6 Things We’ve Learned Since We Founded Our Company
- NOTHING IS AS EASY AS IT SEEMS. We started this business because we wanted to help medical practices grow and run their practices like the businesses that they are. But don’t let us fool you: there have been bumps along the way. (If you haven’t heard the story of how we got started, click here.) We’ve had family deaths that temporarily halted our company within its first year, and that fact alone made it take far longer than we’d planned to get started. We hear people tell us now that they see us EVERYWHERE: in print, at conferences, and on other companies’ webinars. While all of that is true, it took years to build all of those relationships.
- ALWAYS PLAY NICE. Speaking of relationships, remember that it takes years to build a strong reputation, and moments to destroy it. We live by the rule that we play nice with others. You won’t hear us badmouthing our competition, and we have strong relationships with a number of other companies, including website construction companies, that don’t do what we do. (We love to refer business back and forth to our trusted colleagues!) Our team members regularly meet with other entrepreneurs to trade advice. Everyone rises to the top that way. Moral of the story: Don’t badmouth your competition. What goes around, comes around.
- THERE’S A SECRET TO WORKING WITH FAMILY. We once heard a saying: It’s not funny; it’s family. We’re a family-owned company, and a number of our staff are related by blood. We know that this certainly doesn’t work for every family and every company, and in fact, we’ve seen and heard some horror stories that end in huge fights and destruction of the company itself. But in our company, we’ve found that there’s one secret: You have to be alike where you need to be alike, and be different where you need to be different. For example, let’s use our business’s partners alone, Jay and Mara Shorr, as an example. Jay handles the contract negotiations and financials, while Mara handles marketing, business development and project management within the rest of the team. We know that some clients work best with Jay, some work best with Mara, and some work with both. We’re absolutely okay with that! Know your strengths and know the strengths of your teammates.
- GROW HOW AND WHEN YOU NEED TO. For the first five years as a company, we were just two people. As time went on, we realized how we needed to grow, and added members of our team accordingly. With each new hire, we do so intentionally. Sometimes we hire an employee, sometimes we hire a contractor. We have team members that work remotely, and some that work out of one office. It’s a matter of what’s needed at point in time. We have a saying that if you only hire a warm body, you’ll always be feeling the heat. Hire slow, and fire quickly, but do so accordingly to what you need, not what you feel like you should have.
- THINK TWICE BEFORE HITTING SEND. Never, ever send an email that you wouldn’t want to end up on the proverbial front page of the newsletter (or, in today’s era, passed around social media). If it’s a scathing response to a nasty email you received, a critique of your hard work or just someone blowing off team in your direction, think twice before hitting the reply button. Walk away for a bit before you respond, and then think about if warrants a phone call instead of an email. (Remember that sometimes the actual tone of voice is lost in an email, like, well, sarcasm.) Or you need to sleep on a response. Maybe you want to have a third party review it. We’ve had all of these issues in our own company, and dealt with plenty of personalities in our day. Either way… take a breath before you hit send… and never do so after a glass of wine 😉
- ACT LIKE A TEAM. When it comes to your work team, you need to be sure to always act like JUST that: a team. Don’t bad mouth each other. Don’t gossip. Cheer each other on. Be one unit, and have each other’s back, because a divided entity just won’t work.