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A New Decade

Why it’s important to look beyond 2020, and how to organize your thinking for the next 10 years

February 11, 2020
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new decade for remodelers

Happy New Year! Or should I say, Happy New Decade!

When I woke up on January 1, 2020, I lay in bed thinking about fresh beginnings for the year. Then it hit me that this is a new decade. While this may not sound profound, as I thought about it, I realized that a decade is very different from a single year. The difference is not just in the amount of time (one year versus 10). The difference also involves depth and perspective.

So, the following are a few ways you can think about a new decade versus a new year.

1] Taking inventory. Thinking back about your business over the past year is different than considering it for the past decade. Taking inventory for 2019 means looking at what was working (or not) operationally as well as budgets, sales targets, and profitability. Conversely, insights from the past decade include how you came out of the market crash, company growth and changes in technology, marketing strategies, and the client buying process. What looks like a loss for 2019, may have been a win for the decade. 

2] Product timeline. Your product is different when considered on a one-year versus 10-year cycle. In thinking about 2019 in this way, we tend to look at the leads that came in and what projects were popular. Yet in planning for the next decade, it’s important to investigate larger demographic shifts as well as how homeowners will likely want to buy. What technologies will they use? How will they interface with you? The crucial question is: What will your product or service look like in the next decade?

3] Staffing. As you look at your team on a one-year basis, you probably are seeing through the lens of specific goals such as sales volume, closing rate, or profitability. There are also metrics such as work habits and professionalism. On a decade-scale, the view of the team has more to do with growth. How will specific people be able to grow with the company? A manager in a $3-million business may not be right for a $10-million business in the future.

4] Financials. Most businesses have annual budgets with projected revenue and overhead that then generate a net profit at the end of the year. You may use some of the annual net to invest for the future, but much of the thinking is wrapped around that year. When you begin to conceptualize financials on a decade-basis, you need to think less about expenses and more about investments. These include technologies, real estate, and training. While this may not dramatically change an annual budgeting process, it should validate any decisions and provide greater clarity and confidence.

5] You. As you think about your own development on a one-year cycle, you likely inventory areas of improvement. You might adjust how you are spending time. This process is quite different when you consider the next decade. Ten years from now, you will not want to be doing exactly what you are doing today. Growth is not only measured in sales and profit, but also in your personal and professional growth. Most remodeling leaders don’t prepare for the next decade, and become stuck and frustrated. If you can spend some time planning for what your company might look like in 10 years, then it’s likely that you can prepare for it better. 

Some good questions to ask yourself are: What am I yearning for? Who will take over my company? What will a typical day look like 10 years from now?

In closing, think in terms of Happy New Decade (not just New Year) and the thoughts, ideas, and goals that will flow from you will change. 

About the Author

About the Author

Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at sends e-mail) or 301.275.0208.

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