How Do I Get to The Next Level?
So you’ve done what everyone has told you to do to get your business to this point. You’re proud of what you’ve accomplished but you still find yourself looking for more. What’s the next step? How can I really take my business to the next level? Well, unfortunately, there isn’t a magic wand to help you elevate your business. Getting over the edge takes more discipline and team work than what you relied on to get to this point. Below are my eight tips for taking your business to the next level.
- Clarify Your Vision – Where do you want to be? What is the vision for the business? By now you know what is possible within the tree care industry. You’ve met successful owners and you know what works for your company, so now is the time to create the specific vision of your company. Be detailed in your description of what your company will look like in 3, 5 and 10 years. Write it down so you can look back on it at least every six months to check your progress. The next level will look different for every company, the fun part is you get to decide what it means for your organization.
- Create the Plan with Stretch Goals – Once you know where you are heading, figure out the goals that will get you there. Make sure the majority of your goals are attainable yet push you to make them happen. For our agency, our primary goal for 2018 is to grow by 18%. It is a number that we have never hit before but since we’ve laid the foundation in the previous years it is attainable while making us stretch for it. Again being specific on how you will achieve each goal is critical.
- The Customer Experience is King – If you haven’t looked at what kind of customer experience you and your team are providing for your customers you must commit to fully engage in that process. Your current customers are the best source of referrals and repeat business so ensuring that they have the best possible experience with your team is a must. Check out our article on “Reviving the Customer Experience” for help on how to transform your customer service.
- Commit to Continuous Learning – You probably already do this, but never stop learning. I’m not talking about just the formal seminars and continuing education classes required to keep up your credentials. Those are important, but more so are the conversations that you have with other business owners that have made it through the challenges that you are facing. Attending the TCIA’s Winter Management Conference and Executive Arborist Workshop will get you in the same room as those who you can learn from. When attending these events, make sure to ask direct questions to others so you can walk away with ideas for your business.
- Teamwork – You must share your vision with your team and create a team first culture where everyone wants to win together. Proper delegation of responsibilities is key to allowing everyone to feel part of something larger than their job. When everyone knows their role in achieving greatness for the whole organization, the entire company will take off.
- Evaluate and Adjust – Let’s face it, you won’t get everything right the first time. Expect to need to make adjustments to your process and slight variances from your goals. I suggest to at a minimum review your annual goals at the halfway point each year so there is still time to make changes so you can achieve the goals you set out at the start of the year.
- Embrace and Live the Plan – This is probably the most challenging one on the list because it takes a lot of self discipline, but live each day with purpose to accomplish what you need to that day. Life happens and interruptions are part of it, but when you continually refocus yourself on the overall vision you will be amazed at what you can accomplish for your company.
- Believe in Yourself and Your Team – All great leaders believe in themselves and their team. They are confident that together the right answer will pop up and solutions to challenges will be overcome. You have to provide that strength from the top as the owner so that everyone feels proud and excited to be part of a thriving company. If you are struggling with this, just look back over the past year and jot down all of the hurdles your organization has overcame. Share this with the team and everyone will quickly be reminded of how far your organization has come in a short bit of time. This should reinvigorate you and your team to push to that next level.