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Don’t Win The Game and Lose Your Business! Part 1

George Hedley, Posted 03/01/2017

Have you ever played on a sports team with a losing record? As the season comes closer to the end, a losing coach must make one of two choices: panic in desperation and call some bad plays or sacrifice short-term gains to build for the future. The desperate coach who fears for their future often calls hail-Mary plays, hopes for a miracle, or makes some bad decisions. A solid and confident coach will stick to basic principles and do what they know will build a better team over the long haul.

 

Desperate People Make Desperate Decisions!

In your business struggles, have you called any risky plays in hopes that a miracle will salvage your future and keep you afloat? Often desperate business owners call the wrong plays to bandage the short term and keep them surviving and barely able to play the game. To keep their companies alive and remain in the game, I have witnessed many poor decisions made including:

 

  • Bidding contracts at cost to keep crews and equipment working.
  • Eliminating employee training to cut costs.
  • Not upgrading technology to save money.
  • Selling equipment at a huge discount to generate cash.
  • Letting go of key managers to reduce overhead expenses.
  • Trying to generate more sales without a marketing budget or salesperson.
  • Offering large discounts to get paid faster.
  • Trying to generate revenue without thinking about long-term plans.

A winning coach must always put long-term success ahead of short-term victories to build a winning team that will remain victorious and gain momentum over the long haul. These successful coaches build on a solid foundation of values, principles, character and planning. Just like winning coaches, successful business owners also have goals, targets and plans built on sound principles for success. These sound principles include:

 

  • A strong management team
  • Written targets and goals
  • Systematic operations
  • Financial management
  • Ongoing sales and marketing
  • Employee training
  • Administrative excellence
  • Cutting-edge technology
  • Profitability
  • Innovation and creativity

 

It's Back to Business Basics!

As the business climate changes and business gets tougher, your business must still work and run on all four cylinders! Work well, work fast, work lean and produce results. You still need 11 players out on your football field, backed by coaches, management, sales, marketing, accounting, trainers, administration and leadership. You can't get it to work without all the parts necessary to run your team. Without all the required parts operating efficiently, you'll eventually lose your business to your banker, suppliers, competitors, bonding company or the creditors.

Attempting desperate moves and eliminating parts, people, managers and systems required to manage a successful business won't deliver the results you need to sustain your viable business. And, in today's competitive environment, to make it worse, your old customer pipelines won't feed the machine and your old-school management techniques won't work. To make matters worse, most business leaders are stuck in the past, outdated, and continually playing catch up with the new competitors, new products, new delivery systems, and high-tech ideas that appear quickly, intense, and difficult to maintain or implement.

A while ago I attended a convention on how to grow my business in the new economy. It became obvious that I will either have to make significant changes and investments in how I do business starting today, or my business will not succeed over the next few years, and eventually become impossible to make a profit continuing to do business the same old way I have done it for the last 10 years.

Established businesses typically sit and wait for some other company to try new ideas or be first with new types of leadership, systems, technology, delivery methods, employee incentives, or company operations. Many resist making tough decisions about their future and don't change until it's too late. Some people hope that everything will work out, as it always has before during a growing economy. This type of leadership will only do one thing in today's exponentially pressured business climate: fail.

Today, it takes innovative strategy, decisiveness and a new vision to be successful. It takes guts to make tough decisions that will keep you in business, allow you to emerge as an industry leader, grow and profit. It takes real strength and confidence to coach a winning team and keep it on the leader board over the long haul.

 

Think New and Different Plays!

To build a winning long-time business, start with a new playbook with blank pages. Ask the question: if we could start over, how could we design this company to be a cutting-edge and profitable industry leader? Forget about your current people, positions, procedures, equipment, strategies, or customers. Think new. Think new markets. Think real customer needs. Think creative approaches. Think beyond the same old box. Think different and new delivery systems, pricing structures, chain of commands, rewards and incentives, management reporting, productivity programs, customer relationships, sales and marketing approaches, and profit goals. Think younger with less control. Think about rewarding and compensating results in new ways.

Think faster. Think better than ever before. Think beyond. Customers today want it all. Design your product or service for today's demanding customer who expects perfect quality and perfect service at a great price even faster than you can imagine. Design your company to deliver bottom-line results twice the industry average because of your super-fast productivity and efficiency.

 

Read part 2 of "Don't Win the Game and Lose Your Business" here

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George Hedley is a professional construction BIZCOACH and popular industry speaker who helps contractors increase profits, grow and get their companies to work. To learn more, visit www.hardhatpresentations.com.

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