Path and Presence Photos

Q: How do remodeling company owners win in the current economy?

A: The worse things are, the more important it is to have face-to-face meetings, especially one-on-one meetings with employees who might be disengaged. Owners need to have a clear vision and give employees additional information to help build trust.

Q: What about layoffs?

A: Be honest. Communicate how decisions were made and why. If there will be more layoffs, transparency is important. If employees know that you care about them and there is trust, they can be champions for the business rather than jumping ship. Employees also need to see that the owner is making sacrifices as well.

When you do start hiring again, be willing to train people. Retention is difficult. If I find someone with the right heart who is also committed, they’ll make a good employee. Hire ahead of the curve and be willing to train. The rewards in loyalty and reduced turnover are worthwhile.

Once they’re in place, educate employees and don’t baby sit them. Micromanage the process so that you don’t have to micromanage the people.

Q: Do you have any advice for business owners looking to move forward in this economy?

A: Be strategic and practical. Avoid crazy, untested advertising. Go back to fundamentals: high standards, competitive estimates, and timely completion. Communicate frequently with customers and stand by your promises. The economy is hitting your customers, too.

Remember to take care of yourself. This is a stressful time for everyone, so try to balance your life. It’s impossible to be on top of your game if you’re neglecting your health, exercise, and nutrition.