It's Not Just Business – It's Personal
By Bridgett Morales
VP & Managing Partner at Bloc Environmental Solutions
Starting a company with my partners was one of the scariest and most exciting things I have ever done. We took a leap of faith and decided to make a go of something that we were not sure would work... and as it turns out, it didn't – but that is another story. So, we pivoted. We modified our business plan and pointed our marketing efforts in a different direction.
This March is the anniversary of the first 2 major contracts we received from our first 2 big clients. We had exhausted most of our start-up money and had visited nearly every dry cleaner in three counties – also part of that other story – and were just about to quit when we reached out to some people with whom my partners had worked and built solid relationships during the courses of their careers. Those people met with us to learn more about what Bloc Environmental Solutions was all about. They saw our potential and gave us opportunities to prove to them that we could and would provide them outstanding service at a reasonable price.
A few months later, we met with another old friend who took her fight all the way to the plant manager to get us a waiver to perform work at her facility. Without 3 years of company history, her company was hesitant to hire us, but she put her name and reputation on the line to get us in and when we won the work. It meant the world to us that she would fight so hard to get us that job. She, like so many of our friends in the industry, cheer us on each time we see them because they want to see us succeed.
Each of these projects and programs have lead to more work for us as we have grown steadily and organically over the past few years. We have gone from being self-employed to employers of several dedicated employees. While we have built our company on the foundation of those original contracts, we have experienced some minor set backs and a few major wins for our small but growing company. Each year that we've been in business, we have experienced growth from the year before. And, while that achievement is certainly worth a pat on the back, we never lose site of the fact that without those solid relationships with people who were willing to take a chance on Bloc, we might not be here today.
One of the reasons our business is a success is because we make it personal. We are committed to our clients and our employees alike. The Bloc Heads know every single client contact that we have. We invest time and money to make sure that we are building solid relationships with them. We understand that they are key to making us successful. We know that if we call any of them for a referral, they can make or break what that new potential client decides based upon their experience with us.
We have stated that we want to provide a place of employment where talented people want to work. Although, we do not forget that we must make money to stay in business and succeed, we try to approach the role of "employer" from a personal perspective too. From their personal safety to their financial stability, we try to invest in our employees. We know that a paycheck is personal, but there are other things that can improve the lives of our employees. Through things like safety & skills training, boot vouchers, prescription safety glasses and competitive pay and benefits packages, we believe that if we can go that extra step for them, our employees will make an extra effort for Bloc.
Like every company, we've had our share of ups and downs. We have lost work from clients and had to change vendors who say "It's not personal, it's just business." That statement can sometimes feel like a punch to the gut for a small company, but we try not to take those words to heart.
We appreciate those people who have been willing to support our small and growing company because they knew us and knew that Bloc wouldn't let them down. For us, business is personal and we don’t ever want that to change.