Maintaining Quality As You Grow (Customer Interview)

by | Jan 8, 2024 | Business Services, Growing the Business, Management Skills

Growth is always good news for your heating & plumbing business. It can mean many things: more money in the bank, stability, security, pride, and opportunity. 

But nothing good in life comes easy. Reading this article, you’ve probably started your own business (or at least have goals to) and are aware of how much hard work it can be.

But when you hire new staff or offer new services, your focus shifts. The most important thing suddenly becomes maintaining quality and the reputation you’ve worked so hard to create. 

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Alexa from blueglo about all things gas engineering. As a director, she’s been instrumental in the growth process for her business. Anyone looking to follow down a similar path will benefit from the following 4 pieces of advice:

#1: Keep your customers happy

Your customers are your bosses. Their happiness directly correlates to the success of your business, so you’ll need to make sure that existing customers don’t notice a drop in quality or service from you as you grow. 

For Alexa, this means remembering to stick to the fundamentals of a heating business: good communication and good work. “The main thing with customer service is communication – being honest with people”, she says. She also elaborated on even the simple things like being transparent with pricing, remembering to update customers on your whereabouts, doing the job properly, and so on are important. “We always keep on top of the work that’s done in delivering. We tend to process the job the day after it’s done on the servicing side, for example…That side of it is fundamental”. 

Of course, hiring new employees means communicating these values to them as well. Each business has its own workflow and it can take time and effort to get someone fully comfortable with the way your business works: “With the people that we’ve introduced in the office that would be the initial point of contact on that customer service side, we’ve very much tried to mould them the way that we like to do things.”

#2: Learn to let go

It’s often said that your business is a reflection of you. A growing business should also mean an evolution in the way you think and run your company. At some point, you’re going to need to learn to trust others and let them play their part. 

“Since myself and Dan joined, we’ve introduced more admin staff, we’ve introduced an accountant to the mix of things, and we outsource health and safety as well as HR support”, says Alexa. “As far as the roles that we all do, it’s about knowing your limits. I think there are times when you do everything yourself, it’s quite hard to let go. And we’ve all had to learn [to let go] to enable us to grow… mistakes might be made, but you just have to accept those and move on from them.”

So many businesses start as a sole tradership and it can feel like your company is an extension of yourself. But it’s important to remember that delegating tasks is a natural part of growth – and it’ll make it much less stressful for you.

#3: Hire strategically

Adding new team members is an integral part of growing your business. But many businesses realise a need for extra help, and then go searching for someone. The problem with this is you end up struggling to find a good fit and running out of time. If you can properly predict when you’ll need more employees, you can spend the time you need to find someone with the right experience and mindset for your business. 

Once your business is a little bigger and has a solid team, it’s a good idea to always be open to new hires. “If a decent person comes your way, you snap them up regardless of what you’re looking for at that time. We’ll always be open to taking somebody on. I think we’re big enough to enable us to do that and we can have a reshuffle”, says Alexa.

#4: Scale naturally and don’t rush things

This last point is perhaps one of the most important. Business goals are often interchangeable with growth goals – but you’ve got to bear in mind that growth is a result, not a strategy. 

Trying to force growth before your company is ready is a quick and easy route to struggling with messy workflows, a drop in quality, and high stress. 

“There hasn’t been any real conscious decision to say, right, this is where we want to go. It’s happened in a way of, you know, we’ve got these demands and we’re able to potentially deliver”, says Alexa. 

But as your business grows, you’ll soon start to reap the benefits of your success: “I think it also allows you to give the customer everything rather than being limited to what you can actually do. And I think in this industry, if we were to focus on just one side of it, it would put us much more at risk”.

Find out how to grow your business with Gas Engineer Software

Alexa and her team use Gas Engineer Software to manage the jobs that come in and out of blueglo. Find out more about our software’s scheduling, quotes and invoices, and certificates or chat to us for more information

Next steps:

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