Lessons Learned from the October Issue

Satisfied customers and happy employees are important factors in the success of your company
Lessons Learned from the October Issue

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Success means different things to different people. But most small-business owners can probably agree that customers coming back, having happy employees who provide high-quality customer service, and some slow and steady growth means you’re well on your way to success. The October issue of PRO featured some stories that will give you ideas about how to create your own success, too.

Set a lofty goal for your business – and then work hard to achieve it. When Jesse Thompson stepped in to run Johnny On the Spot (JOTS) with his mother after his stepfather died, he took a company with two trucks and 200 restrooms and turned it into a company with more than 10,000 restrooms and a fleet of vehicles. His goal from the beginning was 20 percent annual growth.

Though most years saw 12 to 16 percent growth, which is still impressive, having that big goal helped Thompson outline his business strategy and pushed the company to offer a high level of customer service in order to continue improving. Keeping restrooms looking new and always offering top-notch service also allowed JOTS to charge more than the competition.

Another key to company success was to hire great employees, and reward them for good work so they stick with the company. One way Thompson accomplishes this is an objective ranking system for the drivers. Excellent rankings earn drivers a raise and quarterly bonuses. Motivating employees to strive for excellence means the company becomes better as a whole.

Earn every job, even if your company is the only option available. Boggero’s Services is the star of On Location this month. The company has served its town’s Festival of Discovery since the event started in 2000. Boggero’s is the only portable restroom company in town, but owner Gena Boggero doesn’t take that for granted. She attends to many details herself and works hard to coordinate with event organizers to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Providing great customer service should be a point of pride for your company, competition or no. You want to be the company they keep coming back to. And if competition does move into your area, you have established relationships with customers that will hopefully be loyal because of your past work.

Happy employees mean happy customers. Generally, if people enjoy what they do and take pride in their work, that shows and customers will notice. So how do you keep those great employees? The “quit rate” this year is higher than the past seven years. A better economy means people are more confident looking for options. It’s expensive to replace employees who quit. It takes time to advertise the open position, then screen and interview potential hires. Then it takes even more time to train a new person, which keeps your productivity lower than normal for a time.

In this month’s Back at the Office, Judy Kneiszel gives some tips on how to pay attention to your employees. Keeping an updated file on all your employees helps you not only see patterns that could indicate someone has a foot out the door, but can also help you schedule raises and performance reviews and keeps you in contact with employees on a regular basis. If employees are treated well and shown respect and care, they are less likely to look for a better opportunity. 


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