When a field service leader is spearheading a growing company, management responsibilities can accelerate dramatically. Growth slams into managers from multiple sides, and leaders often have to balance long-term strategy and perform more immediate management duties all at once.
With stress piling on, it’s not uncommon to ask, “What should I pull back on, and where do I need to accelerate?” A focus on exponentiality and the slingshot effect can clarify the answer and help you manage the business effectively when it feels like your hair is on fire.
Why Field Service Entrepreneurs Struggle During Growth
Make no mistake, if you’re a field service entrepreneur, and your company is growing, your mindset and processes will need to become scalable. Often, field service businesses experience stunted growth because ownership or leaders fail to transition from the role of doer to leader.
The problem dominates the field service industry because so many entrepreneurs come out of an extremely hands-on field or out of the trades. Although the personality traits that made you successful as a tradesman are critical as you start the business, they can inhibit a growing business.
Too often, a field service leader will hold on to that same doer mindset. As the organization expands, the leader is stretched beyond their capacity and either burns out or holds up progress.
How to Encourage More Growth Through Leadership
In order to push the business forward, you need to embrace an exponential mindset and adjust. Here are a few ways to set up a framework that catapults growth:
Transition from doer to leader.
The world of field service businesses is rooted in putting out fires. The more fires you have as a technician, the more opportunities you have to demonstrate your success. However, firefighting when you’re running a business is an impediment, not an opportunity.
In order to lead the organization toward growth, it’s critical to become a leader who delegates responsibilities. Even if you feel like an employee is 40 percent less effective at completing a task than you would be, it’s important to remember that delegating that task still frees you up by 60 percent.
Focus on data.
One of the biggest blind spots for entrepreneurs in the field services space is the need to focus on data. Field services businesses and the success that can be achieved is only possible with a fierce focus and defense of data.
Still, not all data will give you the same benefits. Remember, every transaction that is being created should be created as close to the transaction as possible and flowing from a single system of record. That’s why investing in an industry-specific all-in-one software solution is one of the most important elements that will create the opportunity for growth. It will help you know who your customers are, show you where your resources are, and allow you to compare your business to other successful businesses and identify where to scale and improve.
Differentiate between urgent and important.
Another key to unlocking a growth mindset is learning to draw a line between urgent and important tasks. You can differentiate between the two by adding another dimension to decision-making.
At times, the difference between urgent and important can be tricky. For example, answering customer service calls and providing excellent service can feel very urgent and satisfies our doer mentality. However, stepping in and micromanaging won’t reduce calls or expand the number of people who can do the work. Instead, it may be more important to focus on building processes that drive long-term profit. Freeing yourself to focus on the important over the urgent is a key to building processes and business strengths that scale.
How Exponentiality Can Trigger the Slingshot Effect
Once the framework is set up and you’ve locked in an exponential mindset, you can use the slingshot effect to propel growth. For instance, consider the revenue milestones your business has set. Some common milestones are set at $1M, $5M, $20M, $50M, and $100M.
At each of these thresholds, there are barriers in the business that spring from added complexity. However, by focusing on an exponential mindset at each of these barriers, you can push the business past those hurdles.
Timing is important here because, at these various thresholds, organization chaos creeps in as a result of process, communication, and revenue being too dependent upon the leaders. These are times when momentum can be most impactful. The most effective leaders anchor their plans and processes in a single source of data and use technology to burst through the slowdowns at milestones.
At the same time, you can focus on momentum at more anecdotal moments as well. For instance, as a leader, if your enthusiasm or joy for work starts waning, it can snowball quickly. These moments are a strong indication that you’re due for a slingshot in momentum, focus, and a reinforced growth mindset.
How to Use Exponentiality to Grow Without Holdups
As your organization grows, responsibilities will come flooding in. However, by reassessing your role, focusing on data, and refocusing priorities, you’ll have the framework to push growth forward. At the same time, you can tap into the exponential mindset at key moments to slingshot your field service organization past obstacles and onward past your goals.