Most remodelers are positive about their employees. When asked about their success, they'll say, “I have a great team” or “What sets me apart is my people.” But I like to ask a follow-up question:

“If your people are that important to your successes, how are you investing in that asset?” Unfortunately, the answer is usually a blank stare.

We don't have to look far for an appropriate analogy because remodeling itself is a form of investing. For most of our customers, their home is their most valuable asset, and they spend a good portion of their income trying to improve that asset. Sometimes the purpose of the remodeling investment is to make adjustments for changes in their family or lifestyle; sometimes it's a simple as wanting to replace worn out materials or update their home with the newest products. And remodeling projects almost always add space or change the use of existing space.

Homeowners who understand the value of real estate gladly commit large sums of money and suffer through the inconvenience of the remodeling project because they know that their home —and with it, their family — would suffer without it.

Investing in Employees It's easy to understand the rationale behind investing in home improvement, but what about investing in “people” improvement? How much time and energy are you spending to help your employees do a better job? How much inconvenience are you willing to tolerate for the sake of employee betterment? Not enough, I would guess.

I was fortunate to get this message many years ago when I was speaking on a panel discussing growth. One of the speakers before me was head of a company that had experienced impressive growth.

“Training is a growth strategy,” he said at one point during his talk. “Without a proper commitment to training, you can't experience healthy growth.” This simple statement had a tremendous effect on me and was the impetus I needed to change the way my company invested in training. The goal was to create a company culture for which training was “essential” to success.