4 ways to create accountability and discipline in your team

4 WAYS TO CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY AND DISCIPLINE IN YOUR TEAM!

 

1. Set Goals

To create discipline you have to have a reason to be disciplined. Setting individual goals and team goals is a key way of achieving harmony in your business. Goal setting should be the very foundation you build your company on because it affects all areas of your business.  The process of setting goals should be a collaborative effort because there is an important relationship between goal clarity and team effectiveness.  One of the fastest ways to propel success is to have a team that has clarity on the action plan.  It is very important to remember that how you define your goals also sets up your organizational culture. Those companies who have clear goals remove chaos from their structure and as a result, they improve productivity.

2. Create Structure

To achieve discipline you need to have structure. Each person’s roles and responsibilities need to be defined so that everyone knows what they are accountable for and how their roles impact the roles of others on the team.  Create an organizational structure and show them examples how one team effects another, for example: if the installation crew provides bad quality of service it affects the sales team from getting referrals. Define the rules of the game, if you don’t outline rules nobody knows what’s inbound and out of bounds. Take note that when your company grows, it’s important to look at your teams’ roles and duties again, as things change such workload and the introduction of new team members.

3. Make The Team Accountability To The Team

Create an environment that requires everyone to participate, where the team benefits if they win together and consequences if they don’t work together.  For example, you can set team targets in all areas of your business such as in Sales, Quality Control and Marketing, and if they achieve their team goal then everyone benefits.  You as an employer also need to take responsibility for the team, for instance, if a team member is failing their team, then you need to step in and address the issue.  You want to foster an organization that has open communication, where people can provide feedback on performances, this will help in curbing issues.  When you create accountability in your environment it will off-set people from being lazy, blaming others and missing deadlines.

4. Systemize Habits

If you systemize habits, it will lead to more consistent outcomes from your employees.  You don’t always want to be improvising because it’s simply not very productive, it leaves room for errors. Have systems in place that people have to follow with specific steps for how these systems need to be adhered to.  For example, an installation crew needs to follow a certain checklist so that quality is assured.  To produce more productive teams you can have a follow-up system of accountability, which allows for regular meetings that measure and track productivity. When you are drawing out the steps to systematizing a task it’s important to have your employees involved because they can provide valuable insight to the position. Once you have the steps layout, you should then have it all documented and posted so that the organization is clear on the process.

Conclusion:

If you are struggling to find discipline in your team and you had hoped that common sense and basic respect for the job would be given, then I would highly suggest that you take a look at your workforce structure and see where you can systemize habits. Your role in the company shouldn’t be just to settle problems constantly, it should be about creating a culture that is based on accountability to each other so that productivity is always up. As the leader of the company you need to first set expectations for yourself and the team, and then model it.

 

 

Pay Yourself - Contractors Profit Plan

Pay Yourself a Salary— The Contractor’s Profit Plan

Register for our FREE WEBINAR!

Why wouldn’t you value your own time and not give yourself a salary?

Many contractors go into business with one main purpose in mind and that is for financial security. Why do so many contractors forget to pay themselves a salary? As the business owner, you should get paid for your efforts. If you don’t pay yourself you will then struggle to pay your bills and put food on the table, and it eventually leave you with financial problems. In addition, it will affect your health as it will cause you stress and possibly even heart problems. Pay yourself what you are worth, it makes good business sense. Too many times contractors will either not give themselves a salary or they find themselves getting paid less per hour than their own team members! If you pay yourself for your efforts, you will find yourself more motivated to be focused on the growth of the company, and finding ways to make more sales.

Here are three things to consider when starting to pay yourself:

 

1. How much to pay yourself

When you are determining how much to pay yourself look at your cash flow projections and profits. Once you have figured out how much you need for operating funds, you should then put in your salary, which is your basic worth. How much you should exactly pay yourself will be dependent on the company’s development, but you should at least aspire to get your markets worth. Along with your market worth, you also include in your wages, the duties you perform, and the amount of time you spend working in the business.

