Three Key Strategies for Sustaining Your Growing Alarm Business
Businesses are like their owners—each unique. Yet while each of us has individual character traits and personalities, we all pass through certain stages as we age.
The same holds true for businesses. From start-up through growth and into sustainability, each phase requires a different kind of mindset. Companies get through the start-up and growth phases most often because of the sheer will and tenacity of their owner. However, they can fail in the sustainability phase because this stage requires a different approach.
The probability of achieving sustainable growth is increased measurably by having both a sustainability strategy and leadership with the right mindset for this stage of the business. One without the other severely impairs your chances of success.
These are three key strategies to put into place at this stage of your alarm business:
1. Getting Lean and Mean.Throughout the start-up and growth phases, any customer looks like a “good” customer. Now, you must have a willingness to view customers through a different lens and realize that not all customers are created equally. It’s time to analyze your entire customer base and find out which customers, products, services, channels and geographic areas generate the largest proportion of revenue and profits for your business.
You will likely need to stop offering the products and services that aren’t profitable and focus your efforts on solidifying your “core” business. Once you’ve focused in on your core, profitable business lines, you will be in a position to mindfully and successfully enter other geographic markets, and/or develop new products or services that appeal to your current base to sustain your business without jeopardizing your profitability.
2. Stabilizing Your Infrastructure. A key aspect of creating a sustainable business is to commit yourself to “operational excellence”. Simply put, operational excellence means that you give your customers a consistent, reliable experience with your company. Sounds simple, right? But by the time you’ve hit the sustainability phase, you realize it’s not as easy as it sounds.
To do so, you must analyze every aspect of your operation to determine where the bottlenecks are and how to eliminate them. You’ll want to make sure you integrate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). By doing so, you will establish repeatable work flow processes that streamline your business and create efficiencies and reduce costs. By applying standard processes and procedures you will stabilize the complete end-to-end flow of your business so that customers (and employees) always know what to expect.
3. Providing Collaborative Leadership. Finally, shifting your mindset to one of collaboration will pay huge dividends to your business.Driving sustainable growth cannot happen alone. Review your top talent. Do business units work together well to make a strong, well-oiled machine that isn’t afraid to take risks and work together to try new things?
By embracing the notion that good ideas can come from anywhere, you will serve as the unifier of innovative ideas and new approaches – and the opportunities associated with it – to sustain growth.
To become a collaborative leader, your own ego must be put to the side. In addition, you now need to move away from working “in” the business to working “on” the business and that means you have a new job.
Your job now becomes one of listening and collaborating. Listen to your customers so you can determine “what’s next” for them. Listen to your team to determine the next steps for the growth of your business. Listen to the industry leaders and find out about external partnerships that may benefit your business at this stage.
Just like passing through life’s phases can be uncomfortable, shifting your mindset at this stage in your business can be overwhelming. Just realize you don’t have to implement these three strategies all at once. And sometimes it’s helpful to get advice on which step to take first.
If you want to do all you can to build a high-value business, contact Alarm Capital Alliance for a no-obligation Business Analysis. Having consulted with hundreds of alarm companies, ACA can help you prioritize your best strategies for success, no matter what stage you and your business are in.