Midyear Focus

I feel challenged in my business by the multitude of questions, information and advice.

June 30, 2000


Jan Williams, CGR, 2000 Chairman, NAHB Remodelors Council


Chairman’s Message: I feel challenged in my business by the multitude of questions, information and advice. On my desk, I am faced with my husband’s collection of "How-to books," including Jay Levinson’s "Mastering Guerrilla Marketing" and "Guerrilla Marketing Attack"; David Edwards’ "How to Be More Creative"; and Peter McWilliams’ "Do It! Let’s Get Off Our But’s."

And on the coffee table reside many remodeling and building magazines, and newsletters to be read, sorted, filed or discarded. In the record cabinet, among many others, is a 12-disc set from a course that our sales-design manager attended focusing on negotiation. It’s Charles Karrass’ theory on negotiation, "In Business as in Life, You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate." This information with the addition of the network world complicates the task of sorting and focusing on the message most valuable and profitable to my business.


Mastering Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla Marketing Attack
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I’m reminded of two adages, one old and one new. The old states that "you should spend more time sharpening the ax and saw than cutting." The new, from Stephen Covey, author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," says, "Move from things important and urgent to things important but not urgent." Our management strategy is to concentrate on one idea, set specific time limits, implement and measure results. Once an idea is adapted or discarded, move on to the next idea. You can concentrate on only a few goals without running the risk of achieving nothing. Imagine the results of a football team with 12 head coaches. Or if your company had all sorts of ideas without a business plan or budgets or sales goal.

At conventions, we attend many seminars, listen to industry experts, participate in roundtable discussions, mingle and network with fellow remodelers, and come home with heads spinning. I just let all the overload of information swim in my head for a couple of days and then set aside time to write down that one piece of information I want to install as a goal for our business that will balance with the long-term and short-term goals previously set.

Now is the time to revisit your business plan, decide what is important, identify any problem areas and implement changes necessary to correct the problems. Once this is accomplished, you might want to put another change into your action plan. Remember, take it slow and do one thing at a time.

This is midsummer, and you have six months left of the year 2000 to change what can be changed. Happy hunting and sharpening.

About the Author

Overlay Init