PR July 2005

August 16, 2010

Features

Part 8 of a Series on Benchmarking Last month we talked about the first three steps in setting a gross profit target. Now comes the part where we run the numbers from steps one, two and three through the grinder.

Think back to when you started your business. One of the first things you did was to develop a set of basic forms, contracts and letterhead. These sales lead forms, customer surveys, proposal templates, invoices and purchase orders have been reused hundreds, if not thousands, of times. They have become not only an essential part of how you conduct business but also the basis for one of your mos...

To achieve excellence within our companies' cultures, leaders must work hard at keeping healthy relationships. Our communication skills must be a strength, not a weakness. It takes time, energy and effort, but it pays big returns by producing better results and deeply enriched relationships. It's a double win.

Every remodeler knows that having a healthy relationship with the customer is the most important element to the long-term success of their business. That's why I was very surprised to learn that so many remodelers have little or no relationship with the building product manufacturers that could and should be the second-most important priority to them.

Help wanted. Familiarity with residential remodeling required. Excellent compensation. Successful candidates must: In remodeling, you might expect a new salesperson to produce $600,000 dollars in volume in the first year. Ultimately this salesperson could sell $1.5 million annually, depending on the type of products and services offered.

Cooks become careless in the kitchen; old electrical wiring arcs; wildfires burn out of control. The result is the same: Home fires that can devastate the lives of the residents. Home fire property damage totaled nearly $6 billion in 2003 not including the Southern California wildfires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Tim Lassiter, owner of 8-year-old design/build firm Houston Remodeling, runs a low-overhead, low-headcount business that employs just himself, a salesperson and an office manager. Yet the company typically has seven or eight projects, usually large additions, in progress simultaneously. With few in-house bodies to throw at an emergency, advance planning and elimination of predictable emergencie...

Words to Live By Remodeling contractors should understand the following terms as used in OSHA regulations: Competent person means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

It's tough enough to remodel a kitchen built in the 20th century, but try working on one that's gone through three centuries of updating. That was the challenge put to HomeTech Renovations Inc. of Lansdale, Pa. Originally a three-story log cabin built in 1722, the Del Viscio's center hall colonial in nearby Villanova had seen a number of renovations through the centuries, including a plaster-co...

After pouring years of hard work into remodeling and restoration, Jonathan Wallick had a startling realization about a decade ago. "I was dramatically improving my clients' net worth by drastically increasing the value of their property," he says, while he garnered nothing but remodeling fees. That's when Wallick decided to become the client himself.

Now more than ever, your home is literally your castle. Spas and fitness centers, imported fixtures and customized, hand-made interior finishes have become the territory of Everyman, not the stuff of fairy tales. With the country's aggregate home equity reaching $9.6 trillion in 2004, it's clear that consumers are sinking more of their resources into housing.

Repeat and referral business is the lifeblood of many remodeling companies. These prospects are the most predisposed to understand and like your firm, and the sales are often easier to close. Even so, these leads have to be screened just like any other. And sometimes they're even worth turning down. Jud Motsenbocker asks remodelers Kevin Franklin and Dave Tibbetts how to balance sales and sensi...

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