Last month in this space, I reviewed a series of market projections for 2014 from Harvard University as well as the industry’s leading associations.
Reality 101: Today's Economy Requires a New Business Vision
Are you: Although I don't personally buy into the current shroud of doom and gloom in the remodeling profession, I do believe that even small changes in perspective can reap huge rewards. I also find that if it is your company's belief that there is a reason (or excuse) for the way things are — especially if you don't have control over it — very little change will happen.
- Trying to build tomorrow's successes with yesterday's business model?
- Thinking economic conditions will eventually change to match your current strategies?
- Spending most of your time waiting for the other shoe to drop?
Although I don't personally buy into the current shroud of doom and gloom in the remodeling profession, I do believe that even small changes in perspective can reap huge rewards. I also find that if it is your company's belief that there is a reason (or excuse) for the way things are — especially if you don't have control over it — very little change will happen. That's when you lapse into the very dreaded and mind numbing wait-and-see mode. And that doesn't really get you anywhere.
For example, in today's market, if your sales or profits are off, it is easy to chalk it up to the economy. The justification is that because it is the economy's "fault," we should just wait until the economy changes to once again fit our company's systems. What if your belief is that your systems need to change with the economy and you just didn't change fast enough?
The majority of remodeling companies have owners who wear several hats. Because of this, it is often difficult to find the time to stop and honestly ask yourself if your current processes are truly in service to both your company and your clients.
In the book "QBQ: The Question Behind the Question" by John G. Miller, he uses great examples of how the questions you ask can lead to great results.
- "We only see clients between 9 and 5." Are you missing an opportunity to be of service to your clients and your bottom line? Could you set aside one evening a week to meet with clients whose schedules don't allow them to be home during the day? Or save one Saturday morning a month to meet with folks who don't have the flexibility you do? Think outside the box.
- "Most of our work comes from word of mouth." What if a great client wants to do work and doesn't find out about you? Ask your favorite clients how to meet more clients like them. Fun people know other fun people.
- The first 10 minutes in your initial client meeting is spent telling them why you are the best. What if you spent that same 10 minutes finding out what would make you the best in their eyes? All clients have different reasons. Never assume.
- You have specific beliefs around why things are the way they are. Could there be other reasons such as inflexible attitudes, ineffective processes or a culture that keeps employees fear-based rather than empowered? Don't let your belief system stagnate; ask for input. Pay attention.
- Are you losing jobs to your competition? Are you providing more value to your client than your competition? Look at your services and what other services you could add or embellish that would make you the only choice. Educate your clients so they appreciate why you are the best solution to their problems.
In short, focus on making small changes that will help your company grow and prosper NOW. Ask questions. Listen to the answers. Course-correct your current policies and procedures. Be flexible. And continue to fine-tune your new business vision.
|Craig Durosko is president of Sun Design Remodeling Specialists in Burke, Va. Craig can be reached at email@example.com.|