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Business Execution, The Key to Getting Over $10 million in Sales: Entrepreneur MBA 1.3

Dwight Cooper is the founder of PPR which his team grew to over $100 million in yearly sales before recently selling to an investor group. One of PPR’s core competencies was exceptional business execution and is the key reason why PPR grew and thrived in a very competitive marketplace. Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions interviews his good friend and both share their observations about why business execution is the key ingredient to growing your business.

The Entrepreneur MBA podcast’s purpose is to help EXISTING business owners grow their companies past the $10 million in revenue mark. Here is the host, Stephen Halasnik

Introduction of Guest: 

Today, I am excited to be speaking with Dwight Cooper, currently CEO of Hueman  People Solutions. Dwight was the Founder and CEO of PPR Talent Management, which over a 22 year period, grew to over $100 million in sales. Dwight recently sold the company making 8 of his key people Millionaires.

Today’s Entrepreneur MBA Podcast Topic: Business Execution, The Key to Getting Over $10 Million in Sales.

Introduction of Host, Stephen Halasnik

Stephen Halasnik has built several successful companies over the $10 million mark including an Inc 500 fast-growing. He loves speaking with successful business leaders and learning about what makes them, and their businesses, tick. Stephen’s current company, Financing Solutions, makes getting a line of credit fast, easy, and inexpensive.

If you like today’s podcast, please feel free to share it with a friend and please subscribe to The Entrepreneur MBA Podcast on your favorite podcasting ap so you can hear future podcasts.

Summary of Podcast

Dwight Cooper and his team grew PPR, which places Registered Nurses into long term temporary assignments at hospitals, past $100 million in sales over a 22 year period.

 

Dwight sold PPR recently and made 8 people on his team Millionaires.

Dwight has a new startup called The Hueman People Solutions which already has 280 employees. Hueman is part of the new trend in Recruitment Process Outsourcing which basically is the outsourcing of hiring for larger corporations.

Business execution, the ability to really have a great running operation, is really the key to growing your business.

Dwight and Stephen became friends and shared information even though they were competitors. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a competitor to share ideas and information.

In the beginning of a company, it is just about working hard, but after you get past having a number of employees, growth then comes from having a really tightly run operation.

Vern Harnish said to Dwight early on that businesses don’t often grow past the $1 million in sales mark because the entrepreneur is doing all the work and hasn’t built processes for others. These processes, or best practices, teach others how to do things the right way.

Dwight began early to learn how to be a successful entrepreneur. Vern once said to Dwight, the business that learns the fastest wins.

How can you grow your company faster than your competitors is an important question you need to ask yourself?

Great business execution is the key to getting over the $10 million mark

Having a purpose and knowing your core values is critical to building a solid foundation.

Part of business execution IS hiring the right people and making sure they understand your purpose and values.

Business execution helps your company survive a recession and grow faster than your competition in an expansion.

Every marketplace is super competitive nowadays so you better be great at execution.

Having processes and systems in place that deliver quality is critical to business execution.

Best practices is a better word then processes.

Dwight believes that how everyone interacted at PPR was critical to its success. Employees, management, and leaders at his company were always communicating through huddles and open dialog and that contributed greatly to their business execution success. It’s now called bottom-up communication and PPR was consistently mining for information from employees and customers.

Ask yourself, is everyone in your business having one on one meeting with their manager to learn about what is going on in the business and what can be improved.

How are you interacting with your staff? How are you communicating with employees? How are they communicating with you? How are you communicating with clients? How do you share information?

Are you sharing your measurements/KPI with your team? That drives process improvements. Dwight had a war room that had tons of KPI’s on the wall and it is were his management team would strategize.

Vern Harnish from Gazelle’s, the largest business coaching company in the world, was a huge proponent of the leadership team having a daily standing huddle.

Huddles should cover the good, the bad, the ugly.

Dwight and his management team had a daily huddle called the 909 meetings. Round robin agenda. Each person talked about what were they working on that day. It helped with the priorities of the business and with accountability. Lets the leaders know who and what needs help.

Doing these huddles allows you to make minor adjustments instead of having to make major changes later.

Huddles are supposed to be standing and about 15 minutes long so that the meeting doesn’t go on forever. You are not supposed to solve problems but to get everyone on the same page. Problem-solving would then be done outside of the huddles.

Nowadays, everyone gets into their own cubby hole or offices and that stops good communications.

Things get done when everyone is communicating together and there are collisions.

What gets measured gets done.

Spend some time with your measurement team talking about what are the one or two measurements (KPI or Key Performance Indicators) that everyone in the organization can understand and talk about those KPI’s often. Those KPI’s usually show the health of the company.

There are employees, customers, shareholders. What’s the KPI’s for each one.

Dwight and his team really had to learn how to build a good management team and the book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits was critical to PPR’s business execution success.

In regard to business execution, first comes people, then communication, then KPI’s then comes process improvement. Figuring out what is the most important thing your business should be working on.

What is the step you need to obtain to reach your goals and KPI’s?

What is your long term vision and what are the things you need to do now to achieve that vision.

Recessions have a major impact on your business but having a great business execution strategy really helps you survive.

Dwight learned in the last recession that because he had more revenue before the recession, he had more room to the right size and survive. Once the recession was over, he grew the company from $25 million to $100 million because the competition didn’t survive.

Dwight’s new business, with now 280 employees and $20 million in revenue, Hueman People Solutions is a recruitment process outsourcing company. The potential is fantastic because hospitals, for example, are bringing on lots of employees and Hueman manages the whole front end of recruiting, screening, interviewing and processing making all the steps in the process faster and better. About 18,000 go through this process per year as of 2019.

One of Dwight’s reactions during the recession was to start additional companies to diversify into other offering and that is how Hueman began.

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