There is no doubt that getting ahead in today’s business climate is not easy. It takes a clear mission and plan, dedication and perseverance, the willingness to change direction quickly if needed, and a team effort.
In my last post I talked about the idea that now is the time to get serious about growing your business – to push ahead while others in your industry may be on hold. A great example of what I mean by this is what we at C L Graphics have been doing. Within the past two weeks Ginny Boss and I have helped sponsor the Axelson Center Nonprofit Symposium, where we also had the opportunity to share our services with over 500 attendees! This past week I made a presentation to over 60 individuals at another nonprofit group in McHenry County. Ginny has also been the driving force behind the planning of an upcoming seminar we will be hosting – “Strategies to Grow Your Business.” Then in August, both of us will give an encore presentation of this seminar for our local Chamber of Commerce.
It is pretty obvious that we are moving full speed ahead in our sales effort! However, the ongoing success of a business is not just dependent on bringing in new sales. Others in the organization are also taking an active role. For instance, Nancy is leading the department managers through the development of standardized daily checklists – a way to organize and streamline production. Next up is refining our scheduling efforts as well. And with a couple of recent new hires, our bindery and mailing departments are concentrating on cross-training for our upcoming busy season in the fall.
While the fall season is typically a busy time, historically the summer time is fairly slow in the printing industry. In some organizations people will use this as an excuse to rest up. Quite to the contrary though, I was pleasantly surprised a couple of weeks ago to hear quite a commotion starting up in the front of our building where we have a row of rather large Maple trees. Pat and Tony had taken it upon themselves to fire up a chain saw and do some serious trimming of the trees! After two days and some great clean-up, their initiative created a real improvement.
Not to be outdone, a couple of other staff – Bob and Bill, along with help from Tony and Pat, started up a project a week later to upgrade our break/lunch room. A new coat of paint, changed light bulbs and a plan for countertops and cabinets will make quite a difference when finished!
As owners of small businesses know, being a leader and continually pushing the organization is a never-ending job. However what really makes an organization strong is when the whole team leads by taking the initiative – even in doing projects that might not get all the “glory.” So all I can say is… thanks!