2. Profit isn’t salary

Your salary shouldn’t be part of your profits. Profits should be calculated after you have paid yourself, because after you pay yourself you may find that you are actually operating at a loss. Don’t make the mistake of failing to value your own time in the same way you would value an employee’s time. Your personal financials should be separated from the business because you deserve to pay yourself a salary that is deserving of your time. If you end up pocketing wrongful profits, then how will you ensure your business’s longevity?

3. Set yourself a regular salary payment

This payment should be what you pay yourself every two weeks, or monthly. The payment should be consistent so that you can include that as part of your overhead cost. You don’t want to be paying yourself as much you want as this could cause you tax problems, and it can lead to incorrect financial numbers. Of course, with time as your business company grows more profitable you can than make changes to reflect that, but make sure there is a pattern.

If you want to succeed as a business owner, you need to start looking at the bigger picture and playing smart. Smart means that you are paying yourself a salary.

Ask yourself, these 2 questions:

#1) Are my wages equal to the duties that I perform?

#2) Does my pay reflect the amount of time I have spent in the business and the monetary investment I have put into it?

If you have trouble determining how to answer these questions, then maybe you need to evaluate why you came into business for yourself in the first place.

The Contractors Profit Plan is a FREE WEBINAR we’ll be hosting on Tuesday, Dec 12th @ 10am EST

 

Register Now!

Quote Profitably - Blog

5 Steps to Double the Success Rate of Your Quote

5 Steps to Double the Success Rate of Your Quote

 

Quote Tip #1: Who is your Target Market?

It’s important to know who your target market is because once you’ve identified this you’ll be able to better research your ideal customers. Focus on the fears, frustrations, wants, and needs of your customers because this is one of the key factors in influencing your sales quote to getting approved. Customers base their decision on whether they should buy from you or not mainly on how much you relate to them i.e.: understanding their reasons for wanting this project done, their concerns, and whether or not you speak their language.

 

Quote Tip #2: Are you Making Money?

Always ensure that the quote price is sufficient to getting the job done and that you’ll be making a profit. In order to work out if your price is profitable, work out your “job costing”. In addition, get to know your margins! You need to know the net profit you make from each client who buys your products and services. If you understand how much you actually make from each sale, you’ll be able to work out what is required to cover your costs and make a profit.

 

Quote Tip #3: Understand your Capacity.

Before you quote on a job, always ask yourself, “can I provide the products or services in the quantities and timeframe requested?” Make sure you don’t quote beyond your means to deliver either in cost and/or time. Be confident in your ability to complete the tasks required. Research and review the proposal and consider your quote carefully before you commit to it. Never quote unless you’re certain you can deliver to their satisfaction.

 

Quote Tip #4: Do you have a Sales Process?

Develop a sales process so that you can systemize your quoting efforts and win more jobs. When you take a strategic approach with your quoting, you’re less likely to lose out on jobs. Take the time to create templates for quotes so that your presentations always look professional and consistent. Have a script prepared for each phase starting from the first moment of engagement. Present testimonials of your past work, as this will display your reputation and promise to deliver. Always deliver a quote in person.

 

Quote Tip #5: Be Proactive and Follow-Up.

Too many times contractors will spend time assessing the work, providing advice and preparing the quote but shortly after the delivery they disappear just waiting for the customer to call back. Be assertive, it is your right to ask for feedback. Feedback can mean winning a job, getting a referral or just you expanding your database for future opportunities. Treat quoting like an investment, where you deserve to know what your return is on it.

 

What is the Next Step for ME in order to Quote Profitably?

It is important that you track all your jobs so that you’re always making a profit and being competitive in your quotes at the same time. To help you get started, we’re giving away our Progress to Profit Dashboard™ tool. Get all your jobs on track to profit! You can grab your copy by clicking here.

Win More Jobs

How to Win More Jobs with our 30-Point Checklist

You want to win more jobs for the coming season in order to catch up on past work, be able to pay your crews on time, and get the chance to make a bigger and better name for you and your company. Did I guess right?

