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HOW A BUSINESS OWNER NEEDS TO TRANSFORM INTO A LEADER THE EVOLUTION OF SCALING A BUSINESS
My 21 years of owning a business and the interactions I’ve had with other CEOs recently brought to light an interesting observation of how businesses evolve. In the early stages of a small company, scaling is always going to be limited to the skill set of the person who starts the business. Let’s take a look at a business as if it’s a house with two areas: a front and a back. Both sections are pivotal to keeping the house intact, but they serve different purposes. The front of the house is your customer-facing portion. Your customer service representatives, salespeople, and anyone else who is front-facing works here. It’s crucial that the dialogue, terminology, and experiences that occur here are consistent. Otherwise, you won’t be able to provide a unified front for your customers. Once the front of the house does its job and provides your product or service to a customer, the back of the house comes in and fulfills their duties. For example, let’s say your business is a bakery. Well, the front of the house is going to display that pie, but someone has to bake it. The back of the house is your operations and production. They process orders, create the product or service, and make sure it gets where it needs to go. When someone starts a business, its success is based on the skill set of the leader. The natural tendency of an entrepreneur is either toward the front of the house or back of the house. Most business owners in their early stages can succeed for a short amount of time managing both on their own, but the growth of a business hinges on the ability to find a counterbalance to the owner’s prominent tendency — if you’re a back-of-the-house person, you need to learn more about the front. If you’re a front-of-the-house person, you may need to focus more on the back. Many leaders can get past this roadblock, but they begin to struggle when their business reaches its next growth plateau.
Eventually, every business owner needs to take a step back and hire people who will augment their skill set and provide expertise in other aspects of the business. A growing company will always reach a point where it requires leadership at both the front and the back of the house. Perhaps the volume of sales coming from the front can’t keep up with the back. Or the production at the back is too far ahead of sales at the front. These failures eventually land on the customer, which creates a problem. The only option at that point is for the leader to step in and oversee both parts of the house. It’s not natural for an owner to detach from what they are naturally good at in order to learn the other half of the house, but to be an effective leader, it’s absolutely necessary. To become proficient at both sides of the house, you have to do a lot of soul-searching. It requires taking inventory of your strengths and weaknesses and finding help in the areas you need to grow. You also have to learn to let go of your desire to control, and for most entrepreneurs, this is the toughest part. You can’t keep doing everything on your own. 90 percent of businesses fail in the first five years. The ones that make it to 15 years and continue to grow are few and far between because most owners can’t let go. Making the adjustment from business owner to leader requires a mindset shift, and failure to do so is one of the most significant reasons companies stumble. And I’m no different. My shift from business owner to leader has been a little slower than I’d like, but I’m excited about the change. We’re developing good systems and accountability metrics. We are working on streamlining everything because we can always be more consistent. I love the direction we’re heading, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
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4 BUSINESS LESSONS FROM YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS.
Lemonade stands are rumored to have originated with New York journalist Edward Bok, who, as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, sold ice water on hot summer days to thirsty passersby. When other water salespeople tried to move in on Bok’s profit, he got creative by adding lemon juice and eventually sugar to the mix. The result of this innovation? Sales soared. Lemonade stands continue to be a popular summer pastime for burgeoning entrepreneurs, and there are a few things we can learn from these humble business endeavors.
When Ann Handley’s daughter and her friend opened up a lemonade stand, they found a way to connect with their demographic. The location of the stand was frequented by many French-speaking Canadian customers, and since the friend was born in Montreal and spoke French, the girls greeted each customer in English and French. More conversation makes more sales.
ASK FOR REFERRALS.
Megan, kid entrepreneur and owner of “Dr. Megan’s Mad Mango Lemonade” in Louisiana, knows a thing or two about the value of word-of-mouth marketing. Megan makes sure customers have an easy time spreading the word about the refreshing lemonade. In her second summer running the stand, Megan says, “I advertised through Facebook and word of mouth. I created my own business page. I shared it with friends, family, and the community. ArkLaTex Horse Rescue advertised my stand, and I posted advertisements to many local Facebook groups as well.”
Warren Buffet has had business on the brain since birth. During his childhood, when he noticed that a friend’s house got more foot traffic than his did, the future tycoon moved his lemonade stand to the prime realty. Buffett obviously benefited from this innovation; the jury is still out on his friend.
FINISH THE SUMMER WITH A FAMILY CAMPING ‘TRIP’
Summer is drawing to a close, but there’s still time to make some great memories. Camping trips are a summer staple. Fortunately, you don’t have to drive hours into the mountains to find the perfect campsite. Your backyard is right there waiting for you! Here are a few tips to help your family say farewell to summer with a perfect backyard camping trip. Your back door is literally a few yards away, which can be great in the event of an emergency. But if the kids are running in and out of the house all night long, they might end up deciding they’d rather be inside playing video games after only an hour. Be sure to pack everything you would need if you were really going into the woods for the night so no one is tempted to go back inside. This means tents, sleeping bags, flashlights, PACK FOR AN AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE.
pajamas, books, binoculars, a compass, water bottles, and a cooler of food with snacks and dinner. Treat this like a “real” camping experience right from the beginning!
