Q: I'm struggling with how much time to spend in the office vs. time in the field. Aside from cloning myself, how can I balance what feels like the need to be both places at once?

A: You, as a leader, can keep the pulse of your business — know what your team is producing and what it's doing to produce it — and still manage your own responsibilities, without being in the field all the time and then spending late nights playing catch-up. To achieve this, you must create a clear system of full and complete communication and accountability between yourself, your trade contractors, and your own staff. For example:

  • Meet with key staff members (executive team, installation crews, and office management staff) at least every other day.
  • During staff meetings, find out the status of specific projects and what the team's plan is for meeting project deadlines.
  • Use staff meetings as an opportunity to answer your team's questions and to ask them, “What would you do if I wasn't here?” This will help teach employees to effectively function on your behalf whether you're available or not.
  • Hold your team accountable for doing what the plan says!

Clay Nelson is a business coach to contractors nationwide, www.claynelsonlifebalance.com.