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

Did You Make the Profits you Wanted to this Year?

It’s that time of year when we ask ourselves questions like: “Where did the year go? I still have so much left to accomplish!” or “Where did I go wrong? I didn’t get the results I wanted from my business!” These questions tend to make you feel either very good or very bad—but usually very bad. Let’s see if you can relate to the following (check off the boxes that resonate with you):
• I’m not getting the freedom I wanted from owning my own business.
• I feel imprisoned in my job; drowning in an extremely long To-Do list.
• I’m working on tasks that are way below my pay grade.
• I’m too involved in simple routine tasks that my employees should be handling.
• I’m not making the profits I deserve considering the work I put in.
• My cash flow is like a rollercoaster—totally unpredictable and, sometimes, scary.
• I want to take my business to the next level but don’t know where to start.The list of challenges a contractor can face in his business can be endless, making you feel overwhelmed and discouraged. You’re probably an amazing tradesperson but, when it comes to playing a businessperson, it’s a whole different show.

So how do you master your business in 2017 and make it the best year ever?

STEP #1
Know the 3 core pillars that make up a successful contracting business:

1. Time & Team
2. Profits & Cash Flow
3. Marketing & Sales

STEP #2
Know the order of these pillars and the reasoning behind it. Time & Team comes first because, if it’s out of control, you simply won’t have time to focus on improving your profits, cash flow, or marketing and sales.

Profits & Cash Flow comes second because you need to know whether you’re doing profitable work before you go out, land more work and market yourself out of business. When you’re unable to forecast your cash flow, and you get more work than your bank account can handle, you can go bankrupt very easily.

Once you have a handle on your profits, you can identify both the types of work and the clients that are more profitable, which helps you amp up Marketing & Sales.

STEP #3
Create a plan relative to the 3 core pillars that will help you see quick results. Start by joining me and Electrical Business Magazine for a Planning for Profits & Freedom in 2017 webinar on January 12, 2017, 2 pm EST. During this workshop, you will:

• Learn how to plug leaks in each of the 3 core pillars.
• Learn strategies for systemizing aspects of those pillars within your business.
• Learn how to be more profitable.

Meantime, let’s have a look at some top core pillar strategies for you to try out before January’s webinar workshop. These strategies will deliver the best results in the least amount of time and with the least amount of effort.

Time & Team top strategy
Draw three columns on a blank piece of paper labelled: Tasks, Value and DSEK. Under Tasks, write down everything you do (yes, it will be a long list). Next, estimate a value beside each Task in terms of money, time, etc. In the last column, determine what should be done with every task. Are you going to:

D:    delegate?
S:    systemize?
E:    eliminate?
K:    keep?

Circle the lowest-value tasks and get started!

Profits & Cash Flow top strategy
Compile time sheets and costs (material and other). Add them up and compare to your quote to determine whether you’re profitable on the work you’re doing. Leverage this data to determine team efficiency, and whether the type of work you’re doing—and for whom you’re doing the work—is a good fit. Knowing this is a game-changer for your Profits & Cash Flow!

Marketing & Sales tops strategy
Start using a client feedback form on every job; ask clients to fill it out while your crews are cleaning up. Have them rate the quality of work, cleanliness, promptness, etc., of your company. Include a testimonial and referral section. Now you have something you can show your next prospect to prove you’re the best contractor for them and the job. I call it “Trust Transference”. Stop saying you provide good quality and service and start proving it. (Added bonus: this is also a great document for employee reviews.)

Free tools
In closing, when you register for our workshop webinar, you’ll get a copy of our done-for-you feedback form plus the Contractor’s Toolbox of Strategies tool, which gives you over 70 strategies for improving each of the 3 core pillars.

Thanks to Electrical Business Magazine for promoting our article. See it on their site along with the video here.

How Types of Work will Affect your Profits

What do you believe to be the most rewarding thing about owning your own business?

Is it getting to choose the employees that work for you? Is it the culture you get to create? Is it the freedom of leaving early on a Friday just because you can?

If you’re thinking right now, “I don’t get any of those things from my business!” Then keep on reading in order to find out why.

Here at Profit for Contractors, we teach business owners of the trades about the 3 important pillars that construct any contracting business: Time & Team, Profits & Cash Flow, and Marketing & Sales.

