I was sitting at the breakfast table at the end of the fall season at 5:30 in the morning, hands on my face and…
my wife asks “what is wrong?”
My reply: I am the busiest broke contractor and I am tired. We have had a busy summer and fall season with up to 11 guys in the field.
On the outside looking in we were successful, multiple trucks in the area and everyone knew who we were.
But this was my week:
- I was up by 5:30 am everyday on the computer writing estimates and checking bank balances
- Making sure all the guys were busy and had something to do everyday
- Running around dropping off stock and putting out “fires”
- Looking at Jobs, meeting with customers, tending to jobsites
- Daily wondering why jobs are not getting done on time.
- Wondering where all these promised checks were. They must be in the mail
- Checking bank balance, making sure I can make payroll (barely)
- Paint Store balance starting to climb
- Wondering why my guys aren’t getting jobs done on time
- Sleepless nights
- Payroll is met, but once again I didn’t get paid
- Saturday painting all day to catch up wondering why all my guys are not here (Oh yes, they got paid)
- Sunday, paperwork and worrying.
Now let’s do it all over again the next week…
Is this you… Can you relate?
Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I was there, I was tired and I needed it to CHANGE.
What did I do?
- Embrace Change and step outside my comfort zone.
- Use technology as your friend (I hated technology)
- Evaluate every employee in respect to: (in no specific order)
- Evaluate their work ethics
- Evaluate their production
- Evaluate their company / Team attitude
- Evaluate their willingness to accept change
- I had to change my attitude
- Revaluate my customers and who I wanted to work for and with.
The time was never right to change anything but as I looked back, my business was a house of cards waiting for any slight breeze till it came crashing down.
What I did to Change course:
- Ask for Help: Seek out an experienced mentor who has walked the walk and can guide you thru these obstacles and assist in setting a new course.
- Revaluate everything.
- Part ways with employees who are not 110% on board with change, no matter how long they have been with you and or related to you. You and your other employees will be happy when this happens.
- Accept Technology and new programs that are available. This was frustrating for me at first as I pushed technology away from me. But after a short time you will be amazed at the time saved and the increased productivity from your crew or crews.
- Give your employees responsibility to make decisions
- Don’t build a company. Build a TEAM. Respect your employees, get to know them and they will feel appreciated.
It was a about one year ago that I decided I needed change and a new direction. This came with some reluctance, but I can report as of today business is:
- Increased 68%
- 8 men in the field producing
- Team members have paid vacations
- I do not work more than 40 hours a week
- I sleep well
- Money in the bank with a reserve
- Accountant told me to take an extra bonus
- And I get to take my dogs for a walk everyday at 4 pm
Is it time for a change for you?
Getting access to all of the DYB Systems, and the members only group for just $37, is a whole lot less expensive than learning these lessons on your own.
Great post, Ron! It’s all in how you look at your business. If you look at it as a job, it will be a job. If you look at it as a business, it will be a business.
I’m guilty of everything you mentioned above. But I’m working on changing all of that.