Take Time To Plan Your Plan!
Imagine yourself stranded on an island trying to decide how to best get off before you run out of food and die. Without any input, advice, or ideas from others, it would be difficult to make the right decisions. Now imagine a business owner sitting in their office alone trying to make all the decisions on how to run their company. These senerios are similar. Without input from others, making decisions based solely on what you know and your experiences are no guarantees you’ll choose the right path. Your chances of succeeding are less than 50%, or 20%, or perhaps ZERO! Not good odds when your company’s future is at stake.
Can you do it all yourself?
With the fun and excitement of running a construction company comes much stress and strain. Overwhelmed with tough questions, no easy answers, and difficult decisions; frustrated business owners delay deciding what to do about their future, management team, customers, equipment, marketing, profits, financials, and growth. And when you postpone decisions, you keep tolerating mediocre employees, poor results, inadequate systems, and struggle to make enough money. Eventually you realize you can’t do it all yourself and need to seek some help. Unfortunately most never get off their treadmill to look for advice or make time for improvement. This is like delaying a trip to the doctor, even though you know that nagging chest pain must be treated before it’s too late and you have a heart attack.
Me, Myself & I
The best advice you can get is from experienced unbiased professionals who know your business, can offer real steps to improve, and are not afraid of telling you the truth. Within 7 years after starting my construction company, I had 150 employees doing $50,000,000 in annual sales. I thought I was doing great and knew everything there was to know about business for a young 35 year old. A friend suggested a company board of directors could help me take my company to the next level. So, I asked five very successful businessmen to be on my board. At our first meeting, I proudly presented my goals, financials, and plans for the future. I then asked for input. One by one they proceeded to rip me apart and ask questions I couldn’t answer. Their laser-like questions included:
“Is that all the money you make for the risk you take?”
“Why are you only doing that type of work?”
“Why is your employee turn-over so high?”
“Why do you do so much of the work yourself?”
“Who’s on your management team and accountable for results?
“What’s your plan to improve profitability?”
“What new customers and markets have you tried in the last year?”
“Why are you afraid to delegate and let go of major decisions?”
“Do you have a written strategic business plan?”
These questions made me feel about two feet tall. I thought I had done well building a company. But my management team consisted of me, myself, and I. Plus, I had obviously missed the boat on most major strategies required to become VERY successful and VERY profitable.
Get some help!
My advisory board recommended I hire a professional business coach who specialized in helping construction business owners grow and profit. They also suggested we write our strategic business plan before I made another dumb decision. After several days of shock from the reality of the board meeting, I took their advice and decided to invest in my company’s future and get some help. I hired a construction business coach who helped me with my leadership style and analyzed our management team. He also reviewed and helped improve our operational systems, standards, and procedures to get us organized and in control. He reviewed our numbers and gave us advice on what was required to make more money. He also did a great job at facilitating our two day strategic business planning retreat. I couldn’t have made all the changes I needed to make without the help, advice, and pushing of an outside consultant who’s agenda was to make our company better.
Where do you need help?
Every small business owner has internal challenges, threats, and tough decisions to make. Some have long time employees who’ve stopped being productive. Many can’t decide what moves they need to take to find better customers, or improve bottom-line results. Without sound advice, owners postpone tough decisions and usually stay stuck doing what they’ve always done.
Take time to plan your plan.
Taking time for a strategic business planning retreat with company owners and key managers and a professional facilitator or business coach, will help you determine your company’s future. Your written plan will include a vision, key success factors, goals, objectives, targets, strategy, and action plans clearly defined and written. Your decisions will answer these key questions:
- What’s the owner’s purpose for owning the company?
- What’s our 5 year business mission and vision?
- What core values and business principles do we stand for?
- How do we want to do business?
- What type of customers & projects do we want?
- What’s working, not working, and what do we need to fix?
- What people and organizational structure do we need?
- What systems do we need to implement?
- What additional opportunities are available to us?
- What results do we want to accomplish?
Invest in your future!
Taking time to face reality, getting advice, making decisions, and drafting a strategic plan are proven steps to help your company achieve its’ goals. Are you up to the task? Are you willing to look in the mirror and face reality? Do you really want to make a positive difference in your future? Are you open to change and improve results? Are you ready to tackle your people, processes, systems, procedures, communication, customers, organizational chart, reporting, chain of command, delegation, accountability, methods, focus, direction, and your leadership style? Stop postponing and take time to plan your plan! Start by getting a copy of George’s ‘Write Winning Targets & Goals’ workbook, email: GH@HardhatPresentations.com”