Why isn’t that happening? I bet it’s because you think the only contractors that win enough jobs out there are low-balling their prices in order to get them. While that may be true in some cases, it’s not the only way to win more jobs— trust me.

Look, I know there’s fierce competition around every corner, but lowering your prices just to land a job to make measly profit, is not worth it. There are tons of other marketing and sales options to try before you reach that low point…

In fact, I’ve just completed a list of my top marketing and sales strategies that will help contractors win more jobs. It’s called The Contractor’s 30-Point Checklist to Winning More Jobs™— pretty straight forward, huh? It contains many helpful tips and suggestions that you can apply real-time.

It’s a simple checklist to help you focus on the strategies you need to be doing in order to win more jobs. This checklist stresses the importance of identifying what you currently have in place in terms of marketing and sales strategies and what areas you might not even be aware of, but should be implementing into your own business.

Stop scraping by, winning jobs, with only the method of lowering your prices; you’re only further hurting your employees, your company, and yourself. If you want to win more jobs, make more profit, and take your business to the next level, you have to think strategically.

You can print this checklist off as many times as you’d like and share it with your team to look at. This checklist will help you differentiate yourself from your competition because you’ll have extra strategies beyond just price. You’ll find these strategies have nothing to do with lowering your prices but everything to do with winning over your ideal customers.

Today’s the day you stop lowering your prices and start winning more jobs!

Pssst: this checklist is free! Simply click HERE to start your instant download.

This tool has helped dozens of Canadian contractors nationwide and it can help you too!

Remember, if you have any questions or comments, shoot us an email at support@profitforcontractors.com.

What strategies are you going to test out? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page!

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Job Costing, Accurate Estimates, Field, Status, Profits

Job Costing

Attention Builders, this one’s for you!

 

Job costing allows for accurate estimates to be provided to your clients, and in turn, protects you from getting short-handed.  You do not want to start a project with a cash discrepancy; the best way to protect yourself is by using previous data to calculate costs on labour, material, subs, equipment rental and any other variable costs that may affect your profits. The historical data will also let you know where the losses and gains were on the previous project. When you are estimating on labour rates and hours, make sure you consider the level of difficulty the project will be for the crew, and how much time is required to look after them on-site. You also want to keep in mind any indirect costs such as taxes and benefits. Take your time to provide accurate estimates on labour and material costs, so that you can stay profitable!

 

Job Costing lets you know the status. One of the main purposes of job costing is to create a better schedule so that you can manage the crew more effectively— knowing exactly what the crew is doing on the project. This process eliminates waste in labour cost because you will be allocating your crew time properly, while it indicates where you are within your budget. You don’t want to go over budget and run into problems that cause you to go into a deficit. A schedule and job cost calculation will also indicate where you are at with the progress of the project and if you are on track.  Make sure you are tracking the status of the project by creating reports and setting up red flag alerts in the system to spot potential issues, ex: if you are behind schedule and coming close to going over budget.

 

Job Costing lets you get more details from the field. Job Costing is about creating actual cost categories. Once you have the categories setup and communicated to your crew, the information coming from the field will be more relevant. The time cards will not just include the time coming in and out, but also what tasks they worked on each day. In addition, those that have access to the budget in the field will also include actual-cost-to-date information in their invoices, inventory receipt, and time card. Getting this extra information from the field will provide you with a better measurement of the actual cost associated to the categories you created for your project. The information will also help prevent overspending. Initially, the details and paperwork will be a lot, but once it is done, habits will be formed and your staff will get used to it, then the amount of work on your part will be reduced.

 

Job Costing will make you profits. It is in the details with job costing where it will save you money and lets you stay on track with the profits you wish to make on the project. Job costing is especially useful when you are tight on cash because you will be gathering actual costs associated with your project, therefore you will always be aware of how much cash flow you have on hand and know when you need to bill your clients so that cash doesn’t run out. Since you will be billing accurately, you will ensure that expenses never get ahead of income for a project.  The ability to predict cash flow and know where money is being taken out from can make all the difference on how successful and profitable a project will be to your business.

