What allows you to have a business that works and produces profits? The answer is systems with clearly defined processes and procedures. The systems needed to run a fine tuned contractor business are marketing, sales, production and administration. In our training, we use the Four Legged Chair analogy to represent these four systems. Each leg must be strong to prevent the chair from falling over or collapsing.
The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog
With the winter upon us, now is the perfect time to work on your business. With a down economy and the normal slowdown of remodeling work during the winter, now is the time to be reviewing and analyzing our entire business. We can be proactive and use this time to make changes to our business to be in a competitive position when the slowdown is over. The economy will turn around and those companies who are prepared for the inevitable increase in leads and business, will be ready to take advantage of a new and ever demanding customer. They will be anxious to catch up on long delayed projects. Many people are holding off on desired projects due to the uncertainty in the economy. This pent up demand will be released and the professional improved companies will be ready to take advantage of the opportunity. If you are not prepared you will miss out.
Owning and operating a residential contracting business presents unique challenges for contractors servicing the homeowner market. These challenges are unique because the industry has very little structured business training for residential contractors who provide services to a savvy, demanding and educated consumer. Contractors with formal business education or experience from the commercial construction industry tend to do better with today's homeowner consumer if they use and apply, industry best practices and systems.
Many small business owners become trapped thinking that they have to do everything themselves. At times they think that because no one can do it as well as them that it is more effective to do it themselves. If you are a small business owner and don't want to grow this may work ok. However, if you want to grow, the odds are stacked against you if you are a CEO owner wearing most of the hats. We are seeing many contractors who say they want to grow, stubbornly resisting giving up control of tasks that can and should be done by someone other than the CEO. Contractors are not the only profession exhibiting this behavior. It is prevalent in many different types of businesses. In contracting, it is not uncommon to see the CEO running the company, handling the sales, running production, driving nails, making collection calls, and anything else they think that only they can do. This feeling of invincibility that they can do it all is not without grave dangers to the health of the business and the owner. It contributes to poor health, burnout, marital issues, questionable judgment, employee issues, money problems and sometimes heart attacks.
As 2008 comes to a close are you working on your business plan for 2009? Have you assessed the results of 2008?