Business Articles - On the Job

How to Solve Your Business Headaches!

Which part of your business gives you your biggest headaches?
- Is it the lack of money?
- The fact that your cash flow is inconsistent?
- That your people don't do the work the way you want them to?
- That you always have to be the cheapest price to get the job?
- Or, the fact that you find yourself doing all of the work yourself?

Here are a couple of things you should know about you and your business. The first thing is this. If your business relies on you being there and doing everything, you don't have a business, you have a job! The second thing is, you'll never change or improve your business until you come to terms with the hard cold fact that you are the problem with your outdated methods of running your business. You are your businesses weakest link.

The Single Biggest Mistake

If you find yourself being the President of the company, the manager of operations, the estimator, the bookkeeper, and even getting out in the field to do the work, you?re wearing too many hats and you're heading for disaster. This is the single biggest mistake that most contractors make. In order to correct it, you must understand the basic fundamental elements of becoming an effective manager and developing a successful business that works for you.

There are four key cornerstones that every successful construction business is built upon. Each one supports the other and together they work to reach the businesses goals and objectives. They are:

- Goals and Vision. Understanding and planning the right course of action and the final destination or objective you want your business to reach. It is a fundamental law of nature; you can't physically have something until you can first visualize it.

- Marketing and Selling. Understanding and planning the right course of marketing and sales that will help your business reach its intended destination or objective.

- Finance and Administration. Understanding where you are now financially and what you need to do to reach your goals and objectives, controlling each segment of the journey according to a sound financial plan.

- People and Productivity. Understanding who makes the profit and how to build the systems into place that enable these people to do their job according to the vision, goals, objectives and the strategic business plan of the business.

The sad part is that less than 2 percent of home service professionals have mastered these success driven cornerstones. Too many are trapped with the belief that their business runs around them, when in fact; they run around their business. Successful home service professionals don't run their businesses, they let their systems and people run the business for them.

What You Need to Do

Regardless of what kind of home service professional you are, or how big or small you are, there is no better time than right now to learn how to develop and implement systems into place that will make your life a lot easier. You can start reading and learning from others, you can tap into ready made business development programs or, you can and keep doing it yourself until you can do it no more. The truth is nothing changes until you realize that you must make the changes. In your business, it's the management mistakes that you are making that are costing you time and money. It's those same management mistakes that will be your downfall and that are keeping you from reaching your true potential.

The FOUR Biggest Mistakes Most Contractors Make With Their Businesses!

Talk about re-inventing the wheel, why is it that so many home service professionals who own their own business keep making the same mistakes over and over, even when they know it is wrong? They possess great skills, but lack serious business skills at running a business. Could it be that they are so consumed with putting out fires and seeing that things get done? All day long, they sincerely believe that this is the right way of running a business?

Here are four big mistakes that the majority of home service professionals make in running their businesses.

1. Lack of goals and vision for the business. Not knowing where you want your business to be in 3, 5, 10, or 20 years. Failure to communicate them effectively to your employees. No goals or vision and you have no sense of direction.

2. Lack of financial planning and understanding your numbers. Too many contractors think they know their numbers but they really don't. You must have a sensible financial plan that will carry you through the good times and the bad. A strategic plan that tells them what to do now and how to do it. You'll never find the solutions to these problems in the checkbook balance.

3. Lack of management systems and controls. Everybody is doing their own thing and they're doing it with your money! Putting you, your business and your family at great risk. You must have the systems in place and the control over it if you want your business to work for you.

4. Lack of a targeted marketing and selling strategy. You need customers to survive, but what you really need is to be doing business with those customers that are a perfect fit for you and your business. If you're stuck always having to be the lowest bidder in order to get the job, you've got a marketing and selling problem.

If you find that one or more of these big mistakes fits you, you better get help. I don't care if you run a small business doing $100,000 a year or a $100 million dollar corporation; things will never get better until you get the help to make it better. But whatever you do, don't procrastinate. Time is passing you by and the economy is changing quickly, the only way you can preserve what you've work so hard building to date, is to take corrective action now.

Henry Goudreau, C.S.L.
HG & Associates, Inc
"We turn contractors who dream of a successful business, into business managers who make a business successful!"

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