You’ve heard it before but it bears repeating: Running your company with procedures and systems adds huge value to your business. But how do you carve out time to create those systems? John Rogers, owner of John Rogers Renovations, in Woodstock, Ga., found an efficient, affordable path to systematizing much of the operations of his business: He hired an intern.
To find prospects, Rogers tapped his on-staff designer, a recent college graduate, who posted the opening on her Facebook account. The response was positive. The young man whom Rogers hired finished college with an architecture degree and was job hunting. “His enthusiasm for the project and his attention to detail — communicated by the questions he asked — were keys to hiring him,” Rogers says.
The intern worked week by week for $250 per week. On the first day, he shadowed Rogers and they discussed what the final operations document would look like and what process would be used to create and save the files.
Then the intern shadowed the project manager and took notes. “[The PM] talked about every aspect of producing a job for John Rogers Renovations,” Rogers says. At the end of each day, the intern would review his notes and put them into a Google Doc, which he shared with Rogers. The process started slowly with the intern asking Rogers if the material was being documented the way he wanted it. The intern would then edit the text based on Rogers’ responses.
The more transcribing the intern did, the more accurate the information became. “Using this system was easy,” Rogers says. “And because [our intern] communicated well, the end result was fantastic. Now we keep the documents on Google Docs and update them as we see fit. The intern managed to get the basic information in the computer on about two-thirds of our entire operating process is less than a month.” (P.S.: Rogers hired the intern.)
—Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage, an organization dedicated to helping remodelers build high-performing, profitable businesses, and home of the industry's largest peer organization, Remodelers Advantage Roundtables.