Ten Truths

Aaron Crowley

Economies change, cultures change and, of course, political regimes change. Industries change, too.

And while shifting circumstances abound, it is important to remember and know that some things do not change; some things endure.

Here are 10 enduring truths to consider:

1)  The customer is always right. Customers often have unrealistic expectations. They have limited understanding of natural stone. There is limited time to educate them. These are all undeniable facts…yet they are irrelevant if your goal is a satisfied customer who will speak well of your company on social media. The companies that  endure are the ones that manage to do unreasonable things for unreasonable people.

2)  Success cannot replace relationships. The passion to succeed is almost as intense as the will to live and often, when success or the life of the enterprise is on the line, the most important people to the leader seem to suffer the most. A successful business cannot fulfill the God-given need for healthy, strong relationships, but healthy relationships can sustain a leader during times of duress. Balance between the two is literally life and death.

3)  Your potential is limited by your ability (or willingness) to delegate. Companies with great potential never reach it if the owner and managers can’t let go and effectively delegate. Owners and managers who assign critical tasks to specific positions, define the standards, and provide operational steps to follow for their staff will free the organization to grow and free themselves from the tyranny of chaos.

4)  People pay more for that which they value. Studies show that half of all consumers surveyed value unique features and/or premium services over a low price. Those who understand what their customers value and aren’t afraid to charge for it, will prosper.

5)  Quote follow-up = sales that go up. A prompt follow up call, simply to make sure that the client received the quote, and to ask if they have questions, will result in more sales. Failing to follow up leaves the door wide open for your competitors to close your sale. It also leaves you with quotes on your desk instead of jobs on your calendar.

6)  Cash is king. Companies that are liberal with spending and lackadaisical with collections are chronically short of cash. The consequences of such behavior leads to limited resources for maintaining vendor relationships, the inability to capitalize on opportunities, unable to weather short term declines in the business.

7)  Short term pain = long term gain. Shortsighted decisions really do shorten the life of the enterprise. Maintenance on equipment and vehicles, training for staff, and servicing unhappy customers can be painful in the moment, when other expenses abound. But they are investments that make the future of the enterprise more likely.

8)  Granite is heavy and if you are careless it can kill you. Fabrication will always be a potentially dangerous business for those handling granite slabs and bundles. Regular safety reminders, discussion of safe slab handling techniques and regular inspection of equipment will save lives.

9)  Employee turnover is EXPENSIVE. No matter how you slice it, anytime an employee moves on unexpectedly, great expense is to be expected. The longer they’ve been on the team, the greater the disruption it will mean.  

10)  Refusing to change = inevitable decline. Ignoring or refusing to accept and adopt the changes that threaten “the way we’ve always done it” is the highway to obsolescence. You do not need to bend your principles to current circumstances, but practices and opinions of how things should be done must be flexible and modified to successfully adapt.  

Seasons of upheaval, uncertainty, and revolutionary changes expose the true character and test the beliefs of the people living through them.  

The people who have built their lives on the foundation of enduring truth and reality emerge from those seasons wiser, stronger, and wealthier.

Aaron Crowley is a stone shop owner, innovator and inventor, author, speaker, and consultant to mid-size stone companies. Contact him at .