Springfield Business Journal: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Randy Johnson: We have spread out over several communities in Missouri. At one time, we were fortunate to all be housed in one physical location. That’s not the case anymore. The largest thing that is an obstacle, if you will, is trying to do everything you can do to make sure you have good communication. One of the things that’s appealing about anything to do with community is that sense of smallness and that sense of being served. (We’re) working very, very hard to … empower everybody to do everything within our ability to keep the bank small in the way we deal with people we’re fortunate enough to serve. Whether that’s our team members or their families, or whether that’s our customers or shareholders, at the end of the day, nobody wants to deal with any company where they’re just treated like a number.
SBJ: How do you balance personal service and technology needs?
Johnson: It doesn’t matter which age group you happen to fall in. The reality is people do want to have personal contacts. There is a huge distinction between service and being served. We’re going to get service no matter where we go. It can be bad service; it can be over-the-top service. The thing that we do and that we have defined within our organization and the culture within our organization is truly our desire to build a team of individuals who want to serve people. That difference between service and serving is huge. It’s the ability to meet the customer at their point of time and need and create a solution that’s very personal to them. Technology plays a part in that. You have to have solutions that work and that are easy to use, and at the same time have the appropriate amount of safety involved because there’s a lot of folks out there that are trying to electronically steal people’s identity. At the end of the day, it’s still a people-based business. What we have found, and it’s exciting, is that people do respond to people who have a genuine interest in serving their needs. That’s something different than service.
SBJ: Do you have processes in place to keep your company from growing too quickly?
Johnson: It might surprise you. We do not put sales quotas in place. We do not set up sales meetings for our team members. The growth that we’ve enjoyed has been driven by the way that our team members interact with the people they serve. There’s no charted course that says next year we’re going to be a billion-and-a-half-dollar bank. We don’t approach it from that perspective. We approach it from the perspective of how well do we accomplish our own [service] goals, which are pretty lofty, and that is to take the time to be that resource that the customer needs for whatever the transaction is.
SBJ: What’s the best business advice you’ve received?
Johnson: Be true to who you are. You really can’t fake this stuff, so you either believe it and you manage toward that and serve toward that or you’re faking it. If you’re faking it, your people know. Enjoy what you do, be true to who you are, and love, serve and care for people.
Client and revenue growth at Seven Hills Veterinary Clinic fuels move to larger home.
Cody Ritter, owner of Base Construction & Management LLC, attributes the company's fast growth in part to keeping customers happy. Base Construction & Management LLC is one of the Springfield Business Journal 2019 Dynamic Dozen companies, recognizing the 12 fastest growing companies in the area.
"You are a leader," says Carrie Richardson, Executive Director of Leadership Springfield. She gives suggestions as to how you can develop your leadership skills.
Michael Wehreberg, Wehrenberg Design Company, discusses the shift in the last five years in web site design to mobile-first designs. Ultimately, you have to think of the human first and serve them with ease, and Google will give you credit for being mobile friendly.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, struggles with the process of renaming his restaurant. The process led by Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency Longitude LLC. Ömer expresses all of the emotions he is going through as they work together to revise his seating, menu, hours, and a name to reflect those changes.
It is projected that 10,000 people in the United States will turn 65 years old everyday for 19 years, and non profits are going to be competing over the coming years in a fierce labor market. Give Five was developed as a civic matchmaking program to help connect capable retirees with charitable organizations that need help. Greg Burris outlines the problems the program addresses, opportunities for individuals and organizations, as well as how United Way of the Ozarks is licensing to the program to share with other communities.
Jamie Kinkeade noticed most of the women in her fitness classes at The Studio were wearing Lululemon. She knew her clients were driving to Kansas City to purchase the brand, so she approached the athletic apparel company to stock their merchandise in her store, The Movement. They said "no" at first because they were not looking to expand into the Springfield market, but her persistence paid off.
With more job openings than people to fill them, it is time for your company to evaluate how you are motivating and engaging your team to help you retain and attract the best talent. Sherry Coker, Executive Director at the OTC Center for Workforce Development, walks you through tangible and intangible incentives that encourage employee engagement, performance enhancement, and higher job satisfaction.
"When we first started we thought we could pretty much do this on our own," discloses Vera Gibbons with Baby Foot®. "We thought we knew what would be great...that's not really what happened." Gibbons recommends partnering with a strong marketing partner early and give them a budget.
With four generations in the workplace, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of how each approaches brainstorming can make all the difference in arriving at the best idea. Boomer Kay Logsdon, Director of Applications at CultureWaves, and self-described fossil Millennial Locke Hilderbrand share what their trends research at CultureWaves tells us about generational differences and tips on how to bridge the gaps. Generations in the Workplace is an ongoing multi-episode series tackling the issues of generational conflict.
One year into opening Ellecor, Haden Long gave birth to her second daughter. The first five months of her life, she was with her constantly at work. "They're why we do this," Long explains.