Skip to content

Finding the Pony in the Manure Pile

Finding the Pony in the Manure Pile

Everywhere you look, people are looking at life and business in an entirely new way. We all realize that we have to invest in learning new things to give us the best chance of thriving in this environment. To continue to grow, to realize profits, and to see referrals increase once again, every remodeler should step back and take a fresh look at the business for ways to add value–and then take that message to the streets. Below, industry expert and long-time Remodeling columnist, Linda Case,  shares one interesting way to look at business today. . .

Find the pony storySomeone e-mailed me after I used the expression “finding the pony in the manure pile” asking what in heavens name that meant.  It comes from an apocryphal story of why the young boy continued to shovel manure with such enthusiasm.  He was looking for the pony.

It’s similar to the  “making lemonade from lemons” expression.  The economy has dealt us either a manure pile or lemons depending on your sensibilities and the question is how will we view it?  As a tragedy?  As an opportunity?  As a challenge?

There is really no choice.  There’s no need to be a talented fortuneteller to know that there is no way we will return to the “good old days” in the next couple of years no matter who gets in office.  So let’s grab this opportunity to:

  • Reinvent our companies by examining our systems to be sure they are streamlined and customer-satisfying. For many companies, the old way of doing business does not fit their new smaller jobs, lower closing rate.  Start with a fresh piece of paper and redesign your company organizational chart and roles for today.
  • Remove or retrain our B and C players so that we can honestly say that we are the A team.  Isn’t that what we as professional remodelers are selling?  There are great people available today looking for great jobs.  Don’t miss this opportunity to rebuild your team with the absolute best people you can find.
  • Sharpen our sales and marketing skills.  Nothing happens in your company until a lead arrives.  You must become expert in the new realities of sales and marketing.
  • Add value to our services by sharpening the pencil of everyone who works on our team including subs and vendors.  Let’s face it, we know this is a difficult competitive environment and we are working in an industry that has been very error-prone and inefficient in delivery of projects.  It’s time to change.
  • Create a realistic plan for next year by developing a budget you and your staff believe in.  Hoping it will work is not a plan.  Prove it by putting it on paper.  What is a realistic volume?  What is a realistic gross profit?  What is a realistic overhead cost?  And what will your net be?  Yes, I said net.  Line item everything.

Truth is, it isn’t lemons.  It is a manure pile.  Now let’s use that manure to make that beautiful compost that encourages everything to grow.

If you need help to make the most of today’s reality and continue to provide for your company and your family, give us a call today. For the last 30 years, we’ve helped remodelers build strong, consistently profitable businesses through one-on-one business coaching, our peer group, Roundtables™, the largest in the industry, and our variety of educational and training programs. There’s nothing better than working with experienced industry experts to catapult you into a better situation. 301-490-5620 Contact us today.

Image courtesy of Tom Curtis /



Hey there!

Login To Come In

Roundtables Application

Let's do this