Hustle is critical to building a successful field service business. However, it can wreck the business when it comes time to grow. Simply put, hustle doesn’t scale.
In the field service industry, it’s common to confuse being busy with being productive as the company grows. Unfortunately, when leaders cling to a hustle mindset as the business and responsibilities expand, it’s easy to become spread out, bogged down, and unable to lead. That’s why, in order to scale successfully and grow with an exponential mindset, business leaders need to outgrow their hustle culture and zero in on true productivity.
Why Hustle Simply Doesn’t Scale
In the field service industry, hustle can play an important role, especially early on as you’re establishing the business. Hustle in these instances tends to mean fast action in a specific direction or moving forcefully toward a goal. However, hustle tends to refer to the actions of a single person or action. For field service business leaders, it’s just not feasible to keep those actions up on your own as the business balloons.
There are two main reasons hustle starts holding the business back as the company grows:
- It dilutes your team’s efforts. Leaders are tasked with striking a delicate balance between the urgent and the important. If you’re too busy to be available to the people who report to you, it can cause their quality of work to plummet.
- You need time to make strategic decisions. It’s just not possible to focus on critical thinking and strategic planning if you’re in a constant state of frantic work or chaos. By making time for those important strategic pieces, you can naturally reduce the number of urgent matters that pop up as the company grows.
Ultimately, entrepreneurs cannot be the driver of all momentum in the business. Instead, you need to delegate responsibility to others and implant mini-engines of movement throughout the operation. It’s the only way to scale effectively.
How to Focus Your Process and Scale
In order to scale without holding the company back, leaders can learn to focus directly on goals. Here are some tips to help you focus your efforts and craft a process that scales:
Commit to the process.
It’s not always an easy task for most leaders, but it’s critical to transfer responsibility to others. The concept here is analogous to steering a ship. If you’re the captain, you can’t spend excess time in the engine room. Instead, you’ll chart a more direct course if you steer and you delegate a separate leader to manage the engine room. Committing to this approach to divided power will keep the business firing on all cylinders as it grows.
Define SMART goal-driven success. If you feel as though processes are stealing your attention, focus your team’s efforts with SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals. This will make it easier to coach for outcomes rather than directing the process.
Coach to the results.
As a leader, you may have done every job in the building on your own at some point. That makes it easy to become fixated on processes instead of outcomes. The better approach is to examine field service KPIs and metrics that are affecting the company’s bottom line rather than becoming obsessed with process rules that aren’t as meaningful.
How to Measure Results and Drive Exponential Growth
It’s impossible to grow effectively without KPIs and clear metrics. To unlock the highest level of productivity, revenue value, and customer satisfaction, you need to hyperfocus on full-time fix rates and the workflows that lift results.
For instance, technician profitability and the number of internal touches on a transaction can incrementally impact your business and quickly add up. Here’s an example of how incremental improvements end up driving long-term growth:
Imagine you're operating a $10 million business with average transactions between $200-$300. As a result, you generate approximately 40,000 invoices. Now, imagine you decide to incrementally improve each transaction. With process improvement and technology, you’re able to cut down administrative time on an invoice from one hour to 30 minutes.
What does that incremental change amount to for your business?
Ultimately, you gain 20,000 hours, and if you’re spending $30 per hour in administrative costs, that means you save more than $600K in labor. Remember, that chunk of money is free and clear without any related costs or investments tied to it. This same process-focused approach can apply to improving first-time fixes and other workflows that boost your bottom line long-term.
Use Technology to Monitor and Increase Growth
When it comes time to grow the business, you will be rewarded by shifting the focus from hustle and business to process and productivity. With technology and KPIs giving you the transparency to see results and a growth mindset powering your efforts, you’ll have the tools you need to streamline processes, drive productivity, and scale with ease.