“It’s difficult to accept change, but if you don’t try out new things, there’s no doubt that you can only be left behind by the rest of your competitors.” – David Seruya
We chatted with the founder and CEO of the ServicePlus home warranty company, David Seruya, about how he’s been doing in the past couple of years and what he intends to do in the future! A full transcript of the interview with David Seruya has been provided below:
Then, let’s get right to it! There was lots of trouble these past couple of years, and running a business has no doubt been difficult. How have you been these days?
David Seruya: Although the last couple of years has indeed been tough, I’ve been doing pretty well. The business has been doing well too, of course. We focused a lot on improving our services and accommodating the unique needs brought upon by the pandemic, which hit our business just as much as it did everyone else.
Looking forward, what do you think is the greatest challenge for your business’s growth?
David Seruya: Currently, we’re fairly stable, but I’m the kind of person that believes that there is always room for improvement.
To give an example, I’ve been paying close attention to our staff recently. I want to make sure that everyone is in the right seats and working towards the same goal. This means looking back at our hiring process, reviewing personal accomplishments, improving the business environment, experimenting with delegation, and so on.
Have you received any advice in the past that helped you after the pandemic started? What was it and how did it help?
David Seruya: Don’t fall in love with a single idea! This is advice that I was given a long time ago, but it proved to be especially useful these last couple of years. It’s difficult to accept change, but if you don’t try out new things, there’s no doubt that you can only be left behind by the rest of your competitors.
Suffice to say, this helped me a lot when it came to employing some of the more radical changes in ServicePlus’s offerings in recent years — especially when it came to things that worked well previously but performed poorly as a result of the repercussions of COVID-19.
On the subject of your daily routine, how many hours do you spend in front of a computer?
David Seruya: I can’t say that there’s a specific amount of time. I don’t personally enjoy just sticking behind a computer all the time. I even shut myself off from emails when I’m spending time with my family during the weekends. So, it really depends on the work available. Though, of course, in recent times, what with social distancing, I’m sure I spent more time in front of the computer than I’ve done in a long while!
A lot of people chose to leave their jobs behind in 2021. Did you suffer the same loss? If so, how did you deal with it?
David Seruya: I treat my people carefully, but yes, even we had several resignations last year that came unexpectedly. It was a difficult year for everyone, so I took it as a side-effect of the pandemic and the economic disturbances that were caused by it. But, of course, that didn’t stop me from trying to improve the work environment in ServicePlus and taking a look at what could be done to make my team more comfortable and productive.
Looking forward, what’s your definition of success in 2022? Is there anything you’re particularly working towards?
David Seruya: This year, my focus is on self-improvement. I don’t want to fall behind and end up dragging my people and my company down, so I intend to do all I can to strengthen myself.
Earlier, we talked a bit about how you dealt with your team. Would you say that you’re more of a team player? Or are you actually more of a lone wolf?
David Seruya: I’m definitely the former. I enjoy communicating with my team members and I take it as my responsibility to help the younger players to broaden their horizons a bit more.
Is there a leadership skill that you’re known for in particular?
David Seruya: I think that would have to be empathy. As mentioned earlier, I’m a particularly communicative person. And, as someone who talks with my people a lot, I’ve slowly learned over the years how to properly empathize with one’s experiences while encouraging them to be more proactive in the future.
In anycase, by helping them achieve their goals, they also help me and the company achieve their goals, which is a win-win situation in my book.
Alright! To end us off on a light note, let’s answer a fun question! If you were to be given a “business superpower” what skill would you ask for?
David Seruya: If it’s a superpower, I’d like one that can help me encourage my team even better. Delegation was one of the things that I struggled with in the beginning, and it’s still something I work on today.