Which pillar do you feel carries the most weight?

You got it— PROFITS & CASH FLOW.

There’s no way you’ll have the ideal staff if you don’t have the means of paying for someone with experience. There’s no way you’ll get to run a business with the culture you desire if you’re always scrambling to get things done and scraping up pennies just to make it to the next month. And there’s certainly no way you’ll be able to take off a few hours on a Friday if you’re behind on getting paid and unsure you’re profitable on the jobs you’re currently running.

Unfortunately, cash is king. That’s something we have to always remember when it comes to running our own business.

Maximizing profits allows us to create a business that essentially acts as the vehicle to pay for our freedom.

 

Here are some top reasons why maximizing profits is so important for a business:

1) You can pay other people to do the things that are out of your pay grade

2) There’s less stress weighing down on you not only at work, but at home

3) Less time you have to spend at work evenings and weekends

4) You get to pay yourself more

5) You can afford to put systems in place to automate your business

6) You can grow the value of your business

 

Now, who doesn’t want to increase their profits?

But here’s a question for you: do you test and measure the different types of work you do in order to know which are the most profitable and which are the least profitable?

Here’s an example: Let’s say you do residential, industrial, and commercial work.

You make 10% gross profits on residential, 20% gross profits on industrial, and 30% gross profits on commercial work.

You would have to generate 50% more sales in residential just to make the same profits as you do in industrial, and you would have to get 100% more residential work in order to make the same profits as industrial.

 

Think about the effects of having to increase your sales by 50%-100% just to make the same profits:

  • You would have to quote more
  • Your overhead would go up because you have to do more work (more crews, more material)
  • The amount of time to manage the jobs goes through the roof
  • More work typically means more call backs (requiring more of your time and more arguments amongst the crew)
  • Your cash flow tanks because as we know, you have to pay for your material and pay your guys before yourself
  • You overall risk more

When you focus on getting the types of work done that are most profitable, you flip every one of these negative effects around and start to build a business that maximizes its profits.

 

Here’s how:

STEP 1) List the types of work you do

STEP 2) Get your bookkeeper and admin person to systemize the paperwork coming in from the crews, so that the material and labour for each type of work are separated

STEP 3) Determine the gross profit average for each type of work

STEP 4) Inform your sales and marketing team that you need to create a new marketing plan to land more of the higher profit jobs

STEP 5) Put the plan into action!

 

Focusing in on the most profitable types of work can be a game changer for your business. Just remember that every day is a chance to maximize profits, or lose them. Your job as the owner is to ensure that every type of work your team does, maximizes profits with the least amount of effort.

Keep in mind; this is just 1 method of many in regards to maximizing your profits.

You can have the freedom you desire, you just have to do the right work for it.

 

If you want more information about this topic, or have any questions about the services we offer, please visit us at profitforcontractors.com or send us an email at support@profitforcontractors.com

 

Pricing as a Contractor

I’m just going to flat-out say it: most contractors I know are under-confident and under pricing.

 

Which is understandable— there’s a very fine line you need to follow when it comes to pricing. And as we all know, often times, clients will base their decision off the lowest price offered— no ifs, ands, or buts.

 

So how do we go about changing this? How do we get confident about our pricing, so that we price at something reasonable and doable for ourselves, while still landing clients?

 

How do you price? Most contractors sell hours, blocks of hours, or months of their time or their teams’ time.

 

Ex: “My hourly rate is this ________.” Or “you can buy a six-pack of options for ____________.” Or: “This project is going to cost you ___________.”

 

Think about what you’re doing when you use messages like these. What are you really saying?

 

You’re just selling like everyone else. You’re selling just time and materials. You know this much per hour and that much for labour, and this much for materials.

 

That’s old-school thinking.

 

Let’s start winning jobs not only based upon price of labour and materials, but also based upon you.

 

So how do we pick a premium price and know we’re worth it?

 

It’s really simple. You just need to think a little deeper.

 

You need to know two numbers:

 

1) What’s the cost of not hiring you?

How much will it cost this prospect to fix mistakes done by a contractor who’s not qualified nor licensed? What are the financial repercussions if it’s done wrong? What are the health repercussions to them and their family? Think about the mental and emotional stress that could happen by choosing the wrong contractor.

