I get asked a lot how we grew our family businesses so much. We started with just a few employees and grew some locations up to 60 techs and 20 staff. The answer is simple: *the rule of 5.*
If you want to grow a business, you will find the first “wall” at 5 employees. In order for you to get past that wall, you need help, meaning you need someone to whom you can delegate authority--someone to own an area of your business.
The first person you need to find is someone who can take over the technical side of your business. *Yes, you have to give up the field.* You take your best technical person and get them to own the other field staff. That way, you can focus on marketing and sales to fill up the funnel. That should quickly get you to 7 or 8 techs, which in turn will justify your lead tech to come into the office to help you. There are many shades of gray here: your lead tech might come in after, say, 6 or 9 techs, and might split their time 50/50 in the office and the field--*but you need them to own the technical side so you can be free to think about building your business.*
*You want to get to a point where you have 5 people reporting to you:*
* someone over marketing, sales, and customer service that can get your phone to ring;
* someone over HR, for hiring, legal, etc;
* someone over finance;
* someone over operations (your technical person);
* someone over quality control and training.
Right now, you may wear all of those hats. Maybe you have a CPA or an attorney to help you on an as-needed basis. But if you are going to be successful--where you are not the tail being wagged by the dog--then you have to build your organization using the rule of 5, and get all of those positions filled by other people you trust.
Remember, organizations are living and breathing entities. They either expand or contract, and they never stay the same. So you have to spend a lot of time thinking about how you can grow your business year over year, managing revenue, staff, and profit.
If you exceed the rule of 5--if you have more than 5 people reporting to you-- they will not feel comfortable coming to you for help. You will feel like a wheel on a bike with all of the spokes pushing on you all at once.
Follow this advice and you will be able to grow your business to provide for you and your family for potentially generations to come.
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