 

Conclusion— Job costing allows you to manage your jobs more thoroughly because it takes in account the complete picture on cost. The system demands you to look into every detail from labour costs per task, to costs per cost category on a job. The biggest benefit of job costing is that it will protect your cash flow because you will have a better understanding of scheduling and  cost. Too many times when contractors run into financial problems, it is because they are not profitable on jobs and run out of cash flow.

 

If you’re a builder looking to improve on this area in your business, sign up for a free Business Growth Strategy Session with Contractor Specialist Andrew Houston to discuss which areas you need to improve upon in order to maximize profits and scale your business. Click here for more details.

Client Testimonial - June Webinar

How Scott Saved 2-4% on his Bottom Line by Leading Effective Team Meetings

 

Scott used to dread running team meetings.

Prior to this month, Scott, a contractor in the Greater Toronto Area, used to dread running team meetings.

The stress he felt leading up to them impacted how he handled specific topics discussed during the meetings, and he often found himself being extremely reactive as opposed to proactive.

It wasn’t until his interactions with Profit For Contractors did he realize his lack of structure and focus was the reason the team meetings were not successful. Scott didn’t know how to properly lead his team in this scenario and therefore communication was often skewed or lost in team meetings.

 

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“We know poor communication can unleash an array of issues when it comes to running a business”  Tweet This

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Scott discovered the simple Profit For Contractors tool that helped him change everything: “The Top 5 Money-Making Meetings Guide”.

With this tool he was able to:

  • Learn how to prepare for meetings ahead of time so that he is more proactive
  • Be a better leader to his team
  • Communicate effortlessly
  • Set agendas for meetings
  • Stick to a specific timeline so meetings were short, but effective and precise
  • Save 2-4% on their bottom line profits
  • Hire a new manager to take over the task of running meetings

 

The relief Scott now feels from knowing he or his manager are leading effective team meetings is life changing. Profit For Contractors offers simple tools to help you work smarter, not harder and in turn teaches you how to use these very tools on quarterly webinars.

 

If you are looking to change the way you lead your team meetings, and ultimately, make more profits, then join Profit For Contractors on our next education webinar June 27, 2017, at 11:00am EST.

 

If you have any questions concerning this topic, feel free to contact Profit for Contractors at 613-604-4531 or support@profitforcontractors.com

Technology-Worker-Tablet

Technology-based Systems— a new road to profitability

Technology has come a long way over the decades. It provides many options to allow contractors to better master their business. Almost every aspect of a contracting company can be systemized using technology of some sort.

Back in the day, there were far fewer tools to help you do daily work tasks. It was a lot more grit, brain power, and hands-on work to get the job done. It required working long days including evenings and weekends, immense stress due to keeping it all in your own head, and a tired body from always being on the go.

It doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Let’s compare:

THEN: picture the contractor who used a dull pencil and wrinkled papers crammed into an overstuffed folder to organize their day, keep their team accountable, hire new employees, and track their profits. Chaotic, right?

VS.

NOW: picture the contractor who uses a smartphone and tablet to systemize many aspects of their business; no mess, just a piece of technology tucked into their work pants, ready to tackle the day at the click of a button. Easy, right?

While there’s nothing wrong with using ‘old school’ methods to run and systemize a contracting business, it can create a bit of chaos if not done properly. Let’s face it, working solely on paper and in your own head can be tough— and lead to missed opportunities, and chaos in the office and job site.

Instead of sorting through dozens of papers scattered all throughout the company van, why not use a digital app to keep you organized and the company systemized?

 

“Almost every aspect of a contracting company can be systemized using technology of some sort.”

 

There are many examples of what technology can do for us:

Organizing our time: now we have Google Calendar, Self Control – one example of a free apps that can block distracting websites from you during the workday, and the ability to set reminders on our phone. After all, why keep all your daily tasks in your own head when you can see them in front of so that you never miss a beat?

