Two Tips for Business Growth That Have Nothing to Do With Marketing

Brian Plant
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If you want to expand your established security business but aren’t sure where to start, try thinking like a startup. Although an alarm company that has been around for years is not a startup, it can still maximize growth with a startup attitude. This approach is catching on with many large companies that want to rebrand themselves, and with great success in many cases. If it can work for them, it can work for you. Let’s address two key characteristics of successful startup companies that seem to lend themselves to growth potential.

Accessible Leadership

The first thing that differentiates small startup companies from established corporations is a flatter structure. In other words, there are fewer managers, upper managers and executives to answer to when it comes to creative decisions. 

In a large company or even just a long-standing small business, there may be a founder, president, various departments with their own executives or upper management, and then, way down at the bottom, the staff that is in the trenches: salespeople, marketers, technicians, etc.

Typically, the higher-ups spend most of their time out of the field because their job is to manage people. Being out of the field means being out of the loop – and it’s hard to make good decisions when you’re out of the loop. As a senior manager, try initiating a monthly breakfast meeting with different divisions of the company. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – donuts and coffee “on the boss” will do the trick. The point is simply to connect with people and build relationships. You’ll be surprised at much insight you can learn about the inner workings of various departments, and glean fresh insights about how to improve processes that will ultimately lead to better communication and a healthier company culture.

Excitement and a Little Chaos Are OK

The second thing that sets startups apart from established companies is their culture of controlled chaos. That sounds negative, but don’t worry; it isn’t meant to suggest an anything goes, frat house environment. It just means that there are tighter deadlines and an uncertain outcome, which forces the flow of creativity. Also, creating this kind of culture does not require established businesses to throw away their existing models – far from it. 

Controlled chaos is an approach that a long-standing business can use anytime they are adding on a new product or service. In a nutshell, it is the company culture that comes out of trying something new. No one knows exactly how things will go, but they are excited to try it and have a measurable goal for success. Of course, there is a timeline for hitting that goal. See? Controlled chaos.

Just as there are many things that startups can learn from established businesses, there are many things that established dealers and integrators can learn from startups. Consider applying these two concepts to your security business; hopefully, they will help you maximize growth to the extent you have in mind.