 

How much is your being licensed worth? How much is your amount of years’ experience worth? How valuable is your promise to do things right on everything, on time? How valuable is your guarantee of keeping a clean and safe workspace— using only the best and most cautious procedures when working in a family home?

 

2) What’s the potential ROI (Return on Investment)?

What is the value of enjoying your work for a lifetime? What sort of increase in property value can you give them by means of additional features? How much more efficient can you make their lives?

 

What is the value of good workmanship? What is the value of an expert’s opinion? What is the value of not having to re-do a project come 10 years time? What is the value of knowing their house is worth more now because of the additions you suggested they do?

 

Once you determine these two numbers, it’s really simple. You pick a price that is an incredible deal for them in terms of the ROI they’re going to get, as well as a price that’s good for you.

 

That’s how to price for you.

If you have any questions about this article, or would like more insights on how to price as a contractor, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Our hours are 8am-4pm Monday-Friday EST.

 

You can reach us at 613-604-4531 or through email at support@profitforcontractors.com

Landing on the Owner’s Shoulders

You’re driving home after a long days work and your phone rings with yet another call from your team. They need your direction on something that should be routine for them. Yet again you have to pull up your sleeves to do a task you know is way below your pay grade. The task should be delegated to a team member but you just can’t shake free of it because you fear if you don’t tackle it yourself, something will go wrong. Sound familiar? Unless you do something about this boomerang effect now, you’ll be trapped for life with a business that cannot survive without you.

 

So how has your business come to be like this? The number one reason being that you lack systems. Currently you’re acting as the system; you’re either giving the step-by-step instructions every day or you’re doing the steps yourself— tasks you need to let go of.

 

Supporting your team with tools, templates, checklists, and other forms of systems is important for a number of reasons. The most compelling is so the owner can run the business without being run by the business. Systems should run your business; your team should follow the systems and your task should be to lead your team.

 

If you don’t have systems in place you’ll find it difficult to:

 

  • Scale your business
  • Create consistency amongst your team and their tasks
  • Concentrate on high-value tasks as owner
  • Maximize profits
  • Assess employee performance
  • Set targets for growth

 

Henry Ford made a profit by building and selling some of the first automobiles in America, but he became one of the wealthiest and most successful entrepreneurs in the world by figuring out systems that produced, marketed, and sold his cars for him. We need to do the same for your business. I’ve created a tool called “The Service Call Success System” that’ll help get you started. Download it here: http://bit.ly/28LXDyH

 

Now that you’ve got the tool and you’re ready to follow along, we need to figure out where to start.

 

Here’s a list of common areas contractors have problems with due to a lack of systems:

 

  • Quoting
  • Hiring
  • Administrative duties
  • Tracking labour and material
  • Marketing and sales
  • Finances

 

What are some areas in your business that are lacking systems? Create a list and then determine what tasks can be delegated from those areas. Start with planning to delegate the lowest-value tasks first— that way you can start to focus your time doing higher-value tasks in your day. You may want to do this in a team meeting in order to get them to understand what the benefits are for the business and for the team and what this means moving forward. Delegating lower-value tasks is all part of creating systems that will increase your teams’ ownership and accountability so it doesn’t always fall on you.

 

It’s time to create a system:

 

Step 1) Break the steps down into phases: For example, your service department would include 3 core phases of START (Prior to the service call itself), RUN (During the service call), and FINISH (Service call is complete.) Use different coloured sticky notes to list tasks specific to START, RUN, and FINISH.

 

Step 2) Measure each step: Rate out of 10 how well each step is being performed. Once finished, you’ll see the lowest rating is the weakest link and that’s where we’ll need to create our first system.

 

Step 3) Create a system: Ask yourself what type of system is going to work best for each step. Is it going to be a checklist, a form, a white board, some type of spreadsheet, or maybe new software? Get your administrative assistant to create something on paper and do some research into some software systems that may help, and then test it for a couple of weeks and tweak accordingly.

