Off Balance There are times when the remodeling business feels like this juggling act. You may be masterful at sales or marketing or production or building a great team, but can you keep all of these important “balls” in the air at the same time without dropping one?
Most remodelers are challenged not by the individual tasks or problems but by the strain of having to attend to all of them at once. The phone may be ringing off the hook, but somehow your close rate starts to slip and the quality of the client experience begins to drift.
Or maybe you have a great sales quarter, but your production flow is bottled up and profit margins are down.
Here are some tips on how to master the art of juggling all of your responsibilities so you can have a healthy, profitable business and still be stress-free.
Know Where You're Going
Have an image of where you are heading and, ideally, a plan on how you are going to get there. A juggler knows exactly where the next ball in the air is going to come down. Without a plan, you don't know what to expect, and your business keeps you guessing.
Focus, Focus, Focus Know your key indicators — your vital signs. A juggler focuses on the balls in the air, not the crowd or the music or the dozens of other distractions that surround him. If you are not clear about where to focus, it is too easy to get caught up on the hundreds of other variables. Start by tracking leads, sales, gross margin, and overhead expenses. Once you have these under control, expand your focus to include indicators like close rates, lead times, revenue per team member, and so on.
Build a Team Communicate your goals. A pair of jugglers can juggle twice as many objects. You will not be able to accomplish great things by yourself. You need to build a team that will take ownership of the challenges with you.
Adjust as Necessary Make changes to stay on course. A juggler makes minor adjustments to maintain balance, to alter the height of each throw or the speed or arc of the balls. Even if you master the first three steps, your business will not run on autopilot. It needs you at the helm to make little tweaks that keep you on plan.
Practice Makes Perfect Juggling isn't easy — it only looks that way when it is mastered. In the same way, running a successful remodeling business will always be hard work. But you can make it a little easier by implementing these fundamentals. It isn't something you can master overnight. Take a lesson from the jugglers and progress gradually from the simple to the complex. Take on one new aspect of your business at a time, and when you're comfortable that you're on the right track and have good control, turn your attention to the next area. Eventually, you'll be able to take on each new “ball” of responsibility effortlessly — just like the master juggler. —Mark Richardson is president of Case Design/Remodeling and Case Handyman Services, Bethesda, Md., and the author of 30-Day Remodeling Fitness Program. He can be reached at (301) 229-4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.