Why Wait Until the Phone Stops Ringing?
There is plenty of talk these days about how to survive in a “slowing” market.
I’m not sure that we, as remodelers, are in a slowing market. But many of the business tips that are being offered to builders right now are just as applicable to our businesses.
But for us, there is absolutely no reason to wait until a downturn. The time to implement these suggestions is now.
For instance, you probably have heard about new and improved marketing strategies. Implement the ones that make sense to you, especially if something you’re currently doing isn’t yielding the results you’re expecting. Don’t wait until the phone stops ringing, because if you do, guess what? You’re already too late.
The key to successful marketing is to diligently find out what is working, where your leads and customers are coming from, and which of those sources is the most profitable for you. When you know this, you can make informed decisions. And don’t worry about something not working well enough. You can test your new ideas and strategies with minimal risk to you or your company.
Are you considering reducing staff? If so, why wait to make your decision? After all, we are not operating nonprofit organizations (though, at times, some of us may feel like we are). Being a humanitarian is great, but not at the expense of your business. That’s just plain foolish.
If someone isn’t pulling his weight, make a change now. Or, to paraphrase that old Chicago machine politics adage, “vote early and vote often,” when it comes to employees, cut quick and cut often.
You owe it to those who are productive and who increase your profitability to retain and hire only those who share those qualities and attributes.
To diversify for the sake of diversification is as foolish as growing for the sake of growth. Neither should be rushed into. Both need to be analyzed, planned and accomplished with a set goal in mind.
As for expenses, whether in good times or bad, you constantly should be scrutinizing your expenditures. Maybe that extra cell phone or cell phone feature is not needed and can go. Maybe that additional company truck you have is nothing more than a really expensive billboard that could be replaced with a job sign.
Maybe that “assistant” you took on a year ago is nibbling away at profits that could be realized if you’d put in an extra four more hours a week yourself.
Focus on what you do best, identify your best market and customers, diversify or grow with planned and measured processes, and cut overhead where it’s not needed. These are steps you can take now that will enhance your bottom line. Don’t wait for a downturn to think and work this way.
Remember, profit is not a four letter word. Profit is all about working smarter.
That’s all from me now. I’m off to put an extra four hours in.
Greg Miedema, CGR, CAPS, is president of Dakota Builders in Tucson, Ariz. He is the founder of his local Remodelors™ Council, a member of the NAHB Remodelors™ Council Board of Trustees and currently serves as the chairman of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA). The SAHBA also named Dakota Builders, Inc. the Remodelor™ of the Year in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2003. For more information, e-mail Miedema, or visit the Dakota Builders Web site at www.dakotabuildersinc.com.
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