In this video, Jonathan answers the question, “When will I feel like my business is successful?”
A question I hear and I’ve heard it quite often is, “When will I finally feel like I’ve made it? When will I know that my business is successful?” I think this answer is different for every one of us. Some of us need to make a certain amount of money or we need to be out of debt or we need to have accomplished some goal. But, I think for the majority, you won’t feel like you have made it until you’ve at least accomplished a few key hires in your business. For example, in my opinion, you must have an office person, an office manager, somebody helping you answer the phone, somebody taking the little things off your plate…the $10, $12, $16 an hour work, doing some scheduling, answering the phone, getting out your invoices, following up with clients, things of that sort.
You also need an operations manager. This is a person that is out in the field with you, can work with your techs, your crews, your teams, and can take again the $12, $14, $16, $20 an hour work off your plate of running equipment to teams, picking up parts, picking up supplies, doing all those little things that you get caught up doing during the day.
Your next step is you have to figure out what your personality type is. Are you better at sales or are you better at operations? If you are better at sales, your next most important hire will be an operations manager. If you are better at operations, if that’s your natural tendency to build processes and create process in the company then you’ll need to hire a sales person. I believe once you arrive at that place, you have some people in the office, you have an operational assistant, you have an operations manager or sales, you’re still participating everyday inside the company. At that point combined with you now making enough money to be comfortable, you’re not getting rich but you have enough money to take care of your personal bills and you don’t have overwhelming debt, you could still have debt, you just don’t have overwhelming debt on your shoulders, that’s the first time I feel like you’ll feel like you’ve made it.
I remember when I was a senior year in high school, I had my lawn mowing business and I remember I was at Sam’s, and my mom bought me this book in a binder and it was about building a Texas company. I remember that book said that it takes about 5 years to really get your business to a place where it’s stable and sustainable, and it always stuck in my head. I’ve now been part of building multiple companies and I have to say 5 years is about spot on. Now for us, in 5 years, we have always been able to achieve millions of dollars in revenue but it really takes about 5 years. At about 5 years that’s when I tend to start feeling comfortable. I’m not saying you have to achieve millions of dollars within 5 years, but in 5 years then you’ve learned quite a bit about the business, you’ve hired some important people, you’ve figured out how the industry works, you’ve figured out how to get clients, you’ve learned a lot, and it just takes some time to really learn the business.
Now, if you’ve been out in the field mowing lawns or doing irrigation work or spraying properties for 5 years, and you’ve been the guy in the truck, your 5 years hasn’t happened yet. You’ve got to be building the company I believe for a 5 year period actively working on adding crews, adding techs, building the office, building the team. When you get past that then you’ve really started to accomplish something and I think that’s when you can start to breathe your first sigh of relief that we’ve sort of made it. But until then, if you’re still on the truck, that’s not a real business and it’s hard to ever feel a level of comfort. You’re still grinding it out everyday, everything’s still on your shoulders, everything’s dependent on you. If you get hurt, if something bad happens, the business is screwed because there’s too much on you. Get to that point where you’re really working on those things and you’ll feel your first level of relief, and the only way you get there is to start working on it today.