Growth is a funny thing.
As a child, we can’t wait to “grow up” and do all the things that big people do. Yet, when we get there, we wish we were a kid again. All the responsibilities, the body changes the trials and tribulations of being a teenager…it’s not as much fun as it’s cracked up to be.
Then, when we reach the age of “maturity”, again and even more so the body changes, the health issues that come out of the blue and the concern of our future in our older years.
They say however, growth is a good thing. And, I believe it is.
What they don’t tell you is all the bullshit you have to go through to get to the peak of growth.
I am specifically talking about “growth in Business”.
Growth actually comes in stages. There’s a conditioning stage, developing stage and of course the maturing stage.
Conditioning oneself to growth is always the hardest. We’ve all heard the expression “you can grow too fast”? It’s true. Slow and easy is best because we have to condition ourselves, or our Business to be able to handle all the new challenges which come with growth.
The development stages isn’t any easier. In fact this is the stage when we hit our most challenging of situations. We develop new ideas, new thoughts, new processes. However, these developments often cause uproar because most people do not like change. In order to develop, you must change.
Then comes the maturing stage. This stage takes the longest to reach yet it can be the most rewarding. With maturing comes realization. With realization we know we have reached what we desired or possibly anticipated. With maturity, we are better able to handle all those trials and tribulations which come with Growth.
We find out though…..our growth is constantly changing.
I remember the last time in my life, I used the word never. 10 months later, I had a beautiful baby girl.
So I always caution “never say never” this is so true with Business, whether it be –
- I would never buy that
- I would never sell that
- They would never do that to me
- etc. etc.
I consider myself very fortunate. My upbringing, the example my parents set before me and the lessons I learned through starting very early in life in my Business career.
I’m the turtle. I go along slow and steady. However, when Covid hit, we experienced growth like I have never seen before. This was primarily due to cleaning, disinfection and sterilization products we already had on our venue. Our new client base multiplied by 4 and our sales reached their highest peak ever.
Sounds wonderful right? Not so much. As quickly as the cash was coming in, we were putting out….bigger and larger than ever before. We were dealing with the stress of even getting the products we needed, to be able to provide our clients. In addition, we actually spent more money to order larger quantities to make sure we always had inventory and didn’t run out.
Now throw in the price increases, the shipping nightmares and the struggle to get even every day supplies like boxes etc.
Our growth was amazing. Yet, I can tell you like I told my husband. “If it weren’t for my experience, and quite frankly my years of developing and my maturity….we could easily be bankrupt.”
However, that didn’t happen and I was able to maintain the one thing which is most important to me…..customer service!
Customer service, in my opinion is so simple. In fact, it’s so simple, I expect it everywhere. However, it doesn’t seem like it is everywhere. Yet, I feel many people don’t realize, the right customer service is a real crucial part in our growth. GREAT customer service can help you grow, BAD customer service can help you fail.
Let me share a couple of experiences which happened to me over the past week.
- At my visit to the grocery store my husband asked me to pick up our favorite Tostitos. He knew they were BOGO. I went straight to the aisle, saw the sign on the shelf, picked up two(2) bags and went to check out. When I arrived home he told me I got the wrong size. The larger bags were the BOGO. I told him I pulled them right from where the sign was, so he must have been wrong. Regardless of whether he was right or wrong, we looked at our store app and saw the bags I picked were actually buy 2 get 1 FREE. I didn’t read the sign, I was already conditioned for BOGO. What blew me away though is why the clerk didn’t say anything? And, don’t tell me they don’t know, because I have been going to this store for a long time. She knew. In my opinion she was just lazy. Poor Customer service.
- This same week I ordered food from my favorite local Chinese restaurant…to be delivered. Not that I order every week, I have been ordering from them for many years. I receive a text a short while after I placed my online order from the driver. He’s asking me if I’m at my home or if I’m in the office. Mistakingly, I put my home address (at 2pm) in the afternoon and not my office which is where he typically delivers. He called to double check. WOW. WOW. WOW. I was blown away.
Both of these scenarios, although quite different, represents good and/or bad customer service. More importantly, they left an impression on how I feel about visiting their establishment.
What do either of these have to do with growth? When you are in the Business of dealing with people, WOW customer service is imperative.
So often I receive comments from Technicians asking for the code to our website, and they are blown away that I answer so quickly. What? That’s potential Business. Why would I only answer between 9 am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. I don’t have an automatic system which responds, I am the responder.
Growth is never eminent. Growth is hard work, diligent and efficiency.
The other thing about growth which we should watch out for is what I call…getting too big for your britches.
I’ve seen it, it’s really painful to watch. Someone who has worked very hard and truly is very deserving of their growth yet….they forgot where they came from. It’s important to remember it may be us that is growing. However, there are other people in our scenarios that also help us grow. Whether those people end up being right for us or not. Whether they end up staying around or not. They all play a part in our growth.
The best example I can share is when I owned my Salon. Yes, you’ve heard of the struggles and the challenges I went through. Yes, there was a time I was hurt by many of my team members which caused those struggles and challenges. However, through the maturity stages I have realized how each one of them of course were a crucial part of the growth of my Business. Also a crucial part of the growth of me. Growing through those struggles and challenges has made me a better, smarter, wiser Business person.
The “cycle of growth” never stops. Not if you want to keep growing. I would offer this;
- Don’t push it. Being a big girl is not all that. LOL
- Slow and steady. Too much, too fast….can really hurt
- Learn. Every person, every scenario is put in your life for a reason. Embrace it.
- Stay humble. I have one(1) personal Business goal. I never lose touch with my clients.
- And finally, be grateful.
Seems like a good time for me to say thank you
- Thank you to my husband. He has been with me through the good, the bad and the ugly….and God Bless him…he hangs in there 🙂
- My clients. Without you, your kind comments, your support…I would be nothing.
- My office assistant and our warehouse assistant. Leslie and Wayde. We are so fortunate.
- Life of Riley and their entire team. I just can’t say enough. BEST roommates ever
- Footlogix, LCN, PodoSafe, Micrylium, Medilogics, Be-Mi, Isonic, NASP and others which continue to trust me with their brands.
Without all of you, I would not be where I am today!