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The Official Publication
of the Mason Contractors
Association of America
What Are Your Top 2 Business Priorities?
Several years ago, I made a resolution to take charge of my business life, put my priorities first and focus on building loyal customer relationships. I committed to work smarter, get organized and in-control, focus on the 20 percent that produces 80 percent of the results, delegate as much as possible to my employees, spend 33 percent of my time with customers, and get home at decent time.
When Monday morning rolled around, I was excited and got to work early. I made a list of all the things I had to do and prioritized them into three categories: must do, should do, and don’t have to do. Then guess what happened at 8:30 a.m.? I started to get calls and emails putting demands on my time. People were requesting I attend meetings, customers had immediate needs, superintendents were having problems with subcontractors, the concrete crew was sitting around waiting for concrete, and one of our trucks had broken down. So I did what I always do: I went out and attempted to fix everyone else’s problems for them.
When I finally got back to the office at 4 p.m., I realized I had missed lunch and my desk was piled with at least 25 new requests, notes, invoices, voice mails, and files requiring my immediate attention. So much for getting to my priorities! Then, my best customer called and asked me to play golf with him at his private country club the next morning. He wanted to introduce me to his banker and talk about his next project. How could I play golf? I didn’t have enough time in the day. I have to fix everyone’s problems and put out all these fires.
The Top 2 business priorities
In my opinion, business is simple. The two most important priorities are to find customers and then keep customers. Finding customers involves everything to keep profitable revenue coming in the door. Finding customers includes sales, marketing, estimating, presenting proposals, customer appreciation, schmoozing, networking, and what you do to build loyal customer relationships. This area is often overlooked in construction businesses. Most construction company owners focus on bidding work, and then getting it done. As a top priority, finding customers cannot be delegated easily. Customers want to know who they are doing business with.
Keeping customers is all about doing a good job and meeting your customers’ expectations and contractual requirements. This top priority is an outcome of a well-organized and systemized operation led by a professional management team and well-trained employees. This area of your company can be managed by a professional management team that implements your business mission, philosophy, organizational systems and procedures. But, without great systems in place, delegating operational tasks is impossible.
Hire pros to grow
The fastest way to get your company organized and focused on keeping customers is to hire the best and give them the task of getting the work done. Great people do cost more money, but take less time to manage than weaker ones. Plus, you’ll never be able to get your business to grow beyond the capacity of your top people. Professionals will make you money. You can’t continue to do it all yourself. Sell your truck or backhoe, lease a used one, take the money, and hire a professional to help you.
Put your priorities to work
George Hedley, HARDHAT Presentations
|Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 15:43|