 

What we’ve just covered is going to give you the insights for some quick wins in order to get you moving forward now. If you’re interested in what other topics we teach and tools we have to help you enhance your business, then come out to our live webinar sponsored by Electrical Business Magazine on August 23, 2016 at 2 p.m. EST. Click here to register to the “Cash Flow Problems? 5 Ways to Maximize your Profits” live webinar. Please email us at support@profitforcontractors.com if you have any questions.

Bringing Your Business and Team from Chaos to Control

Have you ever had to run a large-scale job with a poorly structured set of plans? Or perhaps you’ve had to run a job without any plans at all? I can tell you, that as a fellow Electrician, I have been in this position and it turned out to be a disaster. I still question to this day why my boss even took the job in the first place.

Let me reflect on this moment and elaborate on the details so you can better understand the situation. I remember it was a lighting job that cost the company a fortune. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to do a good job or the rest of the crew was lacking the skills or not working hard enough that caused the mayhem. The shear fact that no one had any clue what we should’ve been doing was what caused complete chaos before we had even gotten started. The general contractor would verbally instruct us everyday as to where he wanted the fixtures; changing his mind like having to change a baby’s diaper. The special material required was ordered wrong which resulted in an 8-week lead-time. The layout changed at least 3 times which ran the job more than double the estimated time, it needed 30% more material than quoted, and nobody was happy with the final product.

So what’s the point of my story, and how does it relate to you? Well, whether it’s a job or a business that you’re running, I can assure you, you need a set of plans to clearly define the what, who, and when in order to clearly know how things are going to be done.

“You need a set of plans to clearly define the ‘what, who, and when’ in order to clearly know ‘how’ things are going to be done.”—  tweet this

One of the biggest problems contractors have is that with each job they run, a huge list of issues (due to a lack of structure, order, and plans) starts to pile up and they don’t know where to start in order to resolve them. These contractors spend all day acting as a fire fighter trying to put one issue to rest then jumping onto the next. The result? All this fire fighting is like a bandage to the problem, not a long-term solution, so their list of issues just keeps getting longer and more complicated as time goes on.

If you don’t sit down and create structure within your business and plans for your team, it could result in:

  • Your team being lost and not knowing where to even start on each project
  • A team with zero accountability that can’t ever problem-solve on their own
  • Working more hours and losing the freedom to spend time doing the things you love
  • Having a business that isn’t scalable because it’s just not able to grow beyond where it’s at now

What’s the solution? Let me share with you the 5 steps that are proven to help electrical contractors gain more control of their business:

Step 1— List all of the problems you have in your business. Get your entire team to share what isn’t working for them and get your administrative assistant to compile it.

Step 2— Write a list of all the roles you have in your business. Do you have a Foreman, Electricians, Apprentices, and Accounts Receivable staff? (Ideally you want to draw this up in what is called The Contractor’s Role Assessment chart. Click here to get the easy-to-use tool.)

Step 3— Assign the list of problems to the roles. This will bring light to what areas and roles are weakest so you know what’s causing the cracks in the foundation of your business.

Step 4— Pick the weakest role to focus on fixing first. Break down 2-3 results you want to see from this role. Ex: Foreman: Ensures job is on schedule and in sync with what was quoted.

Step 5— Define the rules for the role. This is where you become leader and start creating systems for each role. Using simple visual aids such as flowcharts, checklists, white boards, and calendars, generally create better outcomes.

Once you have a system in place for a few weeks or months, that has been tested and proven to work, and something goes wrong, you have someone to hold accountable. Always keep in mind though, that as a good leader you must accept the fact that some systems must be tweaked or changed over time to better work with your current crew and business as it currently stands.

Having the roles, results, and rules laid out will allow you to lead your team versus bossing them around and constantly running around resolving issues.

When I look back on that project my boss had our team tackle— without any structure, plans, order, or someone leading the way, it’s no wonder it ended up a disaster. Never forget how important it is to find the weak spots in your business and get to work creating systems that’ll fix them and the issues they cause. You can take your business from chaos to control— it’s just all in how you lead your team and plan for a successful future.

Click here to download the Contractor’s Role Assessment Chart to help accelerate getting more control of your business. If you would like some help using this tool, or would like to chat more about this topic, click here to book time for a complimentary 60-minute chat (valued at $397) sponsored by Electrical Business Magazine.