Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUN 2018

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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needs analysis of your business. You can't plan if you haven't evaluated what's going on, and if you don't plan, you're going to feel overwhelmed because there are so many things you need to do. Once you've evaluat- ed things, you can prioritize so you can see where you're making money and not making money. You have to know where the money is coming from and where it's going, right down to the penny. Once you've figured out which parts of the business need attention, the next step is figuring out how to manage your time with the same attention that you devote to managing the money. TIME MANAGEMENT Time management is critical. It's ongoing. It has to be because there are a lot of dis- tracted contractors. They're dealing with so many different thoughts, ideas, tasks and situations that it becomes difficult to focus. So in a day or two, you can learn valu- able techniques for managing time; but even with all that awareness, you're still you. That's not going to change. Nor is the fact that stress limits your ability to manage well or sometimes at all. The Mayo clinic lists "lack of motivation or focus" and "feel- ing overwhelmed" as two common effects of stress on mood. It can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. If you react in a spontaneous and volatile way to stress, there's a way around it. n One way to dig out from that situation is to get someone from outside to come in, i.e., a business coach. Often a coach can look at things a lot more objectively than an owner. He's outside the heat of the moment. In its early days, CCN didn't have business coaches; we had Richard Kaller. I arrived feeling completely overwhelmed like many. "What's the most important thing?" Kaller asked. "Sales," I replied. "Okay, let's fix sales right now," he said. "If we don't fix it and the right amount of money's not coming in, none of the rest of it matters." WHAT ARE THE GOALS? Today we coach contractors through the chaos, that feeling of being overwhelmed. We show people how to get themselves and their business organized. When someone requests assistance, the first thing I ask is: "What are the goals of this business?" Oftentimes, an owner will say, "to make money," or "We have goals but we don't write them down." So they don't have a plan, nothing is written, and that owner is pulled in 25 different directions at once and doesn't know how to say no to anyone. You have to have goals to know what's important, what's less important and what is so lacking in importance that you can safely ignore it. Once you do, you can pri- oritize tasks so as to redirect your energies toward those that will make the most differ- ence. Confusion and frustration diminish accordingly. NEEDS ANALYSIS? I normally say that business planning is the most important thing to start with because business planning helps you look at the whole picture. It's essentially performing a HAVE YOU ever taken a be- haviorial profiling test? I took several recently and found myself almost right in the middle when it comes to Emotional Spontaneity—how someone re- acts to something. When your score is high, you react spontaneously to pressure. You have mood swings. When it's low, you remain calm under pressure. I'm in the low-to-medi- um scoring, meaning that I'm spontaneous and sometimes controlled. REMAIN CALM Information like this is important to know because it helps you understand and explain how you act when faced with stress. It can enable you to take a more measured response to stress and not get emotionally hijacked by difficult or unforeseen situations—and a contracting business is full of them. When people feel overwhelmed, they do things that might seem out of character. They lash out or shut down. When I think back on some of the mothers I've known, trying to work and raise kids at the same time, I'm amazed. Why weren't they always overwhelmed? There wasn't much choice. Not being over- whelmed involves learning to organize your time and energy by prioritizing tasks. If that seems obvious, it's also obvious that com- paratively few contractors do it well. Maybe it's because they don't even realize they're overwhelmed; stress is just part of the busi - ness. It's only when things can't continue the way they are, and things spiral out of control, that they stop and look at things. CRASH, BOOM, BANG Usually when that happens, something triggers it. The leads are down or the mon- ey's tight or someone quits, and they lose it. Which only compounds the problem. Stress Test Running or owning a home improvement business can be overwhelming. Get organized by prioritizing your tasks. By Scott Siegal Scott Siegal is owner of Maggio Roofing in Washington, D.C., and also owns the Certified Contractors Network. You can learn more about CCN by going to the website contractors.net. QualifiedRemodeler.com QR June 2018 | SPECIAL SECTION: HOME IMPROVEMENT PRO 53

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