain but you know when there is momentum in an environment that is just dying to share itself with the world.
Think about the last time you were at Disneyland. Take yourself back to walking through those front gates, early in the morning, feeling the energy, smelling the concessions, managing the excitement of what rides your children want to attack first. I know, I know, I can hear you now. “That’s great Kenny, but that is Disneyland!”
You’re absolutely right, that’s Disneyland, what does that have to do with my home services business? Think about that question for 30 seconds and I know you’ll come up with a great list in a short period of time. There was a time people didn’t think Disneyland could exist in the marketplace. There’s a pretty good chance there was also a time not too long ago that people didn’t believe your current business model would work in the marketplace either.
You had to decide. You had to want something different than the industry average. You had to decide that you wanted to create a culture of profit. Now you must continue to decide to stay sharp, keep growing, and manage the culture as your company increases team members, sales, customers, etc.
I can tell within 15 minutes of walking into a contracting business if there is a Profit Culture in place. I’m not saying I can read minds or I’m the sharpest knife in the drawer. What I’m saying is your internal culture is screaming to be heard outside. I’ll know what is important to a client by how clean the office space is, how neat the warehouse is kept. I’ll also know by what types of photos or sayings are on the wall along with what statistics are tracked. With a few quick questions I’ll know if accountability and excellence are necessary, or if getting by with minimal effort is accepted in this business.
You must begin to measure the pulse of your business by how willing your team is to pitch in and help out when there are challenges. It’s easy to look at numbers and move X’s and O’s around the schedule board to complete calls every day, but what is happening inside your building that is squashing or hindering outside results.
My client that I trained this week is one of the fastest growing companies, if not THE fastest growing company in their marketplace. This is not an accident. They didn’t run one great direct mail piece, or crack the code on the best PPC headline. They focus on being really good at the things that really drive the business and a productive culture is always near the top of the list.
Remain focused on the behaviors, attitudes, and procedures that drive profits and positive energy in the business and perhaps your best months are in the very near future as well.