Farah Majidzadeh knows about growth.
Her company, Resource International Inc., has grown about 22 percent each year for the past four years, bringing revenues into the $10 million range. This year, she is hoping that growth will jump to between 30 and 32 percent. And when Majidzadeh talks about her 26-year-old civil engineering firm in this way, you can be sure she knows exactly what she is talking about. She is a firm believer in control the very thing to which she attributes the companys outstanding growth.
My financial statement comes to me every 15th of the month because I need to see if there is a loss or gain, she says. If I wait, it is too late.
By doing this, Majidzadeh can see if anything is wrong and correct the problem before it gets larger.
With 150 employees and five offices, Majidzadeh practices this type of control daily. Not a pencil or piece of paper is purchased without a requisition, and the accounting department brings everything to her for approval. When the company spends money, whether it is for equipment, seminars or travel, the question must always be answered: Can it be covered with this job? All spending must be justified.
This same policy carries over into the companys hiring practices, where high-level employees such as technicians and computer specialists are the norm.
If you are hiring for expertise, you must give them a job that can pay for their salary, she says. That is the only way you can have control.
Majidzadeh also refuses to put Resource International at the mercy of banks, arguing that if something goes wrong, they do not understand your business. Thats why she follows the strict policy of paying off all loans for a project before that project is complete and never letting debt drag. The next project will soon come along with its own set of expenses, she figures.
Resource International houses its own legal counsel, comptroller and accounting department, choosing to keep everything except the architectural end of the business in-house. Its the best way she can monitor quality.
One of the most important things for repeating clients is quality, she says.
Written by Lori Murray, a Columbus-based free-lance writer.