— that is, until they actually have to sleep. After stargazing, some kids will want to stay up all night whispering and giggling in the tent, and that’s great! But other kids might decide they’d rather sleep inside, and that’s okay too. Your camping trip isn’t a failure because everyone spent the night in their own beds. It’s not about where everyone sleeps; it’s about how much fun your family had together before bedtime. The best part of backyard camping? It doesn’t take a lot of planning. Just grab your gear and your family and hike out into the great backyard.
FIGURE OUT THE CAMPFIRE.
Don’t have an in-ground fire pit? No worries! You can still enjoy hot dogs and s’mores with a charcoal grill or a store-bought fire pit. If you have enough room in your backyard, you could even try building a bonfire. Just make sure to check your city ordinances and get any necessary permits first. You can find advice for building the perfect campfire at REI.com/learn/expert- advice/campfire-basics.html.
REMEMBER: IT’S OKAY TO CALL IT A NIGHT.
For kids, the most exciting part of camping in the backyard is getting to sleep in a tent
And What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
Today’s small businesses are woefully unprepared for digital threats. Cybercrime is at an all-time high in 2018, and yet a frightening number of small-business owners assume that their organization is too small to ever warrant the attention of hackers. From the perspective of cybercriminals, most small and mid- sized businesses (SMBs) represent the low-hanging fruit of the digital world: a modest pile of cash guarded by outdated or easily circumvented barriers. That’s why 71 percent of cyberattacks are directed at SMBs, according to Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, and a huge number of those strikes actually succeed. If you’re hoping to protect the business that you’ve built from the ground up, it’s important to be vigilant. Here are three steps you can take right now to drastically improve your chances at scaring off the wolves at your digital door: A large majority of data breaches today come in the form of ransomware, which locks users out of everything on a company’s network. Hackers then threaten to delete the data forever unless the company forks over thousands of dollars. But if you have all of your files automatically backed up to an alternate location (that can’t be accessed on your ordinary network), you can skip paying the ransom, let the criminals wipe your system, and make it through the crisis unscathed. It’s easy to imagine a team of evil geniuses typing at lightspeed to try to penetrate your business’s defenses, but 60 percent of the time, it’s a simple mistake by one of your employees that leaves the company wide open to attack. To combat this, you need to ensure that every single one of your employees is on board with strong cybersecurity practices. That means building a comprehensive cybersecurity policy that all members of your team must sign (including provisions such as password strength requirements) and supplying extensive training on the biggest digital threats. Firewalls, which are usually included with your operating system, block unauthorized access to your network. Antivirus software serves as a watchdog, sniffing out malware and spyware before they become a problem. And encryption ensures that the data on your system is unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the encryption key. All three of these powerful protections are inexpensive, user-friendly, and essential tools for businesses of all sizes seeking to stave off cybercriminals. BACK UP YOUR DATA. TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES. USE FIREWALL, ANTIVIRUS, AND ENCRYPTION SOFTWARE.
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS AROUND YOUR VALUES.
Have you heard of anyone starting a million-dollar lemonade stand? There’s one person who has, and her name is Alex. She was diagnosed with cancer as a young girl, and her determined spirit motivated her to fight back. She started a lemonade stand to raise money for other kids with cancer. The message of the stand with a purpose spread, and Alex raised $2,000 in a single day. Sadly, Alex passed away when she was 8, but her legacy continues to thrive through her family, who turned Alex’s Lemonade Stand into a foundation. It’s raised over $127 million for cancer research.
Can I save space by automating the cleaning process?
Absolutely. Most people think that when they buy a washing machine or automate their washing process, it will take up more space. But when you automate your washing process, you also have to have an open mind and completely change the way you look at your washing system. Because automating allows you to get a lot more laundry done in a quicker fashion, you can actually use less space. You will also see opportunities that you never saw before. Laundry automation provides you with the opportunity to add a second shift, bringing two employees in after everybody else has gone. They work into the evening and use space that would be unavailable to them during the day when the trucks are coming and things are being loaded and unloaded. You can use that same space and an automatic process or a washing machine to get more work done. When the day crew comes back in the morning, their space is available to them again, and they have a pile of clean tents at the end.
