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Reap the Benefits of a Clear Org Chart and Job Descriptions

This is one way for remodelers to streamline operations and align expectations—just make sure you provide enough detail

October 10, 2017
Write stuff down if youre a remodeler

My business partner and I started SoBo Homes in 2003. Today our design-build company has 10 employees and we do 12 to 16 projects per year with a little over $3 million in revenue. We’re a boutique company that provides an intimate experience for our customers.

In 2015 we decided to join Remodelers Advantage. Our impetus was a retired builder we knew and respected who told us that the single best thing he ever did for his company was to join that group. We were like, “OK then.”

Most remodelers start out in business wearing every hat, and it’s easy to just keep completing tasks as they come up without a formalized reporting structure and clearly defined jobs. One thing we got out of Remodelers Advantage was the practice of creating a detailed org chart and job descriptions. Both documents have streamlined our organization and help to keep everyone aligned on expectations. 

The documents can look a number of different ways. Recently we hired an office manager and created a two-page job description that maps out each of her duties, what percentage of time is spent on each, and who she reports to for each particular part of her job. As an example, here’s the marketing portion: 

Marketing (30 percent, 12 hours per week)

• Website: Misc. updates as needed.

• Pinterest: Manage SoBo account.

• Facebook: Manage SoBo account.

• Houzz: Manage SoBo account.

• Car/vehicle logos and jobsite signs.

• Swag: Clothes, coffee cups, etc.

• Client and trade partner parties.

We also have documents that go through a remodel from the homeowner’s perspective. Say Kevin and Joanne are clients. What is their experience starting from the initial contact all the way to the final payment? When and how do they interact with each member of our team? 

An example of this is kitchen cabinets. They are a high-dollar item that everyone touches, and there are a lot of details and options. With that in mind, who is responsible for the final order? Who is responsible for what the cabinets look like? Who needs to make sure they are in exactly the right spot, and how does that get communicated? Who looks over the shop drawings?

Who makes sure rough plumbing and electrical will all fit? 

Our charts and descriptions are invaluable to us, but they’re not set in stone. Instead, they are living documents that we tweak twice a year to reflect any changes. Each one took about an hour to create, but they’re worth that much many times over.

About the Author

Mike D’Onofrio is co-founder of SoBo Homes, in Boulder, Colo. He is a graduate of Northwestern University with a civil engineering degree.  

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