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The Importance of Stopping. Where do you want your business to be down the road?

Stop #1: Knowing where we are, via weekly management meetings. Stop #2: Staying on track to where we want to be, through monthly management retreats.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t believe that it’s already today. I mean, where has the time gone?

The very nature of the service business requires us to be constantly on call. Someone or something always needs attention. If we are not careful to stop and look around we stand the chance of ending up somewhere we never planned on being.

I would propose that our business is much like being on a road-trip. So, pull over. Just stop. Take time out. See where you are and see if it’s where you want your business to be. (On a personal note, I think road trips were much more fun before the invention of GPS. But in business I hate that feeling of being ‘lost.’ Road maps are critical.)

Stop #1: Knowing where we are. In our company every Tuesday is management meeting day. Our managers come together via video conference and give updates on what is happening in their world. Each person shares customer and employee issues and any projects they are working on. We review the daily management report together to see where we are relative to our goals.

Stop #2: Staying on track to where we want to be. I have learned that meeting once a week for an hour to discuss daily operations is not enough to develop our team and take them to the next level. That’s why the third Thursday of the month is management retreat day.

At our retreat we always review the financials, but more importantly it’s all about training and building a team. We will sometimes bring in guest speakers, or assign a member of the management team to bring some sort of lesson. Our purpose for this is to ensure that leadership is always developing and growing. We dress casually (no uniforms) and of course we all look forward to good food and fellowship.

Where do we hold these monthly retreats? Somewhere away from daily operations. I rent a board room at a nice facility where we can talk without distraction. We have confidence in our office and field employees. They know dispatch is their go-to on retreat days when management is unavailable.

Sound impossible? Impractical? Too costly? Taking time out may sound crazy but I can confidently say that if you will consistently do it, you won’t be sorry. Where do you want your business to be, down the road?

Larry Thornton is the president of N & L Investment Corp, and owns and operates One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® franchises in Arizona and Nevada. With multiple territories covering a large geographical area, and five physical offices, Larry and his team have learned how to train and be trained by conducting daily video conferences.

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