We have a new Quality Assurance Inspector. Really great guy that also happens to be a nerd. To welcome him as our inspector, we decide to spruce up our inspection forms. Mr Spock now greets him every time he performs an inspection.
Why would any rational human being want Mr Spock on their inspection forms? #1, Mr Spock is awesome, and #2 (probably more importantly) we want to create a company culture of fun and appreciation. Work doesn't always have to be serious and boring. The alternative would be to have the kind of environment that, unfortunately, many corporations have. An environment so devoid of joy that employees cry before coming to work and would rather do anything else than walk into work. Who wants that?!?!
Our solution: Lighten up. Inspections can be very demanding work and an inspector is under a lot of pressure. While we still expect high quality work from our inspector, we also know that added pressure could actually contribute to mistakes. Lightening the mood helps to ease pressure and provides incentive for him to perform at his best.
What can you do to lighten the mood at your workplace?
Happy Anniversary to Bridgeview!!!!
2 years ago Kevin quit his day job and committed to running Bridgeview full time. We have not looked back!
Thank you to all of our amazing clients who have helped us build our business into what it is today. As a token of our appreciation, we are sending out special British treat boxes that will include candy from Kevin's homeland, the United Kingdom.
In addition, we have decided to reinvigorate our newsletter with a new author and publishing schedule. We will now be publishing our newsletter once a month.
We look forward to inspiring you to build the best business you can. Let's build something together!
What if I were to tell you that by implementing one specific marketing strategy your sales would quadruple within 6 weeks? Would you jump on it? I have a feeling the answer would be YES! But wait, let's think this through. After all, every decision we make should be considered carefully and all risks should be calculated. Impulsivity has no place in business decision-making.
What would a quadruple of your sales look like? Maybe you currently have sales for 10 lawnmowing robots. What would it look like to suddenly have sales for 40? Could you handle the production of 40 and still get the product to market on time? Would you have to hire additional staff? Would you need a larger facility? Would you have the capital to invest in materials for 30 more lawnmowing robots? Maybe your answer is yes but maybe your answer is a very hesitant maybe.
We all would love to see the companies we have worked very hard to build grow into something successful and memorable. But is rapid growth always a blessing? Let's look at the service industry. Say you currently serve 20 clients by preparing their annual business tax returns. What if this year you get an influx of clients and now you're trying to prepare taxes for 80 clients? Maybe the time you spend on each client might have to be cut down (there is only one of you, after all) in order to get all the returns done before the filing deadline. Are you sacrificing the amazing service you have come to be known for? Are you taking shortcuts that might save time but might also result in mistakes? Are you having to hire and train someone right in the middle of your busy season?
Don't get me wrong, growth is good! It's something we all need in order to keep our businesses alive, but growth needs to be mindful. Not necessarily slow, but mindful. You need to be able to determine the level of growth you can reasonably accommodate at this moment in time and then you can think about what infrastructure you'd have to put in place to accommodate growth beyond that. Rushing into growth simply because it promises a higher number of sales could lead to disaster.
Always consider your marginal cost. Marginal cost is the cost of making more. If you make the lawnmower robots, what's another 5, 10, or 20 robots? The cost of adding another production line or two might be minimal, especially if you have a very successful production line to model the others on. After all, you'll be doing what you're already doing, just more of it. But what if you're the accountant and each and every single client is different? It's those different customer requirements that cost the most in time and attention. Growth for the accountant is going to look very different from growth for the company making lawnmower robots.
When thinking about growth, take your time, talk to people who have been there before, and trust that when the time is right, your business will grow and you will have everything you need to meet that growth...and you won't need a sketchy marketing plan for that.
all set up
We're all set up and our new shop is humming along nicely. Thank God we didn't have any major mishaps along the way!
One and Done
Our company was started in Oregon, in a little town called Clatskanie, which is about 65 miles north of Portland and about 40 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. The Lewis and Clark Bridge in Longview, Washington (located 15 miles east of us) was the inspiration for our logo. We have many happy memories of starting our business in the Beaver State but it is time to move on.
Our current lease is up and so we thought now would be a good time to move and get settled in our new home. Where are we going? We're moving to the beautiful state of Idaho! We have a wonderful business opportunity in Idaho as well as some family connections so it seemed like the right place to start the next chapter of the Bridgeview story. We found a wonderful place in Couer d'Alene (northern Idaho) and we're excited to adopt the Gem State as our new home.
And guess what? Idaho has some amazing bridges!! No matter where we go, we're still here for you, helping you build your business and cheering you on the greater heights! Idaho, here we come!
Are Your employees happy?
Father Mark Goring discuss the book The Truth About Employee Engagement by Patrick Lencioni. Happy employees = engaged and dedicated employees.
One of the first things Kevin did when he decided to start Bridgeview was design the company's logo. After he had perfected it, he printed it out on stickers and then put the stickers on everything. Seriously, we have pens with Bridgeview stickers on it. Our printer has a Bridgeview sticker on it, our wire cutting machine has a sticker on it, our inspection log has a sticker on it...shoot, he almost put a sticker on the cat! Is Kevin just a sticker crazy nut? No! Well...maybe...but the point is that Kevin put our logo on everything for one specific purpose. To constantly remind us of who we are!
Internal branding is such an important part of creating a company culture. The motivational speaker Simon Sinek says, "Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first." This makes complete sense. Have you ever been to a grocery store and the cashier was slowly dragging items over the bar code scanner as if the items weighed 10 pounds each? Sometimes you can just tell when someone doesn't want to be at work and that bored, noncommittal attitude doesn't really help excite people about the store they're shopping at or the product they're buying. Internal branding helps to encourage a sense of belonging to a team and when a person is on a team, they feel like what they do matters.
Can something as simple as sticker create a feeling of love for the company you work for? Sure! When Kevin puts his stickers around the workroom he's saying proudly, "I bought this. My hard work allowed me to purchase this necessary piece of equipment and I'm proud of that." When I see the stickers I feel a sense of pride for the hard work our family is doing to build our company. When my kids see the stickers they know that this company belongs to us and they can feel happy to be a part of it.
Does this mean you should put stickers on on everything in your work space? No, but what can you do to encourage internal branding? Maybe all of your employees wear hats with your logo on it. Maybe you put a cool decal on your work van. Maybe the only pens allowed at your company are pens with your name on it. Maybe you just put the sticker on the darn cat... Whatever you do, remember that you're creating a sense on belonging, a sense of pride, and you're inviting others to be on your team. Go team!
Yes, We're Label nerds
If we could give you one piece of advice when it comes to managing your inventory, it would be this: LABEL EVERYTHING!
Admit it, there is just something satisfying about seeing inventory items on a shelf, organized, tucked away in bins, and labelled appropriately. No one likes having to dig through boxes or plastic storage totes to find materials, especially when you're in a hurry. Having a storage system with clear labels helps make building items and filling orders easier and more efficient.
Our favorite label maker is the Brother P-Touch. There are lots of models out there but we happen to have the PT-45. It's super easy to use (our kids use it) and it prints out clean labels that we use practically everywhere. Yes, you can get a little fancy with its different fonts and symbols but if you have an hour to spend messing around with fonts then we need to have a talk about time management... The refills are inexpensive and come in a variety of colours. You can find a similar label maker on Amazon or your favorite office supply shop.
Whatever label maker you use, make sure it's simple, cost effective, and, most importantly, that you USE IT. Organization goes a long way to making your life easier and your business more successful.
Mrs Christina Hayward is the Administrator for Bridgeview Manufacturing. She's also a production worker and the company's chef, janitor, dog handler, and cheerleader.