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Aug 22, 2018

Have you ever wondered how you can effectively scale a service-based business without losing quality and your sanity? Today’s guest expert shares a case study on how she scaled a reception business to 500 employees and $50 million dollars.


15 years ago, Jill Nelson started from humble beginnings, but has grown her business, Ruby Receptionists, into a four-time winner of FORTUNE magazine’s top five Best Small Companies to Work for, and has helped over 8,000 small businesses across the US service and create loyal customers. Today, she shares a case study of how she was able to make it all possible.


Jill found out after graduating from university that her accounting degree just wasn’t for her. On a whim, she took a receptionist position and that’s when things clicked. She learned that there was real value in having a personal connection while growing a successful business. She was a critical touch point for the company.


Jill wanted to create an executive suite, but she had no money and she had no business experience. After obtaining a business loan, she was able to launch everything an executive suite could offer… minus the office space. Jill used her resources wisely and learned early on what her unique value proposition was and used it to her advantage.


With an extreme focus on friendly and attentive customer service, Jill’s client feedback praised the receptionist for making an excellent first impression on their customers and helping them land new client deals because he/she sounded professional and knowledgeable over the phone.


This very friendly and personalized service can be difficult to scale up, but Jill has managed to grow it to nearly 500 employees and still retain a personalized feel for each of her customers.


Jill has maintained this consistency by having a lot of systems in place and also by their trademarked ‘service pyramid’ that outlines clearly their business model and how they deliver exceptional service to their customers. The service pyramid is a bit of a regulation cheatsheet meets personalize service that incentivizes rule breaking.


Interview Links:

Jill on LinkedIn



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Scaling Up Website

Gazelles Website

Bill on YouTube




“The phone call is the most important touch point for your customers and your new customers.


“We just won a new client because the receptionist was so nice or we just won a new customer because you actually answered your phone!”


“How can you make a personal connection when you have all these rules and regulations?”


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Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...And Why the Rest Don’t, is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed, where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher, host of the Scaling Up Business Podcast and a leading business coach with Gazelles.


We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).