Tips from Bobby Jenkins, President of ABC Home and Commercial Services and John Garrett, President, and Publisher of Community Impact Newspaper
I recently attended a fantastic seminar, hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce, where two great Austin businessmen spoke about their businesses and what has enabled them to grow so successfully. Not surprisingly, they had some great information to share so I thought I would pass along a few of the nuggets I found to be particularly helpful.
Bobby Jenkins has been involved in the pest control business since his father purchased ABC in 1965. Self-admitting, he’s been crawling in peoples basements looking for bugs since he was a teenager. Shortly after graduating from A&M he took over the Austin branch and has been working diligently since then to maintain and grow the business in this region. Bobby can boast an average growth of 17% year over year and ABC is now Texas’ largest independently owned and operated pest control company. Here are a few of the key points that Bobby attributes to his success.
- Everything starts with Sales – Set clear growth goals and share them with the team. Get the team excited about your growth and momentum. Everyone should benefit from the companies successes.
- Listen to your customers and be open to opportunities – If enough customers ask for a new service, it’s probably time to add it to your offering.
- Know your areas of expertise – Make sure that if you extend your services, you can deliver on the quality you promise.
- Balance of life – Work is important but so is your family life. Make sure that you are not sacrificing yourself for your work.
- Continue to find ways to deepen your relationship with your clients
- Spend on marketing – Dedicate a certain percentage of revenue to marketing, even in (or especially in) down times. (I promise he said it, not me)
- Spend conservatively otherwise
- Love what you do!
John Garrett is a graduate from Sam Houston State University but a true Austinite, born and raised in Pflugerville, TX. After learning the publishing trade from the business journal, John noticed a gap in news coverage. He saw the journal was successfully covering large business success and growth, and the community papers were covering the local sports hero, but small businesses and community organizations were getting no love. At that ah ha moment, he decided to start Community Impact, Texas’ fastest-growing news organization and the most widely distributed news source for relevant and useful information at the community level. John shared the following details with us about his ideas for growth and success.
- Examine all of your mistakes – No matter how small, look at every flaw and commit a serious effort toward fixing it.
- Read the fine print – You may find details to take advantage of, or areas that could be a potential risk.
- Pound the Pavement – Make the calls and ask for the business, it’s the only true way to grow.
- Believe in your vision – Don’t let negative feedback or the idea of hard work hold you back.
- Ask for help and advice – Austin is a great place to do business and is full of executives who are willing to share their thoughts and advice.
- Pay for the services that matter – Accountant, Attorney, Insurance; pay for expertise.
- If you want to grow, you have to be okay with RISK – Don’t be afraid to take chances.
- Worry less about margins, and more about quality of work – The margins are important so don’t ignore them but if you focus more on quality and service you should have plenty of business to support your margins.
- Always deliver!
These two gentlemen are smart, witty, and incredibly humble and approachable. It’s no wonder they have found great success. Please visit their websites to learn more about their businesses.
Do you have any tips for growing a business?