After recently celebrating my 24th anniversary of becoming an entrepreneur, I wanted to share some key strategies with you that I’ve learned along the way during this already interesting and very fruitful career. Part of my purpose and role in life is to share the wins (as well as the challenges) while we all seek to keep ascending to that sometimes-elusive next level.
There are multiple types of training available in the service business industry, covering all the primary areas of focus for your business. At my company, The Blue Collar Success Group, we offer some of the most influential training in specific categories such as sales and service, office intake, outbound calling, management structure and strategies, to name a few, but training must be done with bigger purpose behind it.
All successful home service companies have what we call “critical synergy” in four key areas — call intake, dispatching, front-line skilled technical team, and front-line retail sales team — and, of course, in the effective management of all four of these verticals.
Whether you are a small startup or have been at this for decades, you want to seek culture-based synergy with each of these core competency sectors. Think about the built-in challenges between a call taker’s task goals and those of the dispatch role. Both of these roles are designed to serve the client, but the priority of who, what, when, where and why becomes a function of the business model. If the common goals aren’t communicated early and often, a disconnect quickly forms between these two roles, even when performed by the same person.
You know this to be true about each one of your key departments as you grow and add more team members, but even when you’re small, this message of synergy must be trained, executed and repeated. If there is a challenge on the schedule board, but there is critical synergy within these team members, this “challenge” is quickly resolved and ultimately the client and the company both win more quickly and efficiently than ever before.
However, if these roles have become silos existing on acres of lonely fields, aiming to solve only their own challenges without much concern about consequences for anyone else, there will be issues on a daily basis, most likely multiple times a day. In addition, these team members become the ones who will always need more management attention.
When you begin creating a critical synergy-based culture, suddenly the game changes between the office and the front-line field team, as well. When you communicate clearly that there are two types of people in the world and you’re building your business with one specific type, you will attract more of that type of team member.
Gas on a fire
People are armed with one of two different liquids when it comes to the business and your ultimate vision: gasoline or water.
Some team members throw gasoline on the fire of your growth, passion, ideas and implementation plans. These team members are always looking at how we can, not how we can’t. They are the team that support you, not as “yes” people but as people who share in the vision you’ve created. They will hold you accountable to your vision, challenge you when necessary, but go to war with you every single day fueling the fire of this business every chance they get. You want your key team running these departments to be “gasoline people.”
The second type of team member we can have we’ll call the “water tossers.” They seem to have a fire truck’s worth of water ready to throw on any spark of a good idea, positive change, or evolution of process. These are the team members who meet you and your other leaders with resistance and fear and create drama every chance they get. These people may not be bad people, but you must make a decision about what type of people you want to build a team with.
Many of us seem to forget that we get to decide how our company runs. We get to choose the process and procedures that are followed. We get to choose how we recruit and attract top talent. We get to choose who we surround ourselves with regarding our key team players or managers.
When you get clarity about the power of critical synergy with just a few key team members and key revenue producing departments, amazing things happen. We watch the efficiencies scale, profits scale, and fulfillment-of-happy-team-members scale.
As we all understand, recruiting millennials is not becoming any easier for the trades. Part of the reason for this has to do with the fact that there has not been any perceived synergy from this great industry to our youth. We were taught, and many have continued to demonstrate, that a blue-collar life is a tough life with fresh cuts, burns and bruises to be had on a daily basis.
And we wonder why younger talented people aren’t flocking to us like we’re Google or Apple? I think it’s safe to say that Google and Apple display vision and execution that represents tremendous critical synergy to the market and their team members.
Creating a culture to maximize influence and access with the team members packing gasoline daily to help you light up your goals and dreams is the ticket to your next level. Not only is this the most productive and profitable way to run your company, it’s also the most fun and rewarding method of doing business possible.
Decide to surround yourself with key team members who come equipped with gas to fuel your fire. Train them, empower them, and help them remove the team members who want to throw water on any spark of development; this is when critical synergy happens within your business.