What to Know As You Grow
Building a business is a bit like raising a baby. You create something from the ground up and, eventually, let it go to grow into something bigger and better.
Bryan Gossel, owner of four BG Automotive locations in Colorado, knows how hard it can be to step back from in order to grow and expand.
Gossel started his first shop with his own hands 16 years ago in Fort Collins. Over the last few years, he has added three successful locations in Colorado and is now taking slow steps back from his most consuming responsibilities.
The key to growth, according to Gossel, is stepping back from your hands-on role and trusting a new team of leaders to step up along the way. The transition can be challenging, especially when you have more experience and knowledge than the employees you’re handing tasks over to.
Ratchet + Wrench checked in with Gossel for some of the tips he’s gleaned while learning to let go of the day-to-day operations and his advice for expanding your team in the process.
Prepare to Fail
The fastest way to learn is to fail, and fail a lot. If the boss regularly swoops in to fix team mistakes, issues won’t be resolved and nothing will be learned in the process. That’s why Gossel’s first tip is to stop being the fixer, and let your new employees solve challenges on their own.
“You can’t micromanage and be the superhero all the time,” Gossel says.
As hard as it can be to step back and let things go wrong, it is the best way to ensure that your workers can build the skills they need to keep the business running smoothly.
Train People, Not Workers
If Gossel has a new employee who is afraid of public speaking, he will challenge them to talk during staff meetings. He is always pushing his team members out of their comfort zones because he believes it will help them grow into stronger people. You need to train well-rounded leaders, not just efficient workers, he says.
It is also necessary to connect with your team and build strong relationships. Building a team of leaders who you know personally is the best way to ensure future success. “You have to train them so that they can go and do it themselves, but treat them so they never want to leave you.”
Gossel is never the lone person to hire a new team member. He gives all resumes to the team leaders of his shops, and they are the ones to make the final decision.
Of the people who started BG Automotive with Gossel, only two have left the company, both of whom remain close with the Gossel family. He values his roots, and he tries to remain close to his core values through his company’s growth.
Through the process of expanding his operations, Gossel consulted with many of his long-standing employees to ensure the fundamentals that the company was built on will continue to be valued in the future team. “We make sure that the core group is carrying on the core values,” he says.
And while growing the business and expanding your team can be intimidating, Gossel says “the hardest thing to do, may be changing yourself.”