We had the good fortune of connecting with Lucas SHAFFER and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lucas, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?

You don’t have to be a millionaire to be successful. It seems simple, but the truth is I started out thinking the sky is my limit. And rightfully so, I could have continued to pile on products and services and hire more people but to what end. It seemed the faster I went and higher we climbed, the higher the obstacles and the slower the pivots.
It wasn’t until the last four years (out of 12 now) that I realized that the successful business I wanted to build made a profit, had a great culture, supported our team members as creative students, provided transparency in our process, and stayed thoughtfully accountable to our customers. If you make a million dollars a year, fine! With proper training, a reduced service catalog, and a leading example of how to communicate with our customers, I’ve been able to step back from working in the business to working on the business.
The systems in place now allow for scaling up while also being nimble enough to scale down when needed. We have 14 people who help push our business forward with over 110 clients. If I become a millionaire now, it means we are entering other markets, and our process is continuing to produce good results. I learned, from my journey, going from being a business owner to becoming an entrepreneur is the process of working yourself out of your business to a point it can run on its own. There is a big difference between and business owner and an entrepreneur.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

We sell the most marketed, least appreciated, and snakiest oil services on the planet. Every day business owners get a handful of emails about Google and how they are doing something wrong with their online visibility. The market is inundated with lost-cost options and hobbyists that manage social media or have managed some aspect of digital marketing in some manner. On top of that, our industry is overrun with sales groups that seek a volume of clients over successful outcomes. For these reasons, Stand And Stretch has had to adapt and grow to an accountability level not seen in our industry.
We’ve developed systems of communication that keep our clients aware of what we are doing every day, who did it, and how long it took them. This time log feature of our services has given us a tremendous advantage in a heavily marketed arena where getting asked what you did was a frequent question asked by customers. Our customers enjoy frequent, sometimes daily, updates on how their project or campaign is progressing on a task-by-task basis. Just imagine if you put your car in the shop for a repair and you received a daily digest of what was inspected, who did it, and how long it took them. Wouldn’t that be nice? You can ask our clients, and they love it!
This progression of awareness in our process and day-to-day work has allowed us to lean away from monthly meetings and start a consistent dialogue with our clients increasing their affinity for our services, our business culture, and how we do it. We transition quickly from vendors to partners with our clients in a red ocean market and they tend to stick around.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Born and raised in Columbus, GA, I place all bets on our small business community. From our restauranteurs, hospitality folks, and entrepreneurs, there are a few gems I recommend for a week-long trip to this area. My morning stop would be Fountain City Coffee for a hometown roastery blend with lots of caffeine.
Then I would send my friends to Brickyard Bikes to rent a bike and ride down the riverwalk to take in the geography and first-hard experience of the importance our river has on our community. It’s low intensity and stretches the length of North to South Columbus/Fort Benning. For lunch, I would sneak in the bar area with friends at JarFly for a light snack and local cocktail while the business crowd fills in the seats. Afterward, I would head up to the Columbus Botanical Gardens and check on the season’s blooms and enjoy the Camelia walk and take a lot of pictures! As dinner approached, I would scoot over to Stock Market in Downtown Columbus for fresh oysters and a custom cocktail with freshly cooked branzino or whatever the special was that week. Shortly after, I would recommend a walk in downtown Columbus to experience the vendors and specialty shops that have grown in that area. Then sleep and repeat with my recommendations below.
Make sure to grab the coffee before you go each day. Between 1-3 pm, go visit Joseph and Kelly at Wasabi on Bradly Park and enjoy my favorite sushi spot. It tends to be after the rush, and they love to talk. Ask for a “Lucas Special.” Check-in with Trevor at Trevioli’s at The Rapids after 7 pm and beg them to make their lasagna. If they do, you may have to come back the next day! If they don’t, you’ll be just fine with their pasta on any dish.
If you like to hike/mountain bike, go get lost at the latest professional trail system in Georgia called Standing Boy Trails. You will spend hours in the dense riparian zone at this reserve so bring a GPS and strong phone battery. Lastly, if you can make the happy hour at Old Chicago, you will be rewarded with fresh brews and good conversation. So hang out and rehydrate.
So many other things come to mind but you only have one week!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are very few people who’ve been able to keep me centered and help counter my rough theories on work and life. But my wife, Whitney Shaffer, has been the strongest proponent in my journey and has, even in bad times, helped conjure the energy, perseverance, and strength to continue building on an idea that became our business.

Website: lucaslshaffer.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lucaslshaffer/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucaslshaffer/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/lucaslshaffer/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucaslshaffer/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LucasShaffer1980/featured

Other: standandstretch.com dadurday.com

Image Credits
John Pyle johnpylephotography.com

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