Changing Gears

Hey bright Sparks, I’m David Thomson from Certus Group Accountants and you’re listening to the Bright Sparks Podcast, the place where you get one actionable lesson each episode to help you build your profitable electrical or HVAC business.

Today, I’m going to be talking about changing gears. And I don’t mean gears on your car. I mean gears in your business.

One of the most dangerous times for any business is during a period of growth. This can be especially true for an electrical business. The reason is that as your sales and revenue grow, all your systems have to grow as well.

The tricky thing is that all the other parts of the business have to grow at different rates. And to make matters worse, growth doesn’t just mean getting bigger, it means change.

So growing a business is like growing a human. As a baby grows into an adult, you don’t just end up with a gigantic baby. Things change – you know what I mean. The systems that worked well for your business when the business was tiny won’t work when you’ve got a team of five workers. And a team of five has different needs from a team of ten. As I said earlier, electrical and HVAC businesses are particularly problematic because they’re fundamentally complex.

So, what’s the part of the business that tends to break first as a business grows? The answer to this one is simple. It’s the part that’s hardest to scale up. It’s management. You can always hire more technical staff, or a bookkeeper or a receptionist or a warehouse guy but it’s another thing to replicate yourself.

I’m sure you’ve heard this story before. A growing business has an owner who can’t stay off the tools. That’s because the tools are in his comfort zone. Or he spends all day doing quotes because his monkey brain tells him that he’s the only person in the entire universe capable of quoting.

And then there’s a cash flow crisis because nobody is paying attention to that, or work just dries up because nobody’s done any marketing. 

There’s a saying that “managers should only do the things that only managers can do”. I don’t know who said that originally, but it was spot on. So I’ll say it again “managers should only do the things that only managers can do”.

There’s only one solution to the problem of growth. And that’s careful planning. And given that growth from one stage of business to the next isn’t something that happens every day, it makes sense to get help from someone with experience in planning growth. Someone like your accountant. That makes sense doesn’t it? So if growing your business is something you want to do, then do the sensible thing and get your plans in place before you get overrun by events.

At Certus Group we have a three-phase program specifically tailored for growing electrical and HVAC businesses. Feel free to give us a call to discuss how we can help you grow your business, and check out our website at

Talk to you next time.