Has Your Service Business Hit a Plateau?
by Mike J. Agugliaro
Has Your Service Business Hit a Plateau?
(And What You Can Do About It)
So you’ve enjoyed a good period of service business growth over the last couple of years.
But now it’s stopped. You’ve hit a plateau and this is what you can do about it.
So many people come to CEO Warrior with a simple problem.
They’ve hit a service business plateau. They’re earning a certain amount every year and they just can’t figure out how to make that number bigger.
But they still want to achieve service business growth. They want to break through the ceiling and build something bigger, just like Cathy Helin:
Cathy owns Northern Plumbing and Heating, which is a plumbing and HVAC company.
And she was so close to breaking the million-dollar barrier. In 2017, the company made $994,000. Unfortunately, that sort of figure seemed like her ceiling. She had no idea what else she could do to achieve service business growth.
In 2018, she discovered CEO Warrior. With our help, she smashed through the ceiling and made $1.1 million in 2018. And now, she’s got systems in place that will keep pushing the business forward.
You want to grow your service business, right?
That means you’ve got to push past your service business plateau. Here, I’m going to offer some insight so you see what that really means and what you need to do.
The Delusion and the Goal
First, I want to talk to you about the delusion.
The big delusion that so many of you have is thinking that the knowledge and information you have today will take you where you want to go tomorrow.
I know that’s the delusion because it stopped me from achieving service business growth for so long.
There’s a timeline that most businesses follow. You make your start. That means you’ve picked the awesome name and you’ve got the business cards. You’re super excited to get this business off the ground.
And then, you hit a bunch of milestones along the way. You make your first $100,000. Then, you’ve got your first $250,000.
The million-dollar mark is just in the distance and you delude yourself into thinking you’re going to get to it. After all, the stuff you know now has already pushed you this far along the timeline. It’s gotten you to within touching distance of your goal.
All it’s going to take is a little more time to break through that plateau and achieve some real growth, right?
Not if you keep doing what you’re doing. If you’ve gotten stuck on a certain figure before hitting the million, what you do now isn’t going to help you break past it.
And there’s a reason for that…
The Million Dollar Mental Block
For the lucky few, service business growth comes so fast that they break $1 million in one year.
For others, it can take 10, 15, or even 20 years (or more!) to get there. That’s really painful because you feel like you’re treading water even though you think you’re doing everything right.
What I find is that there’s a million-dollar mental block in play here.
It’s almost like you’re trying to earn your black belt in a martial art. You’re doing the same stuff as everybody else. But there’s a mental block in the way that’s stopping you from hitting the goal.
You’ve got to find a way to push past that block to grow.
The Culture of Chaos
Let’s say you make it past the block. You’ve broken $1 million and you think you’re going to keep growing by doing what you’re doing.
You’ll get to $5 million in no time, right?
What I’ve found is that this doesn’t happen for most people. They hit another service business plateau.
And it all comes down to the culture in a service business. The simple fact is that the stuff you’re doing today won’t work for the future.
Think about when you first became a service business owner. You might have come in and started throwing all of these different rules around without paying attention to processes or systems.
You’ve built a culture of chaos.
The stuff that you didn’t build at the start ends up holding you down. You haven’t brought your core values into the company and you haven’t focused on culture. That means your people aren’t focused on helping the business grow either.
They’re just trying to survive the chaos until they get to go home.
And the same goes for you. Even if you’ve gotten to $1 million, you’ve almost done it despite the chaos that’s in the business.
Why You Have to Get the Foundation Down
I’ve seen so many businesses achieve rapid growth. In fact, I’d see more service businesses hit that $5 million mark in two years or less than I ever have before.
That’s down to the compounding effect of adding new services, trades, and processes.
They do it because they underpin all of that stuff with the foundations that you need to grow a service business.
What happens when you don’t have the foundations down?
It’s like you’ve got this huge scary monster lurking just below you. And whenever you’re on the verge of achieving the growth you want, it’s going to pull you right back down.
That’s what leads to those peaks and troughs that a lot of service business owners experience. You hit a high point that suggests you’re going to break through to the next level. But then, something drags you back down and you’re on that plateau again.
Each time you try to pull yourself back up again, you get some short-term success before the monster gets you.
The point I’m making is that you have to build the processes and foundations for a successful business before you can grow. Otherwise, you get dragged back whenever you try to take a step forward.
Breaking Past the Second Level
I know that most service business owners can’t break past two levels. You might hit the $1 million mark. You might even make it to $5 million.
But most will never see $10 million for a simple reason.
They’re not showing their people that they need to enhance their skill level. That’s part of the ideal culture in a service business too.
You can get past that.
As long as you’re showing your people that the skills they have today don’t build tomorrow, you’re helping them to grow.
If they’re growing, the business grows along with them.
When that’s not firmly established in your business, you’ll experience a few things when you hit this service business plateau.
You’ll start flushing through people because they don’t have the skill set that your business needs. That’s also going to cause culture problems because you’re constantly hiring and firing.
The stability that you’ve tried to build gets flushed down the toilet. And before you know it, the business might start going backward.
Know What You Need Before You Need it
So what’s the solution to all of these problems? Whether you’re stuck trying to break past $1 million, $5 million, or $10 million, what do you have to do?
Know what you need before you need it. And you’ve got to implement that versus doing what’s needed now.
Here’s what happens to a lot of service business owners as they work through the levels. You think “Oh no, I’m not going to keep up with my marketing.” And so you hire somebody to fill that gap. Or you think you’re not focused on your recruiting so you hire somebody for that.
Every time, you’re late in that position. You’re not getting ahead of the problems. You’re just reacting to them when they turn up.
You’ve got to think about where you want to be and reverse engineer. Think about who you’re going to need a year from now, or two years. Instead of waiting until your marketing falls behind your service business growth, prepare in advance. Recruit someone who’s able to scale your marketing along with your growth.
That gives you time to prepare for the challenges ahead. Plus, you get to spend more time on finding that A-player and bedding them into your culture.
Here’s the painful truth.
Knowledge isn’t power.
Applied knowledge is power.
It’s not enough to know that you’ve got to do all of this stuff. You’ve got to actually do it if you’re going to achieve service business growth.
Start Going Up the Levels
You want to build your service business empire. We all do, even if we think we don’t because it’s going to be too hard or too stressful.
The reason it’s stressful is that you’ve not built the foundations. Your people don’t understand that they need to keep learning to ensure the business grows.
And that goes for you too.
I’ve hit you with some painful truths here so let me give you some good news.
It’s never too late to get things moving in the right direction. If you’ve hit a plateau, CEO Warrior can show you how to push past it and get up to the next level.
If you’re at $1 million, we can get you to $5 million. And after that, we’ll help you get to $10 million.
I’m going to leave you with the big question:
Has success been elusive and you feel stuck? Book your FREE Strategy Session NOW!