How to Build a Foundation for Small Business Growth

Ruby Service PyramidIf you’ve checked out recent episodes of Paging Dr. Ruby, you’re already familiar with the Ruby Service Pyramid®—our roadmap for success at Ruby® Receptionists. If you’re looking to create a service pyramid for your business, a solid foundation is the perfect start. For Ruby, that foundation is Be Prepared With the Right Infrastructure, and here are some of our infrastructure’s key elements:

Purpose

As Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras put it, “Companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world.” Their article, Building Your Company’s Vision, is a favorite of Ruby Founder and CEO Jill Nelson, and played an important role in the development of Ruby’s mission, vision, and core values. To build a thriving business, it’s essential to understand what your business stands for. Change is inevitable—staff members will come and go, the economy will fluctuate, some ventures will prove successful, others will fail. Through it all, what are the fundamental ideals you never want to stray from? What can’t you live without?

A devoted team

Once you know what your business stands for, use that purpose to drive your hiring practices. Employee buy-in is critical. Growing a business is hard work, and in order to succeed, your team members need to be as inspired to do that hard work as you are. Look for people who are truly moved by your mission and vision, and aligned with your values. As much as you might like to, a small business owner can’t be everywhere at once, so you need a staff that can be trusted to make value-driven decisions on their own. Finding the right team members may not be easy, but it’s well worth it—they’re the ones who will stick around for the long-run, helping you build the business of your dreams.

Tools to bring ideas to life

So you have a purpose and vision, and a team dedicated to seeing it through. Now, it’s time to equip your team with the tools to make it happen. For Ruby, that includes our proprietary call-handling software and mobile apps.

Our call-handling software gives our receptionists the information they need to handle calls according to the individually-tailored instructions of our many customers. We designed the software in an effort to present instructions in a clear, easy-to-follow manner, so our talented receptionists can focus on what they do best: creating meaningful connections with callers. Our mobile apps sync with that software, enabling customers to update call-handling instructions on the fly, review messages and voicemails, analyze call data, and generally manage their Ruby service wherever they go.

These tools weren’t developed overnight, of course, and we’re constantly working to improve and refine them for a more streamlined customer and employee experience. The aim of our software is to enable our receptionists to delight callers—and help our customers to grow their businesses—without ever worrying about the technology that makes it possible. It’s a journey, and we’re always striving to make our tools better.

Freedom and motivation to innovate

Here’s where “endlessly adapting to a changing world” really comes into play. Giving your team (and yourself) room to make mistakes and try new things often leads to innovation. Sure, you have mountains of ideas for your business—but you haven’t thought of everything, and incenting, inspiring, and empowering your team to contribute to the evolution of your business will only make it stronger. Carve out space for your team to share their ideas, give feedback, and explore new ways of expressing your values—and encourage them to do so. You may be pleasantly surprised at what results. Ruby certainly has been!

Click here for the next post in our Ruby Service Pyramid® series.

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