I love to catch fish. I didn’t say I love to fish. There’s a difference. I love to put fish in the cooler so I can use them for food or bait. True fisherman love the activity of fishing. If they catch some fish, that’s good, but a day fishing with no catch is still a good day. That’s not me.
To get the results I want — more fish in the cooler — I have to better prepare. But I’m terrible at prep for fishing so I don’t get the results I want. My fishing buddy, Brian, actually looks up information on line and reads it. He subscribes to an email chain where people share where they are catching fish and how. He prepares. So guess what? When he’s on board, I catch more fish.
How does this apply to your remodeling business? You have to be honest with yourself, and build your team to fill in where you’re weak.
What Do You Really Want?
Identify what you want to do. Be completely honest. Do you really want to make money over and above your salary? Or is providing a good income for yourself enough? Do you want to be a full-blown company, or is designing and building one project at a time enough? If you want the business, the net profit, and the multiple jobs that running a company requires, what weaknesses are getting in the way?
A contractor told me one time that he could sell anything. When you looked at his net profit you could see why. His prices weren’t high enough to sustain his business. Other remodelers have hiring problems — they keep bringing peopleon, but they quickly quit. Instead of admitting that maybe they could us some help hiring, they just say, “no one wants to work.” Just admit your weaknesses!
Build a Team to Get You There
When it comes to fishing, I don’t like to do the prep. So, I take Brian along to help. If deep down inside you can admit a weakness, build a team that fills in the spaces. If you’re not selling jobs at high enough prices, get someone that can estimate the job properly and mark it up. Then you sell it for that. Don’t say “we can’t sell it for that” and drop the price.
If you can’t keep employees, get someone who can manage people well and let them do that. Imagine me having Brian on the boat and he says “let’s go over to 100 feet of water because that’s where people are catching the fluke,” and I say, “you know, Brian, I’ve been fishing for fluke all my life and I think we’ll stay right here.” No, I start the motor and get to 100 feet of water, and I get happy because I catch fish! Not listening to Brian would be like a remodeler that has really good people on staff, but tells them it’s good enough the way it is. Build a great team and let them work their strengths.
Learn from those doing. If I want to catch fluke I have to learn from those actually catching fluke. If I want to catch black bass – the same thing. My team, Brian, helps me with my weakness through what he learns and it leads to my success. When we come in we can say “look what we caught!”
Many people working for remodelers are highly motivated to see the company succeed — it actually identified as the second-highest motivator in employees. They read books, go to training, and participate in conferences, all so they learn what really works. Let them have an impact on your business. But remember you’ll learn best from people that have met your goals, not just those known for running or working in a great company. Just because someone has a reputation for being a great company doesn’t mean they’re accomplishing anything you want to learn. It‘s like a boat named Fish Slayer that never leaves the dock!