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Offering the best in tent washing & drying machines
PAGE 1 The Evolution of Business Growth PAGE 2 What You Can Learn From the Most Successful Lemonade Stands The Best End-of-Summer Activity PAGE 3 Our Teeco Tip of the Month 3 Easy Cybersecurity Steps for Small Businesses PAGE 4 Safe Sailing This Hurricane Season
BOOK A CARIBBEAN CRUISE
SAFETY AND SAVINGS
After last year’s devastating storm season, would-be tropical travelers are undoubtedly hesitant about purchasing those discounted plane tickets to the Caribbean Basin. No one wants to face a possible evacuation during their vacation — or worse, be forced to weather a hurricane at a beachfront resort. If you want the most bang for your buck while enjoying the turquoise waters of the Caribbean this fall, consider booking a cruise. Cruise-ship travel is a fun and adventurous way to explore any time of year. After all, what could be more magical than a floating hotel room where you fall asleep in one country and wake up in another? This charming mobility is also what makes cruise travel the safest option for visiting the Caribbean and the coast of Mexico this time of year.
Much like resorts and airfare, cruise lines discount their Caribbean fares significantly during peak hurricane season, from August to October. However, unlike a traditional hotel, these massive ships have the luxury of navigating out of a storm’s path with ease. For all their ferocity, hurricanes move slowly across the Atlantic and have relatively predictable trajectories. Meanwhile, modern cruise ships carry the most sophisticated weather-tracking instruments, allowing them to bypass even small storms and inclement weather.
seeing a port you were supposed to visit. If you have your heart set on seeing a specific location, cruise travel this time of year may not be for you. But if you are simply looking for a safe, affordable vacation to a beautiful region, then it doesn’t much matter which white- sanded beach you wake up to next. While unpredictable weather will always be a concern for any vacation, the safety and variety cruises offer make them great options for anyone looking for a Caribbean getaway before the holiday season. So if you have a flexible schedule and a healthy sense of adventure, it’s time to call your travel agent, pack your sunscreen and bathing suit, and head to paradise!
FLEXIBILITY IS A MUST
The flipside of this ability to dodge storms is the fact that your ship may not be able to stick to its original itinerary. You may have to anchor at an island you weren’t expecting to or miss out on
4 • Cleaner Tents For Maximum Profit • Teeco Solutions
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LARGER TENT WASHING MACHINES AND MORE VALUE FOR TENT RENTAL COMPANIES OF ALL SIZES
CLASSIC Our Classic washer is the best option for small businesses ready to invest in their first tent washing machine while staying within a budget. It washes small-scale loads while taking up minimal warehouse space. Our 5-year trade-up policy gives you the ability to upgrade to a larger machine as your business grows. SIGNATURE Our Signature machine makes life easier for tent rental companies searching for a simple but effective solution. This powerhouse is easy to install and returns tents to their wedding-white condition in as little as 20 minutes. The Signature is the perfect washer for businesses looking to simplify their operations. TURBO The Turbo is suitable for businesses looking to invest in a high-quality machine. It contains the same installation and operation features as the Signature with a stronger framework and larger drum to safely wash more tents. Additional features, such as fast cycle times, can be added as your company grows. PREMIUM The Premium is our largest tent washer; it’s designed for companies ready to take control of their inventory. It can handle a large amount of weight, which means you can wash as many tents as you can fit inside, making it ideal for businesses cleaning tents nonstop during their busy season. The Premium has proven to last over 20 years in even the most demanding environments.
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BETTER LIVES FOR A BETTER BUSINESS. BETTER BUSINESS FOR BETTER LIVES.
In 1997, we started a tent rental business from scratch. At the beginning of our first two years, we approached the business with high energy, creativity, and resolve. We worked long hours and reaped the rewards of more customers, great employees, and financial success. Thus, our formula for growth was set: Work long and hard. But by the third year, this formula was no longer a recipe for success. We were well-off financially. However, poor employee relationships, mounting customer complaints, and our overall lack of enthusiasm all pointed to the absence of growth. That’s when we realized the long hours of hard work that drove growth in our business had kept us too busy for personal lives. As business owners, our focus then shifted to looking for a different formula to achieve our goals. The answer ended up being what seemed like the direct opposite: Rest and think. It was clear that the business had suffered due to our lack of energy from working long hours at the expense of our personal lives. So we handed over some of our daily tasks to employees and made the work of improving the efficiency of the company our daily routine. This made all the difference. Employees wanted to be with us again, complaints turned into compliments, we were leading effectively, and growth was possible again. We’ve since sold that business and shaped what has now become our mission: “Better Lives for a Better Business. Better Business for Better Lives.” A great life affords more time and energy to focus on building a better business. Likewise, having an efficient business affords the time and energy to focus on a better life. With that in mind, our goal is simple: We want to make party rental firms more efficient and more profitable. It is our sincere hope that sharing our experience will help create better lives and a better business for our customers.Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6
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