With the new year upon us, most Contracting Business owners are looking at the blank pages of the unwritten year and thinking about how to succeed and grow. If you’re as excited as I am about the new year here are four things you should be doing right now to make 2019 your best year yet.
Are there other things you should be doing? Sure. But you’re busy running a business, so if you only have time to do four things, do these four things and you’ll have one of your best years ever… no matter how the U.S. economy performs.
Tip #1. Build Your Culture
Your culture is the invisible “fabric” of the company. It’s what your employees think and feel about working for you, and it impacts everything they do for you and for your customers.
Most contracting business owners allow their company culture to grow by default. When this happens, it’s often the complainers and negative people whose loud opinions actually determine your culture and hurt your company.
Instead, take a strong leadership position and choose the course for your culture:
- Set the example by living the culture you want
- Tell people what culture you expect to have and hold people to it
- Create contests, incentives, a year-long theme, and internal branding that reinforces the culture
- Offer company events that create that culture.
It might be a culture of power, of service, of generosity, of “leave no man behind” camaraderie. You decide. And then, you need to create it.
Tip #2. Level Up Your Service
When you have happy customers you reduce callbacks, you increase repeat business, you increase 5-star social reviews, and you increase referrals. Quite simply, happy customers make you A LOT more money—period. Yet, many Contracting Businesses train their employees to do the bare minimum of service—just enough to get the job done and move on.
Stop. Invest time to think about what would truly make your customers happy, and then train your teams to deliver more than that. WOW your customers with service they never even dream of receiving from your Contracting Business and you’ll have a happy customer for life. It doesn’t take a lot of extra time or effort but it makes a massive financial difference to your company.
Want a simple action step: Create a Framework For Service that outlines step-by-step the actions that your employees perform on a typical call to your customer’s home. Start from the moment they get the work order and go step-by-step all the way through to the moment that they leave the job finished and return to the office. Think about what they can do at each point to WOW the customer.
- Can your employee call ahead to say they’re on their way (and offer to bring coffee)?
- Can your employee ask if the customer has a pet and if they can bring a treat for them?
- Can your employee change their shirt just before setting out to ensure that the look clean and professional when they arrive?
- Can your employee say something nice to the customer when they introduce themselves?
It’s the little things that add up to truly WOW your customer, and it all starts with you deciding what the best service call should look like.
Tip #3. Cast A Compelling Vision
Chances are, you have a general idea of what you want 2019 to look like. Problem is, most Contracting Business Owners stop with that vague idea in their head.
If you want to grow your business, do this instead: create a very detailed idea of what 2019 could look like. Be specific and include information like: the number of clients served and the amount of revenue generated, and the number of employees you have. Write it down in a way that is thrilling and compelling for you.
Once you have it written down, do one more thing with it (and this will make all the difference)…
Share that vision with your employees. Hold an all-company meeting and read that vision with them to help them see what you are envisioning.
Most Contracting Business owners keep a vague vision in their head and wonder why employees don’t help them achieve it. You’ll increase your likelihood of success when you create and communicate a clear vision to everyone.
Tip #4. Reverse Engineer That Vision Into KPIs
The other way to help employees achieve that vision is to reverse engineer your vision into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that they need to fulfill.
Many contracting business owners keep that vague vision in their head instead of communicating it, and then they measure their employees on something else entirely. The better approach is to communicate your vision and tie your measurement of employee achievement to your vision. You’ll be amazed at how effective these two simple steps are to turning your vision into reality.
To do this, look at the details in your vision and determine how each employee’s work contributes to those details. For example, there might be a specific dollar amount that employees should be selling, on average, during each sales call in order to add up to your revenue total for the year; or, there might be a specific number of leads converted into customers that your marketing and sales teams need to hit each day.
Find the numbers and details in your vision, reverse them out into specific metrics for your team, and measure your team against those throughout the year.
Want to make 2019 the best year you’ve ever had in your Contracting Business? It’s simple: design and lead a stronger culture, raise your level of service, cast and communicate a compelling vision, and wrap that vision in KPIs to measure your team against. There are a lot of things you could do in 2019 but these 4 actions are “needle-movers” that will help you create a stronger and more successful business this year.