Plain Talk: Take a Balanced Approach to Work and Family
Balance your staff: During the past 23 years, the company I own, Atronic Alarms, has been fortunate to experience continued growth. With expansion came the need for management. One of the key factors in selecting individuals came from my desire to incorporate a diverse, â€œbalancedâ€ group of people.
All of us have certain strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to you to find out how each employee excels in his or her area of expertise. You need to have the â€œpeople personâ€ who hand-holds clients and goes out of his or her way to make sure everything is fair and everyone is satisfied. In our company this person is my general manager. She will always go the extra mile for employees and clients. Then, you need the analytical, technical-type person. This is my service manager, whose follow-through is exceptional. I rely on his advice regarding product and design, and if I give him a task, I know I can mentally let go of it â€“ knowing it will be handled properly and professionally. Our numbers person is the accounting manager, who is one of the most detail-oriented people I know. Driven by deadlines and her own numerical balances, she can provide me with quick and accurate information in a moment. My vice president is passionate, persistent and extremely tenacious. He is a downright â€œnowâ€ type of person.
We end up with a combination of individuals â€“ some cautious, others risk-takers â€“ who create a wonderful balance in management that helps me ensure that each decision made is the best one for the company.
Balance your revenue stream: We all have similar areas of income streams feeding our businesses. Some of these include residential installations, commercial installations, monitoring, service, service contracts, new construction pre-wires and guard response. The key factor here is diversification.
Failure to spread the revenue stream around can lead to serious cash flow problems. We all strive to build up our recurring monthly income; however, unless you have some extremely deep pockets, it is impossible to compete with the large companies based on price. As a result, we have been successful in balancing the smaller residential installations with the larger commercial jobs, which allows us to aggressively build our monitoring revenue while maintaining our margins. This diversification also will help eliminate some of the peaks and valleys in your collection efforts.
Balance your family: The most important balance for me is the ability to balance my time between work and family. I truly believe for you to be successful at work you must be happy at home.
Help your staff also find a balance between work and home. Give them the time off that they need. Expect emergencies. Embrace an environment that provides a balance between job and personal life and it will pay both you and your employees with dividends in the long run. If the employee is able to devote time to their family, you will end up with a devoted employee.
I found early on that one of the benefits of owning and operating my own company has been the flexibility to focus my energy and find my own balance. This has given me much success and fulfillment in life, and in the life of my company. I think if people in the security industry practice balance in these three areas, with a continual focus on quality products and outstanding service, they will be pleasantly pleased with the results.