I wrote a post a few weeks ago about writing your business plan for 2009. How are you doing? We have a few more days until the New Year, will you be ready?
We met a contractor two weeks ago who is struggling with his 15 year business. and was curious if he used planning and goals for his business. We asked him if the results from this year matched up with his business plan and goals set at the end of last year. He replied that he always has his plan and goals in his head, he never writes the plan or goals down.
It is not uncommon for contractors to omit writing a business plan. Many contractors fell into the business with little of no business training. Many residential contractors will tell you they come from the school of hard knocks and that is all the training they need. Some have even told me they are hard headed and don't like change!
Unfortunately, this does not bode well for residential contractors who fail to plan. The residential homeowner is more savvy, educated and concerned who they invest their dollar with to work on their most valuable shrinking asset. A business without a plan will have a difficult time surviving in the new economy. Life and business are too confusing and hectic to try to navigate the waters without a clearly defined destination and a plan to get there.
One of the major fatal mistakes of residential contractors is the failure to write a basic business plan, set goals and define their strategy. Contractors with formal business education or commercial construction experience seem to be more likely to write a business plan and use goals, however this is not always the case.
For those contractors who have not written a plan there are several ways to learn how. It does not need to be perfect, just effective at describing what you are going to do and need to do, to reach your goals. You can research online, buy a business planning book form Journal of Light Construction book store, go to Borders, Amazon.com, go to the library, ask your CPA, hire a contractor business coach, join an association like NARI, NAHB, seek out a mentor, go to SCORE, and go to contractor forums to learn form other contractors.
Now that you know where you can go to obtain information on how to write a business plan will you do it?
A basic requirement of building a successful business is developing and writing down a business plan and goals. If you doubt this, ask 5 of the most successful people you know and convince yourself.
In December of 2009 when I meet you and ask how do your results of year 2009 match up with your business plan and goals you prepared at the end of year 2008?
What will your response be?
mark the coach