Case Study In How To Drive Business Growth: Big Ass Fans

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 5/2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.

Big Ass Fans!

You’ve got to admit that it IS a memorable name.

I was in Lexington, KY a couple years ago, and I had the opportunity to tour their offices and product development area with a client of mine in the building industry who is one of their customers.

They used to be called HVLS, as in High Volume, Low Speed.

Not too catchy.

They changed their name after their customers kept calling and asking if they were the ones who made “those big ass fans.”

They make them up to 24-feet wide and have some big ass goals to go along with their fans.

Let’s take a look at the strategy this company used to drive business growth.

A company culture that WORKS

Their culture is not for everyone and maybe that’s why it works so well.

It attracts winners with a growth mindset who have the attitude that, once hired, they will effectively “run their own business” within the company.

Founder Carey Smith wants to build a company that will last.

His plan is to become a 200-year company that always acts in the long-term interests of its customers, employees and suppliers.

One of the ways Carey’s company has continued to succeed is diversifying. They’ve branched into lighting and they’re now called Big Ass Solutions.

To achieve this, Carey knows he must foster a culture that expects greatness – and I mean greatness.  

At Big Ass, their goal is to achieve 20-40% growth EACH year.

That’s the expectation – and they’ve achieved it year after year.

And that amazing growth is not a surprise. It’s the status quo.

It’s astounding, especially when you consider that most companies are happy with single-digit growth.

Cultivating productivity

Carey’s goal is to do what it takes to create the environment to have his employees be as productive as possible – a key driver for the company to grow.

At their main building, they have a cantina with lunch professionally catered in each day – and the company subsidizes it.

They have large industrial refrigerators so people can bring their own lunch, too.

Plus, they have an onsite store so snacks are close by, and free fruit stands are located throughout the building that changes with the season.

If people have to go off site for lunch, it takes twice them as long as eating in.

Making provisions for employees to stay on-site is inexpensive, healthy and quick.

Think about which days of the week are tougher for some employees to get in on time?

Typically it’s Monday and Friday, right?

Big Ass Solutions offers FREE breakfast when you arrive on time those days.

That’s a nice – and effective – incentive.

A wide variety of coffee is free, too.

They also have a game room next to the catina to give the team an easy way to have fun, bond and get the competitive juices flowing.

The bottom line is, it’s a small investment to make the employees more effective.

But that’s not all.

Plenty of bikes and helmets are available so employees can get outside for some exercise.

To help drive health and fitness, they run regular Fitness Challenges and give way valuable prizes.

They also offer employees discounted gym memberships.

As I toured the facility, I noticed that almost everyone was in good shape and the energy was easy to feel.

Want to implement something similar in your workplace to drive business growth?

Innovation at work

Another interesting factor that stuck out to me was the lack of offices.

Carey is the only one with an office.

Big Ass Solutions utilizes more of a bullpen approach with cubicles.

One recommendation I made to the company was to contact Workrite Ergonomics and look into the latest Sit/Stand desk solutions. I have had mine (Solace model) for awhile now and love it!

They also fight complacency by having many of the different job functions rotate every 9-12 months.

I know what you’re thinking.

They only do it where it makes sense! No engineers get moved to accounting, for example.

Sales-team style for success

The sales group has their own culture for sure.

I believe that celebration is a part of their secret to success, and in large part, drives their growth.

Every time a $25,000+ sale is made, there’s a fun energy  – and a little jealousy – in the sales area.

Each sales team has their own bell, gong or some other similar noise-maker.

Here’s what happened when I was there and one of the teams got their sale finalized:

They played their jam song for about 15 seconds, approached the area with a little “swag” and then pounded the gong!

They were proud and everyone took notice and worked diligently so it would be their turn soon.

Here’s another fun way the sales team stays motivated:

When they reach their sales goal for the day, they open up the beer refrigerator after work and everyone can celebrate!

Caption: Big Ass’ sales bell.

Carey has done an amazing job of creating a culture that expects and demands massive growth.

Big Ass Solutions simply does not know any better.

You can have amazing success and reach the growth goals you’ve only dreamed of.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are you current sales goals?
  • What is the expectation?
  • How can you make it easier for your team to be more productive?
  • Are you celebrating your success like you should?

How to Drive Business Growth

It was so rewarding and validating to see a company that had put into practice so many of the strategies I have recommended over the years – with such great success.

From providing lunch on-site, a free-breakfast incentive and encouraging fitness, Big Ass Solutions is a shining example of setting your employees – and ultimately, your business – up for success.

And it’s clearly working.

With a growth rate of 20-40% a year, they are expanding rapidly in the U.S. and internationally.

You can take a cue from this outstanding company and experience the same incredible results.

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