Don’t Win The Game and Lose Your Business! Part 1
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
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
- 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
- Offering large discounts to get paid faster.
- Trying to generate revenue without thinking about long-term
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
- A strong management team
- Written targets and goals
- Systematic operations
- Financial management
- Ongoing sales and marketing
- Employee training
- Administrative excellence
- Cutting-edge technology
- 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
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:
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
To be continued next month.
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.