“Anyone can start a business. That’s the easy part. Try running one for years on end”….
First off, let me give you some context…
My name is Jeremy Griffin, and from 2013-2016 I was the marketing guy helping to launch Grizzly Targets. Myself and shop manager Mark Askren started the company in 2013 from Mark’s garage, working for the company owners. In mid 2016 ownership decided to explore some other opportunities.
Rather than allow the company to close down, myself and Mark packaged up a business plan and went to work and are now on a one way mission to build the most incredible company the firearms industry has ever seen. And while that may sound overly ambitious, I would rather fall short of large goals than short ones.
So here we are at our First 100 Days analysis. A lot of great things have happened, and a lot of really painful situations have arisen, but at the end of the day, the one thing that I have always believed in continues to be more true than ever: Hard work wins the day.
Nothing determines small business success like the ability to juggle the headaches and disasters that will inevitably appear. It’s going to happen. And it’s going to happen daily. That’s what running a business is. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s not a path to sunny days on the beach on a Thursday. It’s a grind out, all hands on deck, who is willing to kill themselves to win type of mindset. If you manage to have that through some combination of nurture vs nature, then you have a shot. Even then, the odds are stacked against you.
That being said, the fact that it’s basically managed chaos is NO REASON AT ALL for a lack of a game plan. That incredibly cliched saying “Fail to plan is a plan to fail” is around for a reason. We had a former employee that declared in a meeting a few years back that “it doesn’t matter, it’s all going to change in a day or two anyways”…
…to which the following answer was declared on the other side of the room: “THAT’S NOT A REASON TO JUST SAY SCREW PLANNING ALL TOGETHER”
So the ability to juggle has been key. The ability to create both long term strategic partnership combined with in-house goals, along with servicing the current daily needs of the customers and the vendors. Through a combination of whiteboards, spreadsheets and a constant focus on direct communication followed by getting it written down, we’ve managed to find a way to keep our eyes both on the long term and the short term as best we can.
Yes, try to work smarter. We are putting a tremendous amount of effort into streamlining processes, documenting procedures and making sure that the business is running as efficiently as possible. But that does NOT mean that we then get to skimp on the hours we put in, the amount of phone calls we make, and all the other tedious tasks that go into taking a company from startup land to industry juggernaut.
Which brings us to the lasting realization for this first 100 days. Actually it’s more of a reaffirmation than anything else.
Hard work trumps talent every time.
Unless you are in Silicon Valley, most attempts to outsmart your competition will lead to failure. Our competitors have a 20 year head start on us, and we are simply not going to get where we want to go without massive levels of commitment. 70 hours weeks. Every week. For as long as it takes. That’s the motto here.
Because the alternative is failure. And failure is simply not an option.