Annual Letter to Employees from the President & CEO
As the CEO it’s my job to set the tone of the organization for the upcoming year. For us in 2014 we want to make sure we stay true to our vision and values as well as keep focus on the core business, something that we didn’t do in the past. As a manager or leader of your department or organization, you must set the tone for your team. Nowhere in a business is influence more valuable than where tone is set from the top
Here’s a copy of our annual letter from the President & CEO that we sent out to our 33 employees:
Nick and I would like to thank you for all of your hard work and outstanding contributions this year. We know how much time and energy this company demands and we deeply appreciate all of your efforts to make it a fantastic success. Our loyal customers can always count on you, your team can always count on you, and we can always count on you to go that extra mile. We have to thank you again for all you do for FCP.
2013 was a transformational year for us. We have enjoyed double-digit revenue growth bringing us to nearly $15 million in annual sales, we returned to profitability; and, most importantly, we re-established our values and made significant improvements to the organization developing a solid culture of service, support, and recognition.
As we grow and become more successful, it tends to attract bigger and better opportunities. As we succeed, a key challenge becomes prioritizing those opportunities, and what we’ve learned from experience is that trying to do too much results in a lack of clarity, over-commitment; and we wind up disappointing people, exhausting ourselves, or simply failing.
To prevent this complexity we have made a commitment to only pursue opportunities that help strengthen our core business, the core that has produced over a decade of remarkable revenue growth, the same one that has helped us through 2013 stronger than ever.
Now, we have a simple goal for 2014: Stay focused, follow our vision, aim for simplicity, and continue building our great team. We have committed ourselves to never lose sight of what we are trying to achieve. We will continue to focus our energy and attention on our vision: to set the standard for quality and service in the automotive industry.
FCP is entering a new era, in a new facility, with great talent, and a great plan.
Let’s welcome 2014 as our new home, we’ve all earned it.
Happy New Year,
Nick & Scott
What did you do to set the tone for your department or organization for 2014?
Managing Business Growth Stages- A Diagnostic Chart
This diagnostic chart by PricewaterhouseCoopers is a fantastic tool that helps identify your company’s stage of growth as well as the management concerns within those stages. It’s something I have referenced back to throughout the years and gives valuable insight into what you may face at the next stage of your business. Planning is one of the most important parts of running a business, and when you know what to expect you’ll dramatically boosts the odds of your success.
We’ve been online since 2001 with annual revenues of $15 million and 34 employees. Our business currently has the characteristics of survival, growth, and expansion with the majority falling in in the growth stage. I give copies of this diagnostic chart to members of my management team and we compare our assessments. It not only gives my team a road map of things to expect as the business matures but also promotes a healthy dialogue between the group.
Here’s a link to the chart: PWC Diagnostic Chart
How to Deal With Stress at Work
As a business owner I deal with a lot of stress and frustration. If I’m not careful it can easily get the best of me.
Issues ranging from implementing something simple but it unexpectedly doesn’t work, employee relations or management issues, general anxiety or worry about the performance or future of the company, flawed processes or cultural bottlenecks within the organization, or just people that do stupid things because they lack common sense. Depending on the level of the frustration or problems I encounter, I have to keep reminding myself to put things in perspective. I’ve trained my brain to do this.
Here’s how I deal with stress during the workday:
Minor Frustrations/Problems: I tell myself that businesses exist to solve problems. If there were no problems to solve, there would be no need for businesses. I’ve learned to welcome problems as challenges, realizing it’s the only way for my business to grow and evolve. Learning strategies and developing skills to manage problems also helps me grow personally and professionally, just like developing muscles working out. Come at me.
Moderate Frustrations/Problems: I reflect back and think about similar past challenges that were easily overcome, reminding myself that issues like these had no real threat to me or the organization. I separate the fear from anxiety. Why waste time and energy causing myself excessive amounts of stress when I’ve dealt with these types of issues before? I’ve got this.
Major Frustrations/Problems: I remind myself that building a business isn’t easy, and most people won’t ever attempt the things that I have. I step back and think about what I’ve accomplished and overcome, reflecting on everything that’s good in my life; my wonderful family, good supportive friends, and my own health and well-being. Wasting energy on and anxiety and worry is an exercise in futility. Life is good.
How do you deal with stress at work?