Word of the Day: Bridge

Word of the Day: Bridge from Blumer CPAs on Vimeo.


For Word of the Day, I’m going to tell you a little story. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Tacoma Bridge. They labeled it The Galloping Gertie Bridge. Back in 1940, they built this bridge to span some part of Washington where cars couldn’t get across, and it cut down commutes from two hours to like 15 minutes to get across this certain part of the water. But the bridge was not designed really well back in 1940, and so the bridge would waver like this. Actually, some people would take joy rides over it.

I want to talk about the bridge to you. There’s two main parts to your company that you need to consider. What I think a lot of creative professional services do is they focus on the car part, driving the car across the bridge. Basically, what that is, is service delivery, revenue creation, but there’s something else, there’s a second thing that’s really important, especially as you grow, is the support. It’s how the bridge was built. It’s the girdings underneath and it’s the team down there in support holding up this bridge.

Well, Galloping Gertie, this Tacoma Bridge in Washington was not built very well, so it not only buckled, but under a certain kind of wind oscillation, it started to twist. Eventually, this bridge ripped in half. You can look it up on YouTube. You can even see some videos back in 1940 of this bridge going up and down and then twisting, and then ultimately, ripping in half. It just makes me think that they didn’t focus on the support part of the bridge. They’re just focused on getting the asphalt down on the ground so cars can drive across it.

There’s more to running a business than that. You want to provide your services, your deliverables. You want to create revenue, but there’s a whole ‘nother thing people leave out as they grow, and that’s the support, how the bridge was built, how the firm was built, how is it being built, how is it being restructured, how is the structure of this company being assessed and changed.

As you grow, you do have to change the structure of your company because in growth, it’s true that what got you here won’t get you there. That basically means you can have a certain structured team model, business model that gets you so big, and then you get to a size where the owners just can’t provide the care they used to on a smaller size company. Then you have to change your structure. You have to readjust it. That’s called a reorganization a lot of times. That’s focusing on the support, not just the cars driving across the bridge.

I hope that little story drives it home. If you think we can help you focus on the support of your agency, that’s what we do. We come in and sometimes talk about the service delivery, those cars driving across the bridge, but a lot of times, we want to go down underneath the support and go, “Is it healthy down there?” A lot of times, it’s not, but if we can make that healthy and you can understand what it means to put support in, your agency’s going to get a lot better, more valuable. You’re going to enjoy working in your company a lot more. Let us know if we can help you. We would love to. Have a great day.

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