10 Nov 10-5-16 How to make a company successful
I started this company 20 years ago with a friend of mine from college, Tracy Moore. I first met Tracy when I was 18 years old and a freshman at NC State. It was quite an experience to meet a real southerner. His family actually grew tobacco. I had never seen a tobacco leaf in my life until I met Tracy. I remember calling my friends from High School and telling them about tobacco and how they pick this stuff by hand. All we had in Pennsylvania was corn, lots of corn. And none of that was picked by hand.
Anyway, Tracy and I made it through college. He got a business degree and I got an engineering degree. A few years after we graduated, he called me up to see if I wanted to start a company with him. I said sure. There was nobody else I knew who I could be in business with, other than Tracy.
So we had all kinds of names for our company and we decided on the real creative one of Anderson-Moore Builders.
Within a few years of starting the company, we realized the importance of learning about our industry from other people who had been doing remodeling for years. We talked with people all over the country about their businesses. We travelled everywhere to meet them. We went to Blacksburg, Virginia, Indianapolis, Rhode Island, San Diego, Charleston, Flagstaff Arizona, Grove City Pa, Seattle, and many other places. We tried to bring back to Winston-Salem all the good points they had about their companies.
When we started our company, we worked very hard, but we didn’t work very smart. We learned how to work smarter by talking to these other companies.
I use the phrase “The wheel has already been created, we don’t need to re-create it”. That’s an important aspect of any business. I don’t care if you make hats or rockets. Somebody has done it before you and has worked out some of the kinks. Rather than you trying to work out all these problems that keep popping up on your own, look for other companies or people to talk to about these problems. There’s a pretty good chance somebody else has had those same issues.
This applies to work or even an organization to which you belong. Some community service organizations may have trouble raising money, but I can guarantee there are other organizations who have been able to successfully raise money. The trick is to find out what they did and how they did it. And then do it.
Tracy and I learned a lot from the other remodeling companies we visited over the years. We’re still learning. Our overall goal is to find ways to be a better company, both from our own knowledge and from the knowledge of others.
Remember, the wheel has already been created, we don’t need to re-create the wheel. Find out what others have done and copy them.