Saturday, December 31, 2011

Six Resolutions For a Better Construction Business in the New Year

Every year at this time we tend to make resolutions to improve our lives and businesses. These are important decisions and determinations that we hope will stimulate us to improvement. Of course, you may very well have made New Year's resolutions in previous years, and yet before January was out you have already given up on them.

That's not going to happen this time, because in this article I'm going to provide you with a sharper focus.

As a specialist in showing contractors how to significantly improve their construction businesses, working with hundreds of you and seeing at close hand the problems you needed to overcome in order to become successful, here are SIX that we all need to work harder on resolving in our businesses.

  1. Remove all debt. Debt is a terminal disease, and like a cancer, you need to remove it from you businesses and lives. Starting this year, make a concerted effort to pay down all debt. To get started, list out on a piece of paper all your debt. Next, develop a plan to pay it down or negotiate terms you can work with. Third, do everything in your power to funnel any available funds to paying it down. If you save money on what item, take that 'extra' money you saved and pay it towards your debt. Make a genuine effort and you will be rewarded because then ... and only then ... can you focus on resolution number 2.
  2. Save cash. Cash is always king. However, if the economy changes for the better, you will need cash to fund your work. Sit down and establish your Capital Requirements and plan how you can set aside enough cash to manage your business if work comes your way. Another consideration is how long it takes you to collect your receivables. Whatever this is, one month, two months or more, make certain you have enough cash on hand to fund your operations. You should also make the same effort in your personal lives.
  3. Build a budget. You wouldn't attempt to build a project without a set of plans, would you? Hope not, so why would you try and build a business without a budget? A budget is your plan on producing sales and controlling expenses in order to produce a profit or desired end-result. I suggest you start by putting all of last year's spending on a spreadsheet, including sales for each month. Then take a hard look at them. Is there anything that you could improve? This exercise helps you to develop a good, tight budget for the upcoming year. Try it!
  4. Organize your office. This is one that really helps. We spend a lot of time in our offices. A clean, well-organized office improves our outlook, makes us feel better and automatically increases our productivity and creativity. Here is how you can start. Take a look aorund you. Can you better organize your desk, files, office equipment to help you? I bet you can, try it! Don't you feel better already?
  5. Develop a cost effective marketing plan. No business can survive without customers and sales. That means marketing in order to drive sales to your business. Spend some time and find out which one of these four 'things' are specific to your best type of customer. What is their need, desire, want or problem? Now, how can you provide them with a service or product that satisfies them? Remember, these are emotional triggers that 'make' your customers buy. Next, how can you get that message out to them in a cost-effective manner? Work on that. Do you need to spend some time handing out flyers in a specific neighborhood? Do it. Do you need to write a dynamic sales letter and send it to your propsective customer type informing them that you have what they want? Do it. Plan and do, it is as simple as that. In time, you will start generating leads and then turning them into sales!
  6. Find peace with yourself, your family, friends and your God. Many people think that it's only marital difficulties, business or financial problems that affect our lives. That's not true. Not telling our love ones that we love them, that we care about them and need them, as well as our God has a profound negative impact on our lives. The same goes for helping those in need. As Americans, our biggest asset is our willingness to extend a helping hand to those in need. I myself give a gift card  from our local supermarket every week in our church's poor box. Not too long ago I was standing in the checkout as a young mother with food and her babies in hand was paying for her groceries with gift cards. I don't know if any of them were from me, but I felt good knowing her children wouldn't be going to bed hungry. That good feeling makes it worth the effort.
These 6 Resolutions for the New Year - seven if you do them - may seem overwhelming or not, but they do work together to make for a better business and life for those that do them.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your knowledge regarding on these matter. I have heard that too many people sign up with a contractor to have a certain job done, but in the middle of the job, they realize that they want something else. Maybe they wanted to expand a living room, for example, but later decide they'd rather devote some of the new space to an expanded kitchen. I was like looking for Contractors in Mississauga to aspire more ideas and ask for their services. But after reading your blog I find it very useful.