Contractors and remodelers agree that 2009 has been a challenging year for our country and the residential construction industry. In spite of the current economic environment there are numerous examples of successful remodelers and contractors.
At the recent national NARI business meeting and Remodeling Show in Indianapolis, I met several such companies. These companies have adapted to the new economic environment skillfully. They are focused on working smarter to maximize their time. Some claim that they are not working any harder than before the recession hit. Following are some observations from these winners.
Working Smarter, Not Harder, Maximize Time
1. Identify your niche; insure that consumers want what you are offering. Find a void in the marketplace that your company is uniquely positioned to satisfy and then exploit it fervently.
2. Client type; define the type of clients you want to attract and work for and avoid the ones you do not want. The clients you don't want are time wasters, profit drainers and are not worth the trouble.
3. Your vision and plan; create your long term vision. Build a plan that stages your growth. Review your plan often and adapt to changing conditions.
4. Know your strengths and limitations; hire a team that is highly capable to create a balanced team. You cannot do it all yourself. Hire people that share your outlook, learn to trust them to help you fulfill your vision. Stategically align yourself with professional partners and trades.
5. Clearly share your vision and strategy to build your company with everyone on your team. Don't assume they know what you want by osmosis. Coach them thoroughly and validate that they understand what you expect. Praise for jobs well done often.
6. Deliver service that is REMARKABLE; your satisfied clients will stick to you. They will buy more and refer you to their friends.
7. Passion; make sure that what you are doing is something that you are passionate about. If you think your business is just a job you are probably in the wrong business, maybe you should get a job.
8. Have a life, stay fresh; on purpose make sure you take care of what is most important in life, family, fun, recreation, worship, health, self-development and down time. Sun up to sun down schedules lead to burnout, broken homes, loss of profit and poor health.
9. The right business model that matches successful construction companies; what ever the cost insure that your business model is in line with successful companies in your industry. Traits of a successful model include vision, goals, a business plan, capital, implemented systems, business education, legal compliance, certifications, the right employees, professional trade partners, sales training, effective marketing, use of technology, integrity, leadership, superior service, constant and on going training for all stake holders, coaching, the ability to be resilient and the willingness to embrace change positively.
One remodeler stated "the commitment and time to properly align my business with best practices in the industry was the best decision I ever made for my business. I now have more time for my family and the things that are most important to me. I have discovered that taking care of what's most important first makes me better when I am servicing my clients."