Words: George Hedley
When your company first started, the founder had a dream where he or she wanted the business to go, do, and become over the next few years. Nothing is different today. The owners still have a vision of what they want the business to become. But most owners have stopped pursuing their dreams and have settled for what they’ve gotten used to in the area of customers, competition, people, margins, opportunities, and their ability to achieve goals they really want.
After several years building their companies, most owners eventually reach a level of what I call the ‘uncomfortable zone” where they’re uncomfortable being at their maximum level of pain, stress, energy, and effort they can stand without having a business that works for them. They have fallen short of reaching their vision of an organized systemized business that makes lots of money, and gives them exactly what they want in the area of time, satisfaction, peace, finances, and freedom.
Have you reached your ‘Uncomfortable Zone?’
- At the maximum level of what you can do yourself?
- Your company has stopped growing?
- Can’t do more or grow with what you’ve got?
- Unorganized with all your systems in your head?
- Often feel overworked and out of control?
- Wish you had a stronger management team?
- You have to make too many decisions?
- You micro-manage, control, and make most decisions?
- Unhappy with low profit margins?
- Tired of selling low price to win more work?
- Hope things will get better?
- Settled for less than what you want?
- Know you need to change but don’t know what to do?
As a contractor business coach, I regularly get calls from frustrated business owners who after too many years of too many hours and too little money, have reached their limits and are finally willing to seek help. The typical question is what do I need to do to change my business and get it to work the way it should? The typical scenario is no written plan, no handle on their numbers, can’t find any good help, no accountable managers or supervisors, and not making enough money for their efforts.
To build a better business, you need to first decide what you want to accomplish over the next five years. In other words, where do you want your business to go and what do you want it to become? You’re not in business to struggle, work hard, be frustrated, and not make enough profit for the risk you take. The reason you’re in business is to earn a good return on your investment of time, energy, and money. Like buying stock in a company, you invest to get a specific return on investment. In real estate development, the developer has a vision of a successful completed project and the financial return it will generate. In business, the owner must also have a vision of what the business will become and the return it will generate with good people, systems, production, and customers. Only then can you draft a written plan or what I call a ‘BIZ-Builder Blueprint’ to go out and make the vision become a reality.
Decide where you want to go!
When business owners call for help, I ask them to email me their business plan. All I normally get is a blank sheet of paper. If you don’t know where you want to go, does it really matter how fast you travel, or how hard you work? Without a written vision and detailed plan, how can you expect to ever get where you want to go?
Step #1 of drafting your BIZ-Builder Blueprint is to decide where you want your business to go and become over the next five years. What’s your vision for owning a perfect company? Think about what you want and precise results you want to shoot for and achieve. Identify how you’ll do business, the perfect size of your company, the type of customers, where you’ll do business, the number of employees, how you’ll generate revenue, what your company will be known for, how much money you want to generate, the wealth and assets you want to acquire, and what your role as the owner will be.
What’s your 5 year BIZ-VISION?
When I meet with construction companies to help them design their BIZ-Builder Blueprint, we start by drafting their 5 year BIZ-VISION to determine where they want their companies to go and become. Start by completing the ‘5 Year BIZ-VISION Worksheet’ and brainstorm as many dreams and desires you have about your company five years into the future. Don’t hold back. If you want to make $1 million per year net income or have a $10 million net worth in five years, write it down. Perhaps you want to be the leading specialty construction company in your market, or have ten loyal customers who give you all their work, or become the recognized expert in your market who charges the most. Maybe you want your company to be run by a general manager who handles the day-to-day operations, allowing you to work on your investment portfolio three days a week. Or perhaps you love working with customers and want to continue to be the chief salesperson and have someone else run your construction and field operations. The choice is yours. After all, it’s your company!
The 5 Year BIZ-VISION Worksheet
- 5 years from today, describe your perfect BIZ:
- 5 years from today, what do I want our BIZ to become or do?
- Characteristics, description & direction.
- What we do, how we do business & leader in.
- Specialties, expertise, niches, divisions or departments.
- Where we do BIZ – geographic area or locations.
- Size, sales revenue & growth.
- Profits, dividends, finances, equity, wealth & investments.
- Customers, markets, projects, contract types & services.
- Strategic partners, opportunities & joint ventures.
- Organizational structure, leadership & management team.
- People, employees & training.
- Project management, estimating, administration, supervision & field.
- Accounting and financial management.
- Productivity, tracking, job cost & technology.
- Equipment, revenue, profitability & management.
- Ownership’s role.
- In 5 years, what would make me excited about our BIZ?
- What results or improvements have we made?
- What challenges, problems or issues have been fixed?
- How would the business operate, be managed, and work?
- What would it do and how big would it be?
- How much money would it make?
- What type of projects or services would it be known for?
- What type of customers would it target?
- How would it be organized, systemized, and in control?
- What would it do for the owners?
- In 5 years, what ongoing results do I want the BIZ to achieve?
- Wealth & investments
- Personal & freedom
- In 5 years, what has happened in my BIZ for me to be happy with my role and results?
- What challenges, issues or problems do we need to fix or eliminate over the next 5 years to make my BIZ work for me?
Sample construction company 5 year BIZ-VISION:
- Grow @ 15% per year with 6% minimum net profit and $1 million working capital.
- Accountable, organized & systemized management team run company.
- Project types – office, industrial, manufacturing, and warehouse buildings.
- Project size – $6 million.
- Contract types – we will negotiate 80% of our contracts
- Sales plan – maintain a bid-hit ratio of 33% or better.
- Expertise – difficult projects requiring high performance evaluations & strict qualification standards.
- Employees – satisfied productive loyal team employees who achieve expected results.
- Safety – excellent safety program, rating, and culture.
- Equipment – well maintained and managed highly profitable equipment division.
- Owner’s role – provide leadership, inspiration, direction, and motivation; set targets and goals; keep employees focused on achieving results; seeking new business opportunities; stay active in the community; and not involved in day-to-day business, project management or estimating activities.
- Investments – we own investments that produce over $200,000 net income per year.
Now it’s your turn to draft your 5 Year BIZ-VISION. To get your copy of George’s BIZ-VISION Worksheets, email GH@HardhatPresentations.com. Write out what you want your company to become and do in the next 5 years including specific targets and goals you want to accomplish and achieve.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
George Hedley CSP CPBC is a certified professional construction BIZCOACH and popular industry speaker. He helps contractors grow, make more profit, build management teams, improve field production, and get their businesses to work for them. He is the best-selling author of “Get Your Construction Business To Always Make A Profit!” available on Amazon.com. E-mail GH@HardhatPresentations.com to sign-up for his free e-newsletter, start a personalized BIZCOACH program, attend a 2 ½ day BIZ-BUILDER Boot Camp, or get a discount at www.HardhatBIZSCHOOL.com online university for contractors.
George Hedley CSP CPBC
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