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Take 5: How to Take Your Local Company Nationwide

by Asher Raphael

Power Home Remodeling opened its doors in 1992 out of an apartment in Delaware. Today, Power employs 1,950 people across 12 locations. By implementing an expansion model that relies on organic growth, Power has become the nation’s second largest exterior home remodeler. Co-CEO, Asher Raphael, offers his tips on successfully taking your local company nationwide.

1.) Over-communicate the vision and mission of the business.
At its core, a business is a group of people all marching in one direction. As you grow geographically, explaining that direction becomes more difficult. Your commitment to growth will cause uncertainty, and people fear the unknown. It’s crucial that you find the right avenue to effectively communicate the vision of the business. Everyone, no matter their location, must understand not only what you’re doing, but also why you’re doing it. Don’t let productive employees become scared employees.

2.) Diversify your product offering.
When we began exploring a 50-state strategy, we only offered vinyl windows and siding. Through due diligence, we became aware that vinyl siding was not a realistic option for several climates throughout the country. We were committed to the strategy, however, so we diversified our product offering and added roofing. This not only made the 50-state strategy viable, but also allowed our current locations to grow exponentially. No matter what you’re selling, it’s important that you do your research to ensure you’re offering the right product in the right place. As an outsider entering a local mar- ket, it’s best to get in the door with something people are familiar with, and then introduce them to something new.

3.) Make your processes and procedures scalable.
In the beginning stages of a small business, you can rely on talent. Hire a few rainmakers with the aptitude to wing it and you’ll often find success. However, you can’t scale a business the same way. Ask yourself: Can you duplicate your processes, procedures and training? Do your current systems allow for the on-boarding of 20 people in a week? Two hundred people in a week? If the answer is no, take the time to alter your processes so they can be scaled. This is absolutely critical for the success of any expansion model.

4.) Invest in technology.
Companies often invest in technology like a homeowner invests in a new roof: they wait until it’s leaking. You can’t afford to take that approach. If you develop a technology platform that only solves the problems of today, your business will soon be left behind. A $20 million business that wants to expand needs technology that solves the problems of a $2 billion business. Investing in the right technology up front will allow you to scale in unimaginable ways.

5.) Invest in leadership.
Successful expansion begins and ends with the right people leading the way. Since scale requires giving up control, your business will only be as strong as your leadership group. But you can’t just talk about developing leaders: You have to invest in it. Identify those that have displayed leadership characteristics. Get them outside the office and under one roof. Spend a few days communicating the values of the business and the character of true leaders. Study books and films that take you behind the eyes of leaders from various industries. Challenge each other. Grow together. Watch them shift from viewing themselves as employees, to viewing themselves as leaders.

Asher Raphael started at Power in 2003 in an entry-level sales position. In his current role as Co-CEO, Raphael is responsible for the company’s overall strategic direction, including ongoing evaluation and implementation of new business opportunities and partner alliances.

Published (and copyrighted) in Philly Biz, Volume 2, Issue 1 (January, 2017).
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