Correct These Three Remodeling Business Dysfunctions Before You Grow Past $1M
Newton’s Law of Momentum states that “A body in motion tends to stay in motion and tends to continue in the same direction.” Remodelers who downsized their businesses during the recession might want to consider Newton’s law.
Your remodeling business may be back in motion again now that the economy is improving, but if you continue in the direction it is currently headed will you reach your personal and professional goals? And, if you were already at or had crossed the $1Million per year threshold before you downsized, thinking back, was it really the right path to be on to help you keep growing profitably? If you are not realizing the success you hoped for when you started your remodeling business you might want to consider and address these three indicators of a dysfunctional remodeling business before planning any additional growth.
Dysfunction #1: Constant Crisis
If you wake up every day wondering what fires you or your employees will have to put out you’re probably already deep into constant crisis. Lack of planning and a lack of standard operating procedures causes constant crisis. Once in constant crisis it can be difficult to get out because addressing each crisis eats up the time your business needs to plan, develop and implement procedures that would have prevented the crisis to begin with. For example, if you keep underestimating or under pricing your work because you lack a quick and accurate estimating system you will forever be trying to find ways to reduce your production costs to make up for it. Also, consider it might only be a matter of time before employees, subs and vendors get fed up with constantly having to do and give more because your lack of planning has become a way of doing business, rather than just a phase you’re working through. Maintaining constant crisis often leads to staff and sub contractor turnover. Losing and replacing resources will help keep you in the constant crisis whirlpool as well.
Dysfunction #2: Tolerating Relative Success
“If your business is ten feet under water and drowning, but your improvements get you to two feet below the surface; your business is still going to drown!”
Dysfunction #3: Broken Behavior-Consequence Strategy
If your business requires you to do almost everything because if you want it done right you have to do it yourself, your business is dysfunctional but so are you. If employees or subcontractors can’t or won’t do and or follow through on certain tasks, why are they still there? What sense does it make to establish rules for doing business if you don’t also establish clear and actionable consequences for not following them? For example, why give a salesperson a commission for closing a sale if he or she hasn’t completed all the paperwork required to hand the project off to the production team? Or, if employees don’t get their time cards in on time and or fill them out correctly, why do you pay them on time?
Owning and running a remodeling business requires leadership
Without proper and adequate leadership from the owner a business can quickly and easily become dysfunctional. If any or all of these indicators are happening at your business it’s time to step back and away from your situation long enough to develop an “outside view”. You should definitely do this before you allow your business to pass $1Million in installed sales.
Perhaps consider these words of wisdom I found on a bumper sticker:
“The minds that created our problems are not likely the ones who can help us solve them.”
If you can’t or won’t eliminate the reasons for dysfunction, find someone else who can.
(Note: This is the fifth article in a series of articles written specifically for remodelers who want to successfully break past doing $1M/year in installed sales. Click here to see a list of all the articles in the series that have been published.