In our last issue, we profiled four companies that have gone from buzzy startups to sustainable enterprises. Then we invited executives from the Report on Business list of Canada’s Top Growing Companies to offer their own advice on making sure a business remains sound as it scales.
CEO, The Ten Spot
Operates and franchises a chain of beauty bars
As we grow, we want every franchise partner who joins our system to have the same level of care and attention as our first-ever partners. One of our core values is “love the details,” and this philosophy has enabled us to create a robust and systematic framework. As we award more beauty bars, we first ensure to hire enough support personnel at our head office to be proportional to the needs of our franchise partners.
CEO, Eco Guardian
Designs, makes and distributes compostable food and consumer packaging
Growth should come with a “highly flammable” warning. It’s easy to lose focus and undermine everything you’ve achieved. Beware the magpie syndrome of chasing after so many bright, shiny objects. Learn to say no. Trust in the process that got you here. Redouble your efforts around targeting the right customers, and build on that momentum of success.
CEO, Mobile Klinik Professional Smartphone Repair
Runs a network of smartphone and tablet repair storefronts
Mobile Klinik grew from 40 to 80 stores in 2019. We plan to grow just as quickly in 2020 and beyond. There are three key things to ensure we remain sound as we scale. First, communication: We focus on sharing information, staying focused and engaging our teams in the mission and vision, while ensuring all channels of feedback are open to keep a pulse on the organization’s health. Second, HR: We put the right people in the right roles to ensure we remain true to our strategy as we rapidly scale the organization. The growth of our store count is planned six or more months ahead with signed leases and committed opening dates, so we know what roles we will need to fill. Finally, capital: It’s the lifeblood of explosive growth. Being better than anyone in our sector at raising the capital we need has been key to winning the race.
Co-Founder, Oasis Aqualounge
Operates a private, female-focused sex club in Toronto
Oasis Aqualounge continues to experience year-over-year growth. To ensure the business can consistently provide a high level of customer service, we focus on two things: employee training and development, and software automation. We continue to develop formal processes of all different kinds. We document these in training manuals and videos, as we recognize that individuals learn best in different ways. In terms of software automation, we provide staff with better tools to track information, from checklists to inventory to scheduling. We also look for ways to automate how we communicate with and reward our valued customers.
Managing Partner, Monkhouse Law Employment Lawyers
Practises labour and employment law
To put it simply, happy people do good work, and good work pays off. We have grown from a one-person shop to a team of 25 in seven years. Law is a conservative business, and each time we expanded, we had to challenge our professionals’ mindsets. Our guiding principle has always been improving client experience while enhancing internal experience.
The only way to succeed as an entrepreneur is to ensure the team shares your core values and is open to change. Three quick tips: Be open about upcoming changes, involve non-management team members in preparing for those changes, and assess whether the changes do what you expected them to do.
CEO, Green Standards
Helps firms redistribute used office furniture, equipment and supplies
For us, it’s people: having the right people in place at the right time, working together and adapting to challenges as we position ourselves for ambitious growth targets. Being more selective with the projects we accept and having the right systems and processes in place to expedite the onboarding has been key to achieving this growth.