It’s a pretty simple question, but also a bit personal and complicated, too.
As a business advisor, I see behind the curtain of many remodeling businesses from across the country, and I see more of a divide on this question today than I have in the past.
Some do, but many don’t.
In the past, market tailwinds covered up many elements of not having your act together. Over the past two years or so, demand has been so high that remodelers who didn't have their act together were still performing well due to the sheer volume of work out there. However, those tail winds have weakened and today a company's shortcomings are more easily exposed.
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About 15 years ago I wrote a book titled How fit is your business?. In this book, I gave remodeling business owners a pass for never being taught about business fitness. They did, however, understand the concepts of personal health and fitness. And if they could draw a parallel between personal fitness and business, they would understand the concept better.
I created a checklist of 10 criteria that were akin to having your blood pressure and cholesterol checked. I share this now because I see many remodeling businesses that are fitness-challenged, which results in more mistakes, reduced client happiness, and lower-than-expected profits. And nobody wants that.
Do you have your act together?
The following are five indicators that you should keep an eye on:
1. Profit is less than you expected or desired
Profit is a result. Profit is an indicator. While profit should not be the entire judge or jury, profit being as you predicted is essential in determining whether you and your business have its act together.
2. Less delighted clients
Your clients are a great source of feedback and an indicator of having your act together. Are you exceeding the client’s expectations or regularly having to make excuses for things not going the way you hoped? With real-time feedback through social media, you need to adopt a “no news is bad news” mindset. While consumer tolerance is less today, their happiness remains just as important.
3. Team alignment
People continue to be your best assets. In addition to their individual talents, your people really need to be aligned with your vision and the company’s overall mission. People need to be rowing together, not pulling in different directions. I continue to believe in the adage “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and often see businesses that don’t have their act together but strategize first. If you are not putting in the effort here, you need to start to really make culture and team alignment a priority.
4. Processes are nonexistent or not working
I cannot count the times throughout 20-plus years that I have heard business owners tell me they need to focus on their processes. While that might be the case, the real question is why they fell off the wagon. Did you give up on training them? Did they collect dust and become a secret? Did you not communicate the importance of processes for business and project success?
5. Have you lost your mojo?
While mojo is a word that Austin Powers talked about many years ago, we all know what it is and when it’s missing, it’s not good. When the mojo goes, you begin to question everything. You are uninspired and your team sees it. You need to dig deep within to get that mojo back.
I know having your act together may have many different looks and feels. The primary question, however, is whether you are making it a priority to improve it.
Begin with one or two elements off this list and chip away in a meaningful, transparent way. It may take a few weeks, or if you are more of a hot mess, it may take a year. Either way, addressing this is critical to the future of the business.