Do you have a plan in place for when it’s time to retire? Will you be able to sell your remodeling business or pass it on to a family member? Since you’re probably the most valuable player in your company it can be impossible just to take a vacation, attend a conference, or even take a sick day.
Many remodeling businesses do everything the same as the day the doors were opened – going from lead to lead, appointment to appointment, and job to job. Little thought was put into how to execute the day-to-day routines as the business grew. If you ask people why they do what they do they’ll say, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Problems arise when some people do things one way and others do it another. Or worse, when their combined activities are done in a way that’s inefficient or ineffective.
Many times, the administrative steps your people take deal with manual, repetitive, and wasteful activities that add no value. And they waste resources – time, money, energy – that cut into your bottom line.
So, what’s the answer?
The technical term is business process improvement. This means taking a close look at your company’s activities to see if there are ways to remove waste, variation, and steps that don’t add value.
For example, let’s take a look at how ACME Remodeling (a fictional company) handles an incoming lead:
A homeowner finds the company on the Internet and calls.
The receptionist makes notes on a memo pad, schedules the appointment, and enters the details into Excel.
The phone number is given to the sales manager.
The sales manager fills out a lead sheet and gives it a rep.
The sales rep writes the appointment on the whiteboard and types it into a Google calendar.
The rep forgets to confirm the appointment and the homeowner forgets to show up.
When the rep returns to the office, he puts the lead sheets that didn’t buy in a “Follow-up” bin.
At the end of the week, the rep finds time to follow-up with leads who haven’t bought and leaves some voicemails.
The lead sheets are filed away in the drawer for the weekend.
New prospects come in next week and the old leads stay in the drawer…never to be followed-up on again.
As you can see, there is a process in place–it’s just not the very efficient or effective. How many times were the lead details written down? How many chances were there for that lead to get lost? How many wasted steps were taken that slowed everyone down?
So that’s the why. In the next issue we’ll explore the how. How could it be done better and how can the remodeling “big dogs” earn more and spend less?