Urban Homes shares wisdom for strategic business growth

By HGB , Aug 24 2018
Working from Chipmunks while the teachers strike for better pay gave me a bit of time (but definitely no peace!) to reflect on HGB’s recent quarterly strategic planning session, where the very humble Daniel Klinkenberg from Urban Homes talked to our team about his journey in business.

Daniel is the walking example of a business owner who lives and breathes the values of his organisation. He’s incredibly humble, is driven by a hunger to do better, and uses a whole lot of smarts to drive his team and business forward. The HGB team were so grateful to hear his words of strategic wisdom.

Look ahead and invest before you need it

Early on, Daniel invested in technology that he knew the business would need to be successful. For example, Urban started using Builder Trend (the app they use to communicate with clients during builds) before the team felt like they really “needed” it.

“I knew we needed Builder Trend in place to allow us to grow and keep delivering an excellent customer service,” says Daniel.

But not only did they invest in it, he set about training everyone to use it, and developing the software to make it work for them. “It wasn’t just a tick the box job,” says Daniel. “You need to leverage it and embrace it.”

It can be a process to get people to buy into new software or technologies, but worth the investment, on both a day-to-day and strategic level.

Get your foundations right

Along with investing in technology, Daniel quickly realised that, like any house, the foundations were critical.

“We had the foundations in place well before we needed them,” says Daniel.

By doing this, Urban has scaled its business knowing the foundation work could sustain additional strategic growth and pressures.

Have the right people onboard

Like any winning team, it’s a combination of factors that leads to success – the coach, the nutritionist, the physio, the players, and a clear game plan (strategy). Daniel explains what any good coach lives and breathes by: it’s crucial to have the right people onboard. They need to embrace what is there and be ready to improve it.

And at the end of the day, it comes down to your people and a culture that embraces learning and improvement – otherwise, systems become null and void.

Systems in place

Right from the start, Daniel knew the team needed solid systems in place so they could consistently deliver high quality and work efficiently.

Being systems-focused has allowed Urban to scale and grow and maintain quality. “It means when new people come on board, they are learning the right way to do things,” says Daniel.

Always strive to be better

The hunger that drives Daniel to success could be summarised by his last point, “Always look forward and look for better ways of doing things”.

Your team brings a diverse range of skills and experience to your business. Leverage their knowledge and strengths, and feed this across teams and into the business and systems. “We never feel like we’ve nailed it,” says Daniel.

Strategic improvement is a constant journey, you need to be quick to adapt and change. It ties back to having the right people on board – people who can see the value in change and improvement.

What planning do you do with your team on a quarterly basis? Do they all know what the game plan is? I highly recommend undertaking this team planning session each quarter. Coupled with an inspiring business story, this is a great way to kick the quarter off.

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