Hi there business leaders!
Staying in business for that long takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, as you know. Steve talked about being in business for that long and how he stays ahead of the game after 25 years.
SPCS began its service 25 years ago. Since then they grew into a respected construction services company, even getting a Gold Star Award from the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau.
Becoming an award winning company means you are excelling in your innovation or service offering and Steve talked about how his company excels in their service offering through niching down.
Finding a niche in the market and holding on to it, is an idea based on specializing or focusing on what you're good at. Steve, is one of those who believe in specialization and not in a generalized service offering.
However, before niching down Steve had a generalized construction company and they had a lot of demand.The increase in demand is one of the reasons he went for a niche.
"We started becoming everything to everybody" said Steve.
This helped SPCS not extend their resources to everybody. Specialization may have helped but Steve had problems with it at first.
He talks about a lack of trained, skilled or knowledgeable staff being one of his problems. Niche marketing needs staff who are trained and have knowledge, as you will be specializing and serving a certain customer demographic.
Communication between employees and clients is another problem Steve had with niching down. To solve that SPCS provided smartphones for their employees, to interact with customers. That is one of the innovations that helped the business grow organically.
The growth of SPCS gave Steve motivation to look to other business ventures. That brought problems with managing his employees.
Focussing on other business ventures caused some labor problems for Steve, as he gave the responsibility of managing SPCS to someone else.
Through that he got disconnected from his employees and didn't know what's really going on in his business. Some of his best workers left.
The Employee Acceleration Meetings
As a way to connect and communicate with employees, Steve introduced acceleration meetings where he, the employees along with their supervisors talk about their goals, problems or any issues in the company.
These meetings had a positive impact in the company because everyone now had a platform to share their thoughts and feelings.
This shows how engaging with your team and being that boss who is human may be what you need, to get your employees going.
Advice For Start- Up Business Owners
Steve believes the best approach for start-up entrepreneurs is to go into their niche rather focusing on disrupting the industry.
Disruption is a positive concept but for Steve it is an overused term. Niching makes more sense because it is about focussing on what you're good at and excelling at it.
You do not just excel at things without knowing about them though. Reading books is one way Steve gets to know about things.
I was impressed with Steve's honesty and sincerity as he shared his story with me, including his past struggles and mistakes as well as how he managed to get back on track.