Professional Groups Provide Powerful Ideas for Growth and Improvement

There are a variety of groups that can be beneficial to join in order to gain new perspectives on how to grow and improve your operations

Professional Groups Provide Powerful Ideas for Growth and Improvement

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As the co-owner of Lutz Plumbing in Shawnee, Kansas, Amber Lutz-Sewell has one official business partner: her father, Jim Lutz. But she also relies on dozens of unofficial “partners” via professional best-practice organizations that provide her with business strategies and tips that have moved the fourth-generation family business forward on many fronts.

“These groups help us keep a big-picture perspective,” she says. “If you have aspirations to grow, you need to have some kind of game plan for the future. These groups help you think through how that’s going to look and how to execute it.”

The two primary groups that have most benefited Lutz Plumbing are the Service Nation Alliance and an affiliated group called the Service Roundtable. Service Nation Alliance owns Service Roundtable.

“We get a ton of benefits from both organizations,” Lutz-Sewell says. “They’re an incredible value. I’d advise everyone to join groups like these. They teach you how to work on the business, not in the business.”

One of the benefits of the company’s Service Nation Alliance membership is weekly conference calls with owners of similar-sized businesses nationwide. The topics covered during the calls might range from recruiting and retaining quality employees and personal professional development to work-life balance and ways to work more efficiently. The membership also provides rebates for buying certain supplies and materials; the rebates can help offset the membership costs, she says.

The company joined the Service Roundtable in 2011 and the Service Nation Alliance in 2015. The memberships in those two groups — along with past memberships in other similar groups — helped the company establish some major components of the company’s customer service efforts, including its Lutz Loyalty Club and a quality-control program that includes follow-up calls to customers after technicians leave job sites, Lutz-Sewell says.

“We’re constantly evolving and learning how to give our customers the best service experience and technology. These groups help us figure out what works best and why,” she says. “They definitely can help you grow.”


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