Grow a Successful Construction Business While Enjoying Your Life
Recently I was talking to a good friend of mine that has multiple businesses that take him all over the world. We were comparing notes on how much time we were home in the last year and he blew me away. He had only been at home a total of 38 nights in the previous year. He was gone so much, that he decided to sell his Ferrari (great problem to have,right?) because he wasn’t driving it very much and it was just sitting there. For him, his life is a choice based on what he loves to do.
Many of you may feel like you’re never home, yet you may not always love the reasons (much less have the problem of selling your Ferrari due to lack of use). Here are a few ideas to try and fix that balance, get some of the enjoyment back, and maybe even work towards that Ferrari.
EXAMINE YOUR TEAM
Time and time again I come across construction businesses with weak players at key positions. They were great when the company was small, now as the company grows, they don’t have the horsepower to keep up in their original role or many times, the role has changed and outgrown their comfort level.
Answer this question: If we reset your company today and could replace everyone with no hurt feelings and no money ramifications, would there be some you know you would replace? Are you holding on to people based on relationships instead of performance? If you answered No and No, that’s great. I hope you are right. Few companies are that clean though.
Take a hard look at upgrading some of your team or at a minimum challenge them to perform better and feel some of your stress melt away. Carrying the team is a huge burden and most likely is stunting your growth. What type of team do you have?
EXAMINE YOUR PROCESSES
In general, the construction industry is archaic. It is very slow to move to new ways of doing things. The companies that examine and alter their processes as they learn and test new ways of doing things will be the ones that survive for the long haul. In addition, they will not be the last company to change that is fighting everyone else in the industry to adopt new methods.
A great exercise is to map out every step of your process from order intake to fulfillment. There are probably more steps than you originally thought. Assign a responsible party and a duration to each one. Where are the bottlenecks? What are some ideas to get around those? Do this with each area of your business on a regular basis to keep challenging the norm. High performing companies are never satisfied, they always believe they can do it better, faster and more affordably. What type of company are you?
GET THE FACTS
There have been many times I have done my initial intake meeting and asked a series of questions that get blank looks. These are questions that are vital to a business’s health and to its growth potential like:
What do your financials look like?
What is your budget for this year?
What will the business look like in 5 years?
What does your training program look like?
How will your job change as the company grows?
I have scared off multiple clients in this type of meeting because they are simply not ready or willing yet to put in the work to build a real plan and make it happen. Success isn’t easy for most of us. One of my favorite quotes is, “Luck is just the intersection of preparedness and opportunity.” Will you be ready when opportunity calls? Are you preparing for success or survival? Getting the facts will help you build a factual plan that has a chance to work.
Putting a goal on the wall is like pouring a foundation with no forms, it’s just going to splatter everywhere and take the shape of whatever is there.
You can have your cake and eat it too. You can grow an amazing business where you make more money AND have more time to enjoy it. You just need someone to pull off the cloak that keeps you from seeing it. One of my favorite stories, is a client of mine who runs a multimillion dollar subcontractor company, called me and said he wasn’t sure what to do. All of his people were doing their jobs so well he felt “useless.” He had TOO MUCH time on his hands.