How To Work ON Your Business Instead Of IN It
How You Can Take Control Of Your Contracting Business And Grow It Strategically
A Contractor CRM Can Be A Fantastic Tool For Smart Growth
Does this sound painfully familiar as the owner of a contracting business?
You have plans to spend most of your time actually leading your business by making smart strategic decisions and creating plans to grow.
But somehow, you never seem to reach that point. Instead, you find yourself always putting out fires, doing work that should be delegated to others, and being everyone’s go-to person for every question.
And even if you had enough time to think strategically, you’re not sure you have enough of a grasp of the right details of your contracting business and what it would take to grow it.
If all this is ringing alarm bells of familiarity in your head, you have fallen into the classic trap of working in your business, instead of working on your business. It can happen to any business owner, but it is a particular hazard for home improvement businesses. Many people that get into this vicious cycle of direction-less managing start by doing the work themselves and are also usually actively involved in managing the smallest details.
It becomes a habit where everything seems to land on your plate – a customer complaint, a job that needs re-scheduled, a final payment to chase down.
After a while, a business owner can begin to feel trapped on a treadmill that never seems to turn off and is always speeding up. When your contracting business is controlling you instead of the other way around, being the owner begins to feel like just another job of drudgery. You dreamed of being an entrepreneur for freedom, and now you are stuck on the hamster wheel.
So, what’s the solution?
The Three Keys To Improving Your Work Life When You Own A Home Improvement Business
#1 Create Workflows & Processes
When a business first gets launched, there’s so much to do that processes tend to develop somewhat haphazardly. You’re doing what you have to do and learning as you go.
But this initial stage often lasts way too long. Processes formed randomly become standard because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” In fact, it can get worse because as your business grows, and your processes are not keeping up, you can easily get locked into a chronic state of doing whatever is in front of you next.
Here’s a better way. Design clear workflows and processes right now, and then commit to continually improving them as your business grows.
For example, ask yourself: How is each lead handled, from the time you receive it through job completion? And how do you track it?
If you haven’t created clear workflows and processes as of yet in your home improvement business, set aside some serious time with your team to create them.
#2 Know Your Numbers
One of the surest signs that you are working in your business and not on your business is not knowing your numbers, backward and forwards. Simply put: If you don’t have a firm grasp of your metrics, you don’t have a firm grasp on your business.
Without knowing your numbers, how will you know what needs improvement in any kind of precise way? How will you discover the bottlenecks in your process?
Without metrics, you also don’t have a clear picture of what is working well–which also means you don’t know to do more of it.
For example, if you don’t know your cost per lead broken down by lead sources, and you don’t know which leads generate the most sales, you are without a doubt missing opportunities to improve your business. There may be lead sources you should cut out for poor outcomes, and others you should be doubling-down on.
This is just scratching the surface of knowing your numbers. For more information, check out this article.
#3 Fire Fast, Hire Slow
If you feel like everyone comes to you expecting to solve all the problems, you may not have the right people working for you. You need to learn to delegate and then let your people sink or swim. If they sink, give them another chance after you provide them with some coaching. If they sink again after you have coached them, it’s probably time to let them go.
That can be hard in some cases. But if they are the wrong person for the job, it’s only going to get more painful over time. When you know they’re not the right fit, have the courage to let them go.
When it comes to hiring, never fall into the trap of hiring the first warm body that meets the minimum qualifications on paper. That feels like you’re solving your problem (“I need someone now!”), but what you are really setting yourself up for is more of the same in the future. You simply cannot get off the treadmill if you don’t have the right people.
Take your time and find someone whose work ethic, skill, and steadiness match the values of your business. The short-term pain will be worth the long-term gain.
A Tool That Can Help
There’s a tool that can make a huge impact on whether you succeed in transitioning from working in your business to working on your business. That tool is CRM software for contractors (CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management).
For one thing, it makes “knowing your numbers” far easier than if you try to do it manually through spreadsheets and hand entry. With a top-quality CRM software designed specifically for home improvement businesses, once a lead is in your system, it can be tracked in real-time through every detail of your process.
Aggregation and an analysis of your numbers will be at your fingertips with a good dashboard. You simply go in and click on what you want to see, and you’ll get completely up-to-date information showing you crucial information to help you build a growth strategy. (Here is a good article on what numbers CRM software for contractors can help you track).
This kind of software will also help you with workflow and processes. You can customize your CRM to match your workflow, and then you can see where leads may be slipping through the cracks. You can see where there are common bottlenecks in your workflow. You’ll be able to see where specific sales consultants are not following up with leads that need a little more TLC to close.
In short, CRM software for contractors can be a terrific asset if you would like to start working strategically to grow your business by leaps and bounds.
Finding The Right CRM For Contractors
Many CRMs are geared to serve businesses in a general sense; many are not specifically tailor-made for contractors. Home improvement businesses should not even consider those because they won’t be tailored enough to give you the results you want. But even if you find a CRM that is made for contractors, don’t automatically assume it is excellent. The truth is many are mediocre.The best thing to do is to insist on a guided test drive before making any kind of decision. Builder Prime gives free demos so you can see why it is the best CRM contractor software on the market. Schedule your free demo and see how it can change your home improvement business for the better.