The building industry is loaded with opportunity unlike any we’ve seen since pre-2008. That translates into a terrific season to grow your building business and capture blazing profits. Taking away two nearly insurmountable obstacles of the past; lack of customers in the marketplace and lack of available financing, builders are left with an open door to lasting success. However, getting through that narrow door requires a plan and a lot of discipline.
With few exceptions, business owners in our industry aren’t known for being strategic. That’s not a critique, just a fact. Instead, we’re known for being busy. Busy in the sense of having a lot of projects to build is not a bad thing. Busy in terms of working longer hours to keep the wheels from coming off is a bad thing. Working longer and harder is not the answer to capturing opportunity. Working smarter, and more strategically is!
Structuring your building business for lasting success (defined as great profits and time to enjoy them) can seem like an insurmountable challenge in and of itself when buried in day-to-day activities. However, with the right customers in the marketplace, and the availability of financing, no challenge, bottleneck or roadblock can stop you from succeeding if you really want to! Perhaps the biggest obstacle is you.
What do you really want? If it’s great profits, peace of mind and time for the things and people that really matter to you, then disciplined strategy is your answer. Here are some proven strategies to initiate immediate and lasting change:
Get a fresh start. Take yourself out of the line of fire, isolated from people, problems and distractions in order to just think – for one hour a day. Try blocking out the time on your calendar, the same way you do for a doctor’s appointment or client meeting. Invest that precious time to write out the answers to some compelling questions like “Why do we exist?”, “How much net profit do I really want and need to make from this business in a year?”, “What will that goal require in terms of sales revenue and gross profit margin achieve it?”, “Who is my ideal customer?”, “How will we engage with them and convert them into customers?”, “What positions need to be hired to free up my time for leadership?”.
Within one week, you will have completed five hours of disciplined planning, and likely will have a sense that you’ve accomplished more than the past five years! That’s how powerful and rewarding personal discipline and strategic thinking is.
Next, in your planning time, determine exactly what your break-even revenue is and how much you should be marking up your building costs (labor, materials and sub-contractors) to achieve your net profit goal. Many will find this to be a real challenge since a lack of financial expertise is an epidemic problem among business owners in our industry. Don’t let it stop you! This is not as big of a hurdle as it may seem, and the sooner you tackle it the sooner you will be free from one of the most paralyzing and self-limiting business threats!
Instead, make this an epic turning point in your business life. Go find help! Call your CPA, business coach, or QuickBooks advisor. At very least, get on the internet and read. Then fill out our GPScorecard by following this link (follow the instructions at the bottom of the chart please and choose a gross profit percentage that is not too conservative).