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Continually Learning to Improve Your Business

Continually Learning to Improve Your Business

Recently, I met over 70 savvy renovation company owners and staff who attended the first RenoSummit held in Vancouver and Calgary. I was joined by Robert Koci, associate publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine, Paul Winans as we led a series of sessions focused on critical areas of business management including creating a plan for profit, improving sales processes and results, hard hitting lead generation tactics and more. An array of door prizes and a networking reception rounded out the day.

As is often the case at such conferences, the level of business know-how ranged from those just entering the business to those who have been successfully running a renovation business for many years. However, everyone there was eager to talk business, to spend time sharpening their business saw as they prepared for another year. Each of these renovation company owners and key staff members invested their time and money to improving their business processes.

What business improvement actions are on your calendar? Here are a few ideas to get you moving in the right direction.

1. Read a great business book. Most of the highly successful remodelers I’ve met are avid readers, completing a dozen or more business books each year. What was the last business book you’ve read. I find that each time I dive into another book, I get excited about the possibilities and eager to use the new information I’ve learned to improve the business.

Here are a few suggestions (most are golden oldies that still deliver a punch!)

    1. Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard
    2. The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack
    3. Good to Great by Jim Collins
    4. The Remodelers Guide to Making and Managing Money by Linda Case

2. Sign up for a webinar or teleseminar. Every topic you could hope to learn is available via the web. Below are a couple of resources I use to keep up on marketing developments.

    1. Marketing Experiments
    2. Marketing Profs

3. Attend a seminar or workshop

    1. Keep your eyes open for workshops or seminars happening in your area that focus on a skill that needs improving. Some suggestions:
      i.   Dale Carnegie’s Leadership Training for Managers. Could be great for your staff too!
      ii.  Sandler Sales Training. This franchise organization offers regular seminars in most major cities.

4. Visit a company that you think does a fantastic job. Look around and think about companies in your market that really do a great job. Not other remodeling companies but those in totally different industries. Perhaps it’s a deli, like Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Or a furniture store like one I heard about in Boston. Or a auto service company. I truly believe that we can learn so much from other kinds of businesses.

A key to continuing success is continuing education. I hope that some of these ideas will help you improve your business skills and help you have a fantastic future.

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