Critical Numbers™: Gross Margin
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Critical Numbers™: Gross Margin
Founded in 2001, Venturity provides outsourced accounting, as well as fractional CFO and operational consulting services, to privately-held companies, with the goal of providing them with peace of mind knowing that their financial information is accurately represented and tells the story of their business.
Find a way to get the entire company aligned around increasing Gross Margin and becoming more profitable, something they had struggled with moving the needle on for years.
Embrace The Great Game of Business® (GGOB) with the help of their coach, Wayne Whitesell, by truly giving team members A Stake in the Outcome® based on company-wide goals they all helped set, combined with a consistent, clearly defined game process. The Venturity team began playing GGOB as a full company in June 2017.
Since kicking off playing GGOB, Venturity has evolve from a company with a 37% gross margin to a company that has a gross margin of 45% and a bottom line that’s increased 10% every year since. In 2020, they grew 9% to surpass $6 million in revenue for the first time in their history (while generating record level profits) in spite of the economic headwinds caused by the pandemic. “In the past two years of practicing GGOB, we have experienced challenges and successes-both of which have taught us many lessons and brought us closer as a team,” says CEO Chris McKee. “By staying true to the process and trusting in each other, we have found that we can reach our goals and have A Stake in the Outcome. As a result of The Game, I'm much more present with my family as I spend less time worrying about the company. The team is continually improving our operations and striving for more success, and they are the ones who are best positioned to make that a reality and do it every day.”
“Everyone is more invested in the everyday actions and decisions of the company, and actively engages in helping the company improve its processes. It's given me a level of comfort knowing that I can see how our company is trending. In this case, 2020 was the best year our company has ever had, which sure doesn't create any questions about job stability.”
~ Justin LeBrilla, Staff Accountant
Since the beginning of 2020, the Venturity team was challenged to dig even deeper as they faced operational challenges and uncertainties brought on by COVID-19. Playing The Game has allowed them to look forward, move quickly to take action, and adapt to stay on track. As a result, 2020 ended up being their best year yet with revenue growing by 9% and gross margin averaging 42.3%. “We couldn’t be more grateful for this system and the sense of comfort we derive from having up-to-date information at our fingertips and the shared knowledge of what to do with this information,” says Deanna Walker, Chief Revenue Officer. “We realized how flexible we can be and have found that GGOB has provided us with new ways to come together, even during a time of physical distance.” The company also made the move to becoming 20% ESOP owned in November of 2020. “GGOB perfectly complements this big move and supports our ongoing ownership mindset, now with an even more tangible form of ownership,” says Walker.
Although most of their staff worked remotely due to the pandemic, the Venturity team managed to play two successful MiniGames in 2020. The first one, called “Summer Lovin’" inspired by the Grease movie theme, was aimed at improving participation in the company’s internal committees and events. The other game was designed to get the entire team engaged in building the company’s online marketing and social media presence. Over a 10-week period, they increased their LinkedIn engagement rate from a 5.5% average to a 15.85% average and helped reinforce ownership thinking throughout the organization.
“GGOB is at the very center of Venturity. It allows everyone to play a role in the success of the business, not just from a financial perspective, but also a culture perspective. It brings everyone together in a way not usually seen in the corporate world.”
~ Logan Clary, Project Manager
“Part of playing The Game is learning along the way,” says McKee. “We have learned so much and yet we know there is so much more we can do.” As a result, one of the first initiatives the Venturity team is tackling in 2021 is investing in stepped up training for their Design Team, also known as the Venturity Experience Team or VET. “We’ve injected new leadership and brought new team members onto the VET,” he says, “and we need to invest in training them about what it means to be on the VET. Our Design Team owns The Game, they keep the flame of GGOB burning.” Revisiting their Critical Number may also be on the agenda as well, as the launch of the ESOP; 2020 has challenged the team to align their scoreboard with the goals of the ESOP. The team is also leaning into the High-Involvement Planning™ model to identify new business lines they can open in 2022 and 2023, as well as completing their five-Year Budget. “Playing The Game has completely solidified our culture and has given everyone a voice and the empowerment to speak up and know that their opinion matters and is valued,” says Walker.
“GGOB has become a cornerstone of the Venturity ‘way of life.’ It has brought us all together with a solid understanding of our goals, kept us eager to participate and gives everyone a role to play in The Game. GGOB has taken our team-based culture to the next level.”
~ Tori McLaughlin, Marketing Coordinator
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