Since opening its first store in 1986, the foundation of Mattress Firm’s success has been built on a commitment to its core values: service, integrity and passion. Now, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, a three-decade journey has seen it grow from a single Houston store to 3,500 stores in 48 states. The following strategies can help grow the success of your business, too.
Be deeply connected and highly visible. Sophisticated product knowledge, meticulous financial measurements and high-level strategic planning are essential skills for every business leader. However, successful managers put just as much emphasis on getting to know people as they do learning markets and numbers. Building relationships with your customers, your community and your industry is essential to understanding how to serve their needs. Strong personal connections – between team members and management; the company and the community; and retailers and business partners – are the keys to the success of any business.
Be bold. A bold vision to revolutionize the sleep industry became a reality when the doors to the first Mattress Firm store opened July 4, 1986 in Houston. The founders, Steve Fendrich, Harry Roberts and Paul Stork, didn’t know at the time that a single store would grow into a publicly traded company with 10,000 employees nationwide, but they believed in their vision and their values. Plans written down on paper are great – they are used all the time to evaluate new markets and consider future opportunities, for example – but real leadership requires more than just a strategic plan; it takes boldness and the courage to act decisively on not only data-driven insights, but the knowledge that you’ve gained from your relationships in your industry and community.
Be passionate. It is essential for leaders to be passionate about their business for two reasons. First, customers respond best to someone who shows that they genuinely care about solving the problem that their product is intended to solve. Second, your passion will carry you through the inevitable setbacks along your way to success. Ask how your company helps your customers, then use that answer as inspiration when times get tough.
Invite others to share in your success. One of the most important things a leader can do is develop the next generation of leaders to ensure the ongoing success of the organization. This requires confidence on your part, as you cannot feel threatened by new ideas and new talent that are the natural result of cultivating a successful team. The emphasis on inclusivity and collaboration will trickle down through a company’s culture, creating an environment where all team members feel empowered to share both ideas and concerns in the spirit of constant improvement. Companies such as Mattress Firm foster a positive sense of discontent, feeling pride for far they’ve come, but always looking for ways to improve the customer experience. If you trust your team members, they will trust you. If you build a culture of clarity, accountability and respect, you will become an employer of choice that attracts, retains and develops top talent.
Mattress Firm’s founders dreamed big in 1986. They opened a store, but more importantly, they had a vision to improve lives through a better night’s sleep. Every day since then, passion, culture and community, combined with the willingness to do the hard work necessary to get the job done, has made that dream come to fruition. Learn more at MattressFirm.com.
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