Keeping our team accountable: now we have digital checklists connected to mobile apps for employees to use such as the free online tool Trello. We also have software that can track your teams’ work hours such as ExakTime. Why just assume your team is working efficiently without you being there— know for sure so that you’re paying your crew for the time and effort they truly put in.

Hiring new employees: now we have the Internet and plenty of sites to help us find the perfect candidates for a job opening. Kijiji, Craigslist, Indeed, Monster, and Workopolis to name a few. Why just post the print ad on your office window and hope people will drop by— post it everywhere so you get more opportunities to work with only the best.

Tracking profits: Now we can hire employees to use QuickBooks or put together easy-to-read spreadsheets in order to stay on top of our financials. Why just hope for profits when we can plan for them?

 

At Profit For Contractors, we understand the struggle of keeping it all in your own head and not having the time to look for technological tools to help you better organize and systemize your business. It’s why we’d like to help you.

On our upcoming FREE webinar: “Systems & Procedures to Help you get CONTROL of your Business” we’re discussing the top systems contractors are using to maximize profits, get control of their teams, and get time back. It’s happening Tuesday, April 25th, 11:00am EST. Save your spot today by clicking here.

 

If you have any questions contact us at support@profitforcontractors.com or give us a call at 1-613-604-4531.

Work Smarter, Not Harder! (Time Management Tips)

This blog post is full of time management tips. To learn how to implement them into your business and workday, book in a quick 15-minute chat with us: http://bit.do/15minchat.

1. Create Productive Habits  

Create a calendar that includes your goals and the details of your actions needed to complete those goals. Make sure you prioritize your actions and tasks so that you’re always working on the most important items. Do not multi-task, but rather work in block times. For example: 8am-9am check emails/faxes, 10am-12pm work on estimates and bidding, etc. This way you can focus on 1 task at a time without deviating from being distracted by too many items. 

 

2. Motivate and Delegate 

Cultivating a ‘no waste’ environment in your small business is extremely important! Get your employees involved and on-board by getting them to create their own calendars. Share your calendar with your team members, so that they are aware of when you are available for meetings. The calendar will aid in improving your communication with your team members. You should also start delegating work; one way is to develop an apprenticeship plan that focuses on getting team members trained on low-valued tasks. This in return will help you free up your time to focus on the high valued tasks. Have the details of the training laid out in a manual, so that you can leverage this process for any new hire. 

 

3. Take Time to Check on Finances 

The old adage that “Cash is King” is true, but we should consider time as a factor as well. Time’s value of money is crucial, especially in account receivable analysis. Many companies fail to keep up with the account receivables. 

You should bill your customers right away. Every day you wait is another day without getting paid. Print your account receivable report every month or if you are in a cash crunch then every week, so that you will know when you need to initiate stronger collection methods. 

 

4. Time and Projects 

The most important thing that all contractors should be doing is responding to quotes on a timely manner. To achieve this, you need to first prioritize your tasks, so that you make the time needed to create a quote, because if you’re slow at getting it out, then you give your competitors a bigger chance to walk away with the win.


Always track your time, because during projects this will be a vital source that will help you generate a more accurate estimates on how much time you need to work on a project and it will prevent you from getting under cut. 


Many contractors will take deposits upfront and bill end of projects, but when you do this you leave yourself open to running out of cash especially if it’s a large project, and that is why I recommend that you breakdown project fees into different stages of payment. 

 

Conclusion

One of the easiest way to increase your income, is to pay attention to how you are spending your time, and then make adjustments to help you spend it better. Having time management as a vital role in your company will allow you to make better choices that will yield better results. Get proactive about time management and start conditioning your environment and do not let it condition you.

 

Register for a complimentary webinar on Jan 24 at 11:00am and learn how to free up your time in 2017 and stop leaving behind what’s important. Click here to register: http://bit.do/jan24-web