How Greg Theroux Is Transforming A Traditional Industry With Agility And Innovation by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Greg Theroux. Credit: Sasha Smolina

Sasha Smolina

When Greg Theroux founded his company, Heritage Building Maintenance, in 2011 out of Des Moines, Iowa, he envisioned it as a regional, commercial cleaning company that offered real solutions to large companies. Eight years later, Heritage has experienced the kind of growth that most companies dream of – propelling Greg into a journey to transform both his company and himself as a leader. 

Growth From a Surprising Source

When I last spoke with Greg, his commercial cleaning company had grown into The Heritage Group, which included his legacy company, Heritage Building Maintenance, and Heritage Microbial Control – his latest innovation. Greg planned to use his new microbial program to better position Heritage Group to scale beyond the greater Des Moines area. His concern was that Heritage would outgrow the region and need to expand. 

Greg launched a promotional program to kickstart his new division, and began to grow its client base. Also growing, however, was his legacy company, which offered more traditional commercial cleaning services. Its growth was so great, in fact, that Greg had to slow down growing the microbial program in order to secure and maximize growth of his first division. 

That was in the fall of 2017. Nearly two years later, growth has held steady at about 40% year over year. Greg’s decision to pause on expanding outside Des Moines has proved a correct one, as he continues to keep pace with the needs of the region. 

“We’ve branched out a little bit, [but we] still consider ourselves a greater Des Moines business, and still the business is coming in. We don’t see a reason at this point to expand beyond the Greater Des Moines area.”

Greg’s ability to adjust quickly and leverage growth opportunities is a testament to his brilliance and to his business model – one of the most successful models that a business can implement.

Tried & True Business Model

Small company solving a problem for big companies. It’s a business model that I’ve seen used time and again. It has never lost popularity throughout history, because it works so well. Greg’s Heritage Group is no exception. By focusing on a service that large companies need – keeping workspaces clean – Heritage has grown from $4 million in revenues to a projected $10 million this year. They also made the Inc. 5000 list for the past three years running with a total three year growth rate of 265%. Greg couldn’t be happier, though he notes that this kind of fast growth comes with its challenges.

“It’s extremely challenging for those of us that have been in high fast growth businesses. You’ve got to make decisions and [..] be very intentional about what you do.”

Intentionality and adaptability is exactly how Greg is adjusting himself and his business’ systems in response to Heritage’s amazing growth. Heritage has grown by almost 100 employees in two years, most of them as feet on the street, performing the contracted services. Greg expanded his support team as well, hiring on a financial team, HR people, and a controller. He realized that his leadership had to shift away from involvement in the day-to-day operations. He accomplished this by putting a strong management team in place. That team handles administration, freeing Greg to focus on delivering his vision for the future and finding the right talent to make that vision a reality. His vision? A new way to define clean that the market didn’t even realize it needed.

Envisioning The Future

Heritage Microbial Control offers a new way to clean commercial buildings that focuses on reducing pathogens. Most commercial cleaning companies focus on “straightening up,” and making the office look good; however, that level of service does very little to actually reduce the bio-toxic burden in the workplace. Greg’s microbial program aims to change that. 

Their innovative service is already gaining traction. Very few companies in Greg’s industry are incorporating a program like this. Greg and his team take their inspiration for the idea directly from their clients – by listening, researching, and looking at the services their clients need in a different way. 

“We want to know why they need that service. And from there we’re figuring out how to help them. We’re in the cleaning business, but, really, our job is to make their workplace healthier. And that’s really the key.”

Greg’s visionary approach to forging new niches in the market is the difference between companies that never grow past a certain point, and ones that become giants. Through research and innovation, Greg and his team are propelling their industry forward. For Greg, it’s all part of the fun.

“We love to make the changes before they’re required. So we’re constantly talking to people to research and find out what’s next. When we come to market, we’re so far ahead of where everyone is even thinking at this point that it’s just an absolute blast to work on.”

Though most of their innovation is funneled towards the microbial division, Greg indicates that the forward thinking energy has infected the whole company, as even the team from the legacy building maintenance division works to achieve the company’s next success goal.

With the greater agility of a small business, and innovative vision, Greg is guiding Heritage through lightning fast growth and paving the road into a bigger, healthier future – one that I’m excited to watch unfold. I’ll be following along with Greg’s journey to continue The Heritage Group’s growth throughout the Des Moines region and beyond.

To listen to my full interview with Greg Theroux, click here.

July 10, 2019 at 12:16PM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/lewisschiff/2019/07/10/how-greg-theroux-is-transforming-a-traditional-industry-with-agility-and-innovation/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
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