Staffing for Growth: Focus on Human Resources
Faith’s Success Factors
Skyrocketing revenues, a growing housefile and increased catalog circulation all are evidence of Headsets.com’s rapid growth. President Mike Faith credits the following for his company’s steady success:
Customer service. “Customer service isn’t commission-driven, so there’s no pressure or expectation to maximize revenue each call,” explains Faith. “All we want to force on our customers is satisfaction.”
Strong focus. By selling a specialized product line, Faith and his employees have been able to develop a thorough knowledge of merchandise — knowledge that helps them serve customers better.
Accessibility. “We make it easy for people to reach us,” says Faith. The company’s URL address and toll free number are listed on all literature. Additionally, some equipment features manufacturers’ telephone numbers in case troubleshooting is required.
Mike Faith offers the following advice for successful business leadership:
1. Hire people better than yourself. This way, you don’t have to worry about them doing a good job.
2. Have high expectations of your employees. Hold them accountable for their responsibilities.
3. There are no experts. Remember there’s always a better way to do a task.
4. Read industry publications and business books. There’s a wealth of information out there to be used profitably.
5. Always test (e.g., merchandise, offers, splits, lists).
6. Keep asking questions, even if you know the answers.
7. Distinguish expert opinion from tested fact. “The two are very different. ... Tested facts will trump expert opinions every time,” says Faith.
8. Learn from your peers by joining business groups such as the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization (www.yeo.org), World Entrepreneurs’ Organization (www.weo.org) and Young Presidents’ Organization (www.ypo.org). “It’s been really useful to me to learn from people in different industries who go through the same challenges.”
Headquarters: San Francisco
Products: telephone headsets and related merchandise
Customer demographics: 95-percent business-to-business
Average order value: $250
SKUs: 40 to 50 in catalog; 200 to 300 online
Annual circulation: about 12 million
Printer: Times Printing, Random Lake, Wis.