Imagine waking up one morning to find out your company got on the Inc. 5000 list. You stare at the page and take a sigh of relief. Your strategies are finally paying off.
This prestigious award goes to the fastest growing companies in America, and was a long-time coming for Mountain Showcase. 21 years to be exact.
Mountain Showcase is a premier custom residential cabinets and woodworking manufacturer, which was founded in 1996. Their stuff is just beautiful and they can truly build anything for your home.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ryan Casto, their President, to ask what decisions led to their recent success. His answer was simple and consistent.
Two simple things that brought them out of a plateau
It all boiled down to focus and people.
A few years ago, Mountain Showcase would do just about any carpentry project. They had plateaued at about $2M a year in sales, and had a goal of growing through wholesale. After trying multiple new growth strategies, they knew something had to change. According to Casto, the inflection point that led them to get on the Inc. 5000 list was when they did two things; chose to focus on their core expertise in cabinets and hire the right team members to support that decision.
On their Journey to get on the Inc. 5000 list, Mountain Showcase realized that they could add the best value to their customers by focusing on what they’re great at: custom residential cabinets. With that focus, they could maximize the effectiveness of their time, concentrate on improving their customer relationships, and make effective hires in critical areas. Their business changed from being reactive to being proactive, and they were able to add the most value to their customers in an efficient manner.
This meant saying no to more things.
Casto said: “Our change to growth was one hire, but what led to the hire was our focus on actually getting it done. This is what we want, now we’re going to get it done, this is what it’s going to take, which led to a hire… So really setting aside the time, the budget and everything and then committing to that. You realize you can’t do this on your own so that led to getting help.”
This one hire was a highly qualified leader for their new wholesale business. Which leads us to the second reason for growth: People.
Recently, Casto is learning to focus more on people.
Casto noticed that when hiring, they would tend to choose the lowest cost hire who could do a role. With the decision to focus, they had to do things differently. They had to spend the money for the best talent in their area of growth. Even if it meant paying them $20,000 more than the lowest cost hire. This freed Casto up to focus on the job of running his business, without having to be in the approvals loop for everything a less qualified hire might ask for.
“When we start getting some of these high worth people and you trust them and say: ‘look, this is yours’ and you trust them to make the decisions. Then I can go do what I need to do, and it really helps me get more done in a day.”
They also started focusing more on relationships with big customers. In many cases, it’s been the relationship building that helps grow the wholesale business.
Benefits for the Core Business
With the renewed focus on cabinets and wholesale, both retail and wholesale have continued to grow. After Mountain Showcase was able to get on the Inc. 5000 list, they grew by another $1M a year in sales. Indicating that this growth wasn’t just a one-time marketing campaign, it has been a true change in trajectory.
This is just one example of a business meeting their goals through a renewed focus of doing one thing right. There is a great book called The ONE Thing by Gary Keller that talks about the ability to accelerate when you choose to reduce clutter and focus on the things that matter. (affiliate link)
- Decide to focus
- Enable your teams to focus on one thing at a time
- Be focused enough that you can justify a high quality, specialized hire