Don’t Grow Bigger. Grow Better.
October 15, 2015
At U.S. Lawns, our industry is growth.
We don’t just cultivate turf; we help business owners like you grow their companies. And in turn, you help grow local businesses by maintaining their exterior brands. It all adds up to beautiful, thriving communities with strong economies. So, it’s no surprise our conference theme this year was “Mission Growth.” It’s a pretty noble calling, if you think about it.
But in order to succeed, we have to keep growing together.
Our RFAs are like growth coaches, and they’re always looking for ways to help inspire our momentum. Today’s blog post was suggested by RFA Brian Steers, who has a talent for franchise development. Brian says, “It’s not just about growing bigger, but growing better.”
Wait. What does that mean?
Brian points to a great story about brand leader Chick-fil-a. Back in the 1990s, the company had a competitor named Boston Chicken. Boston Chicken was expanding aggressively, and taking market share from Chick-fil-a, with a goal of $1 billion in sales by the year 2000.
As a result, executives at Chick-fil-a began creating an equally aggressive growth plan. Until CEO Truett Cathy said something that surprised them all.
He said: “Gentlemen, I am sick and tired of hearing you talk about us getting bigger What we need to be talking about is how to get better. If we get better, our customers will demand that we get bigger.”
So, Chick-fil-a decided to focus on customer service. Meanwhile, Boston Chicken expanded to become Boston Market, and in the early 2000s filed for bankruptcy.
That’s a true story. And Brian Steers thinks it’s an important one for U.S. Lawns.
“Right now, we need to grow. Both as a company, and as individual franchises. But we can’t just focus on getting bigger, or we’ll fail. People don’t want bigger. They want better,” he emphasizes.
Better is what grows businesses. Better will make you bigger in the end.
“Simply being a huge company is impersonal,” notes Director of Brand Development Brandon Moxam. “Touching people’s lives is what truly grows a brand.”
Brandon says he loves taking his kids to Chick-fil-a for the family-oriented service. He also points to Starbucks as a similar example of a company that stopped pushing for expansion and found greater success by focusing on the customer experience.
“Both companies figured out that radical personalization sells,” he acknowledges.
So, what’s the lesson for us at U.S. Lawns? As we focus on growing our business—on inspiration, operations and finance—we can’t forget that growing bigger is only part of the story. In order to succeed, we must remember to grow better. More personal, more customer-focused, and more outstanding.
You’ll be surprised how much bigger your profits grow as a result. So, don’t grow bigger. Grow better.