What’s the difference between the 150 people in your first business and the 25 people working with you right now? How do you lead them?
In his last business, Bryan took pride in the fact that he will never ask someone to do something that he hasn’t done himself. He built that business from the ground up. All of the services that they executed, the sales work, the way they answered the phone, the accounting, and everything else, he had done before he delegated it.
In his recent company, however, he’s a decent front end programmer, but he’s not an expert. He had to delegate his work because he was simply not knowledgeable about it. It’s harder because he has to trust the feedback that you’re getting.
Bryan’s role right now is to inspire his team and to help them gain better knowledge, character, and leadership.
Do you have leadership programs running in your company right now?
Bryan and his team try to identify who wants to be a leader because a lot of those engineers don’t want to be. Of the 25 current team members, they are trying to keep it down to five direct reports per manager.
Fortunately, the team is still small enough where he is still able to keep his hands on a lot of it.
Right now he’s able to stay with his team leads and build a personal relationship with every single person on the team. 25 is a good size for a team, but they’re still growing. Bryan believes that they will outgrow it and they just have to deal with it when it comes.
A lot of businesses have been stumped by this pandemic and a lot of economies have slowed down to a halt. How about you? How’s your business doing? What’s your projection for this year despite this pandemic?
Bryan explained that right now, they’re in a $15 million runway. They’ve been doubling every year for the past five years before the pandemic came in.
Thanks to his experience of surviving the 2008 recession in the U.S., Bryan was already braced for this kind of scenario to happen. Heresy for half of their sales to evaporate. Luckily for them, they’ve held stable and they’re still growing.
Bryan mentioned that it’s not exactly because they’re doing great but rather because grass doesn’t stop growing and people would let the grass grow above their heads.
People don’t want to deal with a landscaper in their front yard so the concept of Green pal just makes sense for them.
Bryan braced his team and told them that they just have to figure out how they’re going to get through this together. He promised his team that when they get through this five years from now, they would be bragging about it. They’ll get their business through COVID and it will feel good.
Not a lot of people will be able to say that during the time of a global pandemic, they were growing their business and thriving.
What is something that you want to tell the people who are in a rut right now that will help them get through this?
Hopefully, entrepreneurs and business owners have a good culture in place along with sensible trust between their team.
If you can honestly say that yes, their situation sucks but your culture is good, then lean back on that. Bring everyone together as a family and believe that you will get through it together. Yes, it’s going to make some sacrifices, and as the leader, you have to try and figure out a way to not take a paycheck. Do whatever it is that you have to do to lead through the crisis.
There might be some situations where it’s just too dire. If that’s the case, be real with your team. Don’t sugarcoat it. Don’t be a salesman. They will respect the candor and they’ll be able to tell quickly if you’re being real or not.