February 20, 2012 | By Joe Radcliff |
Why ask the big questions of your construction business?
It’s simple, really, how asking yourself a few key questions can move you forward as you look to grow your contracting business. Since we’re in the business of helping contractors grow their business and improve profits, we think about this a lot. In fact, improving profits and operations efficiency is why we’re in the construction software business.
Question #1: What are our critical business decisions?
Reviewing and reflecting on the important decisions you need to make to grow your construction business is the first step. Perhaps you are not satisfied with your sales and sales lead process, for example, so here the decision might be, first, to make a commitment to improve sales lead generation and sales lead conversion rates. There is power in merely identifying the decision area. You might not have all the answers yet, but writing it down on your list, your decision agenda, can be powerful and motivating.
Question #2: What are the best options to grow my business?
So, from question #1, you might make a decision to grow sales as a step to improve profits. But that decision, while important, doesn’t energize action. This is where coming up with actual options leads to action. Using our “improving sales” decision example, options are the possible choices you have to improve sales. Use some creativity here, and look ahead to the other questions on the list. As an example, options to the “improving construction sales” decision might be…
- Hire more sales people.
- Conduct sales training for the people you have.
- Better organize your sales process and improve lead conversion.
- Revise your sales compensation program.
- Consider the effectiveness of your advertising.
See the power of generating options or choices? You may decide to take action on more than one. The magic comes from taking a deep look from with inside to harvest your construction business experience and knowledge.
Question #3: What management tools can give us advantage?
Keeping an eye on the management tools and process that are available stimulates thinking. What are the possibilities? What are the opportunities to use the latest construction management tools? What services are available to help? Reviewing these can help refine your options or choices.
Question #4: What are successful contractors doing?
Talking to colleagues is valuable: ask yourself, “What are the winners doing?” What management tools are they using? What processes, procedures, and policies do they use? And back to our example, how do the best have a humming sales engine?
Question #5: What is our ultimate business goal?
This last question, gets to the bottom line. Take time to think about your most imporltant business goals. What is your ultimate goal? In our example of growing sales, you may not want to grow sales volume, but rather, you may wish to instead maximize the profitability fromm the sales you already generate.
The point is to get to the basics of your ultimate business goals given your track record, experience, and your construction company’s capacities.
There you have it. Five basic questions to ask yourself to improve your construction profits. You may have other questions to add to the list. Keep asking yourself these questions, and your colleagues in the business, and your employees. The result will be a more focused and clear business strategy for your construction business.