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Desigining A Business to Scale with Habit Studio

Case Study: Designing a Business to Scale

Carla Sorrell

In 2018, Judy Obersi and Lorrie Rand were spending long hours doing what they loved, designing homes. They were gaining a reputation for their work, but lacked the know-how to transform their creative practice into a scalable business. 

After founding Habit Studio in 2016, they had built a strong client base and were generating multiple six figures in revenue. But they were working 40+ hours a week trading dollars for hours to deliver custom design work to every client. 

They wanted to scale their company – they just didn’t know how to do it, because the design industry demands bespoke projects.

Judy and Lorrie had been listening to the Power + Presence + Position podcast and decided to join the Power + Presence + Position Business Accelerator. They wanted to clarify their message, position their up-and-coming firm among a sea of competitors, and build a scalable business model.

Designing a Business to Scale

In the Preeminent Positioning System – which is taught in the Power + Presence + Position program, established founders focus to scale. They niche down, craft a scalable business model, and develop a powerful message that positions their company in a true Category of One. 

Niching down had a BIG impact for Judy and Lorrie. Creating a clear message about their unique offer, and introducing a marketing strategy, garnered results: “We have become known for doing what we do.”

Immediately they saw that the message had landed with their clients. On a site visit, one client said she had hired them because of the strength of their message, repeating their newly inked mission statement back to them verbatim.

The program helped Lorrie and Judy identify another big problem — they were under-charging their clients. Reassessing their rates and establishing annual revenue targets were two significant changes that positioned the business to scale. 

“By having our systems and processes in place, and by understanding that it’s not about growth, it’s about scaling. It has helped us make a business out of designing houses only — and most architects will tell you that that’s not possible.”

Judy Obersi
@ Habit Studio

A Catagory of One

Judy and Lorrie had some initial concerns that their business was different from the other businesses in PPP. Their goal wasn’t to design a “scalable offer.” Rather, they wanted to ensure that they could make time for doing the design work that they love, as well as running the company. 

But those concerns were quickly addressed by the quality of attention they received for their unique business. They continued to work with Team Safi, instead of moving to architecture-focused coaching firms, because of the rigor of the coaching and the business expertise. 

“Architects and designers are very idealistic. It’s not about the business, it’s not about the money, it’s about the design and it’s about the building. But when you’re an entrepreneur, there is a business side of things.”

Lorri Rand

Judy and Lorrie went on to join The Jewel Business Accelerator, a year long program where Safi Media partners with founders to bring their Jewel Business to life by creating a 7-figure ecosystem. In their second year of The Jewel Business Accelerator, they amplifyied the results they saw through the earlier programs, creating a truly scalable business model. 

“It definitely felt like an investment. But we did feel huge reassurance from the level of support in the first interactions that we had.”

Lorri Rand

Thinking Big

As a result of the coaching they received in The Jewel Business Accelerator, Lorrie and Judy experienced a huge mindset shift towards their business. They allowed themselves to move away from thinking SMALL to thinking BIG. They were then able to envision and implement a structure for sustainable growth, and to build assets that would be easy to repeat. 

The Jewel Business Accelerator helped them transform their hiring processes. Initially, hiring was a reactive response to the immediate need for a specific skill. Today, they have well-thought out hiring plans that ensure they can grow while maintaining high quality and customer service standards. 

“We’ve gone from being people who didn’t know anything about business to now employing a group of seven women.” 

Judy Obersi

Through working with Team Safi’s coaches, they realized there were further other opportunities in the market that they could position themselves to take advantage of. They launched a second business focused specifically on scaling retrofits — a service that will be critical in terms of meeting Canada’s climate targets and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Joining has been a game changer for our business. I don’t think we would have survived the pandemic without the support,” says Lorrie.

Not only did Habit Studio survive the pandemic — an incredibly busy and chaotic time for the construction industry — they THRIVED through it, reporting a 40% annual increase in revenue and securing 1.5 million in signed contracts. WHY? Because they had systems in place to manage their business strategically and effectively.