As a Small Business Owner, why do I need Business Transformation? – Part 1
( This is a creative account of the business problems that a retail store owner may face while growing and expanding, and the valuable solutions that Huminn has to offer. )
That was something I had often asked myself when the term “Business Transformation” came up in my business circles. Seems like yesterday, but would you believe it, it’s been 5 years since my brother and I started our first hardware retail store in Arlington Texas! I remember our excitement when we applied for our business license and the required certifications, and then the mad rush towards setting up the shop once we found the right location. We started with just 4 people, my brother and I, along with a couple of friends from the same neighborhood, and we all worked like crazy to make ends meet.
It took us a year to settle down and set some processes, but those had to do with everyday operations, getting the work done and keeping our customers happy so they would go ahead and recommend us to their friends and relatives. We would have probably laughed in your face if you had asked us about SOPs to handle our one vendor and our random clientele then!
But things began to pick up by the end of the first year and we started making profits, and the logical step was to open another branch in the next zip code. We hired a few more people and started expanding our service radius one step at a time. At the end of 3 years we had 4 branches – 2 in Arlington and 2 in Fort Worth. The Accounts department which was made up of one accountant (my cousin) when we started, now had to take care of payroll, taxation and other industry related financial documents, and the purchasing of accounting software became inevitable.
We started our fifth shop in Irving in the fourth year and Dave’s Hardware now has at least 27 full time employees who needed to be paid regularly and given medical insurance, along with a bevy of part time employees who stayed for a few months and moved on. As our customer base increased in leaps and bounds, our vendor list grew too to accommodate the needs of the different product lines, and the amount of time and effort spent on invoices and filling up forms not only became humongous, but also took up all my time that should have been spent on strategizing my business growth!
Taking stock of the inventory everyday and keeping track of the items using multiple excel sheets took up so much time and effort, and yet we managed to miss the order deadlines, and ended up with not having enough stock to service our loyal customers. Losing customers that way is quite painful, believe me.
Speaking of customers, it was when I had been cribbing about how I had no idea how to keep track of my customers and their satisfaction levels to my friend who owned a chain of grocery stores, that he recommended Huminn – the business transformation partner for SMBs, to me. To be honest, I instinctively shirked away from the fancy term “Business Transformation”. This seemed like something that a small business, well medium business now, owner like myself did not need! Why “transform” something that has worked for me until now (well, kind of) right, whatever that term meant! But my friend George, who has been my shoulder to cry on about lost time, wasted resources and overwhelming spends in my business, insisted I call Huminn and to learn more about their services.
to be continued…