Archive for January, 2012
Today was not a fun day.
Woke up at about 6:00 AM to a fire alarm. Turns out a water pipe had burst in the lobby of the building I live in. Scrubadoo’s office is located in commercial space at the ground level of the same building.
Guess where the pipe bust was? Needless to say we were basically swimming in water this morning. It is extremely cold in MN right now (think -10ish) so the hot water that was pouring everywhere was throwing off an amazing amount of steam. The firefighters that responded to the alarm broke through the glass security door to the building and then proceeded to kick in the two doors to our office. I am actually ok with this (better than having someone stuck and in trouble).
But everything was a mess. Damages basically consisted of walls, scrubs, and a day of my life cleaning up. It got me thinking of the other low points of running scrubadoo.
- We played a part in messing up a large order this past Christmas. Total cost ~$1,000. We ate the total cost despite having about 50% of the responsibility.
- My honor being questioned by a supplier when we first started the company. Essentially we were promised certain terms by our account rep, he left the company and my new rep wouldn’t honor it. I took it all the way to their CEO when he basically called me a liar. I didn’t have it in writing – lesson learned.
- Writing a $6,000 dollar check to a company for web development – despite literally zero of our line items promised were completed.
There have been a lot of tough times for us. To this point we have pushed through and kept on growing. I am sure there will be more to come. Have I ever mentioned starting a company is tough?
There was another first for scrubadoo.com this past week. We had our first ever “annual” strategy meeting. On Jan 2nd we held our 2012 strategy planning session.
I wanted to put all of our stakeholders in a room for several hours, tell them how we have done since our live launch waaaayyy back in Feb 2010 and then pick their brains to see how we can improve and continue to grow. Here was the basic format of our meeting:
- Performance Overview: To this point I have maintained the policy that everyone that works for scrubadoo has full access to both myself and our books. They can see exactly how we are doing and can ask questions about why we are doing it. In the meeting we showed a bunch of fun graphs demonstrating growth etc over the last 23 months.
- Projections & Expectations: I put together my personal projections and expectations for the company for 2012. I then laid out several key areas that we will need to improve upon and work towards in order to hit these projections.
- How the Hell Do We Do It?: The final segment in our meeting was opened up to a brain storming session. I had a bit of a frame work to keep us going in the right direction but the goal was to figure out how we can hit our projections and meet my expectations in 2012.
Overall I think it went pretty well. We basically want to double the size of the company in 2012 and I think we can do it. While maintaining consistent growth on the retail side, we are going to continue to aggressively pursue wholesale scrub selling opportunities and will depend on these opportunities to really lead the way in our growth.
On quick side bar: we hired our first full time employee in 2011 and I expect to have a second by the middle of 2012. Talk about scary. I think hiring full time staff members is the scariest thing I have done to this point in my entrepreneurial endeavors. I will talk more about this later.
Back to the strategy session. Overall I think meetings like this can really help any company, even if you don’t come up with any ground breaking ideas. Here is why: When you can provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to voice opinions, be heard, and come up with ideas it really increases buy in. To this point almost everyone that has worked at scrubadoo has truly enjoyed their time here, and I think the level of involvement and knowledge that they have about the entire company helps build a strong attachment to it. Everyone from interns to friends that have helped us with side projects become vested in scrubadoo’s success.
This vested interest is amazing and one of the reasons I still love entrepreneurship and doing what I do. Seeing all of these other people that are excited about the potential opportunities for scrubadoo, continues to push me to make sure we make it happen.
So on we go to 2012 and I am confident we will continue to grow and will take more steps towards our goal of being the premier retailer and wholesale distributor of medical scrubs in the country.
It has to happen, we can’t let everyone down…