Residential contractor business owners wear numerous hats running their business every day/week/month. You do your best trying to complete the necessary tasks on a timely basis to run your business. However, if you are like most owners you have a love and a passion for one or two of the hats you wear. You focus on the work under these hats first and then if time allows you proceed to the next hat(s).
Which hat or hats do you prefer to wear in your business?
Contractors who fill out our business survey for coaching say they like to wear the hats associated with owning and building. Most state that they do not care for the hats of sales, marketing or administrative. However they know they have to handle the work under the remaining hats at some point.
Nine Hats Residential Contractors Wear
Owner: you are the big kahuna and everyone answers to you. You are responsible for the company vision, leading the troops, taking all the risks, steering the boat and making sure all the tasks to service the customer are completed on time, on budget while yielding a profit. You are the risk manager and safety officer.
Production Manager: you run all the jobs, manage all the workers and subs, order all the materials, handle inspections, deal with the customers, address call backs and trouble shoot field issues, correct the mistakes of your employees.
Office Manager: you handle all the tasks associated with running the office, answer the phone, return phone calls, office equipment and supplies, human resources, insurance binders, input the data into QuickBooks and more.
Marketing Manager: you plan all the marketing and are responsible for branding, lead generation, website management, social media, blogging, networking and tracking the leads.
Estimator: you use your yellow pad or estimating software to come up with the right price to sell your work at a profit.
Designer: you design your work by hand or by computer
Carpenter: you build things sold by the salesperson.
Laborer, Gopher, Truck Driver: you do all the lower skilled work, digging holes, holding the end of the board, pick up the trash, demo the room, go and get the supplies someone forgot to order, pick up and deliver the equipment and more.
Book Keeper: you do the payable, receivables, payroll, banking and checks, produce reports and more...
Time and lost opportunity
Unfortunately focusing on one hat too much can cause problems for the business. For example if you prefer the production hat and are faced with a building issue that would take precedence over a sales appointment. You think I have to handle production matters first even if it means canceling a sales appointment. That may cost you a sale because the prospect wants what they want now. The homeowner thinks if you cancel a sales appointment what will happen if they hire you?
The challenge for many contractors is finding or making the time to work on the business and not be mired working in the business. Too many chain themselves to the business and spend much of their time putting out fires. Then at night after a long hard day of running from one emergency to another, the contractor has to do the paperwork! Ugh!
Take a look at the hats and ask yourself which ones do you wear? Then if you had your choice which hats would you like to wear? Do they match your passion?
As a business owner your time is limited and your interest in tasks that don't match your passion can cause frustration and quality of life issues. Choosing the right hats leads to better performance and peace of mind. To do so strive to develop systems and learn how to delegate as many tasks as possible beginning with the ones that do not match your passion and interest. Learn what you need to know about the other hats so you can responsibly make the right choices for your business then delegate.
Running your business
It is important for you to know and understand the tasks that must be accomplished for a well run business. However you do not need to be the person who does everything.
No one can do it all all the time. I know this may be hard for the first borns and control freaks who think that no one can do it as good as you. However at some point while doing everything and not trusting, you will come up against Father Time and you will miss opportunity right in front of you.
Choose the hats you love and strive to find and trust someone else to wear the hats you don't. You are the owner and your job priority is to make sure the job is done well by you or through you.