Six Key Fundamentals to Success

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Last month, I discussed remodeling business treasure: strong margins and quality of life. Let me ask you a question: Do you have those at the level you would like them to be? Depending on the cycle of business growth you are in, the answer is often no. It takes two sets of keys to successfully open the lock to the treasure inside.

June 01, 2005

Last month, I discussed remodeling business treasure: strong margins and quality of life. Let me ask you a question: Do you have those at the level you would like them to be? Depending on the cycle of business growth you are in, the answer is often no.

It takes two sets of keys to successfully open the lock to the treasure inside. The first set we discussed was attitudes: hard work, discipline, diligence, applying best practices, excellence and faith. Today, we will take a look at the second set, the fundamentals.

  1. Vision: It is critical that you have a clear vision of what and where you want your company to be. Vision didn't hurt McDonald's, Home Depot or Microsoft! As E-Myth founder Michael Gerber would say, "...a large business was a small business that thought large at the beginning."
    For example, let me share DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen's vision statement:
    To be the first household name in the kitchen & bath remodeling industry, admired for the excellence that customers, franchisees and associates experience with DreamMaker.
    You want your vision statement to be short, easy to remember and compelling. Don't write a book: Keep it to one sentence. Then, put a plan in place to make your vision a reality.
  2. Systems: Written systems give us the ability to multiply and duplicate our efforts. If we ever want to be free from our business and have an asset to sell at the end of the day, then system development is a must. It does take an investment of time, money and energy, but the results will speak for themselves. Start today by determining how best to answer the phone, then move on to increasingly more complex systems. As a businessman once told me, "What appears to be the slow way is the fast way."
  3. Recruiting: Many years ago, I was in need of a new marketing director. I created a job profile that detailed very specific qualities, characteristics, skills and experience needed for the position. Then I sent the description off to a recruiter and told the firm what we were willing to pay. The firm sent over four resumes. Three matched the pay but didn't match our needs. The fourth matched the skills exactly, but would cost 50 percent more than we were planning to pay. Long story short, she is the one we hired and has been worth every penny and more. Hiring "A" players is the only way to replace yourself and move your company to the next level.
  4. Numbers: Many remodeling company owners don't know their numbers or what the numbers need to afford them: the ability to recruit "A" players, to pay themselves salaries for the jobs they perform and to achieve a strong pre-tax net profit. This means many remodelers don't price jobs profitably and even feel that if they charged more, they would be ripping off the customers. The key here is to know your numbers and price for profit.
  5. Marketing: It's all about capturing and keeping customers. First, you must have a product and experience that provides tremendous value in the customer's mind. All the marketing research states that consumers want to find a remodeling company through a friend, relative or a neighbor. Build a proactive marketing plan to make this occur more rapidly than traditional referrals. One way to raise your prices is to have more leads than you can process.
  6. Values: Create a standard set of values that you and your team will live by daily. Verne Harnish, who writes the "Growth Guru" column for Fortune Small Business magazine, states that in an ever-changing world, people need something to hold on to that will never change. That's your code of values. With a written code of values that have been made a part of your company culture, you'll find that even during great change your people will remain productive and happy. Go to www.dreammaker-remodel.com to view our code of values, which you can use as a model to build your own.

  • Author Information
    Doug Dwyer is president and chief stewarding officer of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen by Worldwide, one of the nation's largest remodeling franchises. He can be reached at doug.dwyer@dwyergroup.com.


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