Imagine you want to build your dream vacation lakefront home. You own the perfect 2-acre waterfront lot free and clear. You have plenty of money saved in the bank for construction. You’ve selected a great architect and excellent contractor. You are ready to start the building process. At your first development team meeting, you get asked the big questions: What do you want? What would make this house perfect for you and your family? But you aren’t sure exactly what you want just yet. You can’t envision the finished house at this early stage. You figure you’ll get started and see where the project goes.
So what should the architect do? He can’t design a house without input describing what his client wants. The contractor also can’t build the perfect home without a complete set of working plans or blueprints laying out exactly what the owner wants the finished product to be.
Most construction business owners operate their business without a set of plans. They don’t know what they want. So they take whatever they can get. Think about your company. What would make it perfect for you? If you could hire a business consultant to design and build the perfect business for you, what would the finished product look like? How would it work? What would it do? How big would it be? What type of products, services or projects would it be known for? What type of customers would it specialize in? How much money would it make? Would it make a difference in your industry or community? Would it be organized, systemized and in control? What would it do for the owner? Would it deliver peace of mind, security, freedom and fun for the owner and managers?
Why Are You in Business?
When entrepreneurs start their companies, they’re excited to be on their own, land some work, and start making money. They do a good job for their customers as they remain intimately involved in every aspect of the business. Then they get busier, more employees, more customers, more overhead, and more jobs to worry about. They get unfocused putting out the multiple fires that attack them constantly. They forget why they’re in business. They keep fighting and working to make enough money to stay alive, keep the doors open, keep their crews busy, and the cash flow coming.
After five, 10 or 20 years, business owners eventually wake up and start questioning their efforts and methods. Nothing seems to get better. Their repeat customers ask them to work cheaper, faster, better, and accept slower pay. Their employees want more while doing less. The government makes it tougher for them to make any money. They have been in business for years but don’t have much to show for their efforts except a sour attitude, more wrinkles, more aches and pains, less hair and more stress. In fact, they’ve lost their passion and have forgotten the real reason they went into business years ago.
Remember Your Dream?
Remember when you first started your business. You had a big dream of building the perfect business. It would deliver perfect service, great quality, repeat customers, hard working loyal employees, and stability for your future. In return you would receive a large financial reward and plenty of free time to enjoy the benefits of owning your business.
What do you want your business to do for you?
Do you have a personal ‘BIZ-BUILDER BLUEPRINT’ or written plan to keep your business focused to deliver what you want? Do you know what you want? When will your dreams become reality? Or have you been working to hard to think about it? What happened to your dream? Why can’t you get your business to work the way you want it to? What happened to your written targets and goals? Too busy working to make any money? Waiting for the economy, or your employees, or your customers to change? Or perhaps you’re waiting for a miracle to happen!
As I think about my perfect company, I know exactly what I want. Do you?
I want my business to give me exactly what I want!
I want my business to:
- Be 100 percent run by the management team
- Be organized and systemized
- Have lots of loyal repeat customers
- Have a culture of high integrity
- Make double the industry average profit margin
- Generate at least 25 percent annual return on equity
- Create wealth build opportunities
- Build my net worth by at least 20 percent per year
- Allow me time and money to contribute and give back to others
- Deliver me plenty of freedom and time to enjoy the benefits of business ownership
Every few months, I hold two-day “BIZ-BUILDER” boot camps for business owners to help them get back on track and re-build their companies into the perfect business they once dreamed of that delivers exactly what they want. As a part of the program, I created a simple one page form called my “BIZ BUILDER BLUEPRINT” to help business owners write out exactly what they want, their vision, targets, and action plans to achieve their dreams. This process helps them get focused on why they’re in business and how to get their company to give them what they want in one, five, 10 and 20 years.
To get started drafting your personal “BIZ BUILDER BLUEPRINT” complete the following exercise to determine the purpose for owning your business:
- What is my purpose for owning my business?
- Why does my business exist?
- What do I want my business to do for me?
- Describe what I want my business to give me in:
5. Describe how I want my business to give me the ability to
- Help Others
- Give Back
6. Describe how my business will allow me to live my life ‘On-Purpose…On-Target!
Once you have re-discovered the reasons why you own your company and the real purpose for your business, write out a simple and concise personal ‘BIZ-Purpose Statement.’ For example my ‘BIZ-Purpose Statement’ is as follows:
My BIZ-PURPOSE Statement:
“The purpose for owning my business is to give me what I want! First and foremost, I want my construction company to make lots of money, build my net worth and create opportunities to own passive income producing properties. I want my business to be organized, systemized, in-control and 100 percent run by the management team. I want my company to provide excellent commercial construction and development services, deliver first-class on-time projects, and provide full value for our customers with high integrity. I want my business to create long time loyal repeat customers who give us plenty of work at profit margin double the industry average. This will allow our equity to grow at least 20 to 25 percent every year. I want our company to also seek wealth building opportunities as a major part of our overall business plan.
So I can enjoy time with my family, take several annual trips with my wife, experience lots of friends, and be able to enjoy the benefits of business ownership.
My business will allow me to become wealthy, debt free, have enough passive income to not have to seek cheap work or bad customers to stay busy, contribute to others, and have time to give back to my family, industry, community and charities.
And have the ability to Live My Life ‘On-Purpose…On-Target!’”
What’s the purpose for your business?
Now it’s your turn to write out your personal ‘BIZ-Purpose Statement’. Use this form to help you draft a concise statement of the reason you are in business and what you want it to do for you.
My BIZ-PURPOSE Statement:
The Purpose For Owning My Business Is To Give Me:
My Business Will Allow Me To:
So I Can Enjoy:
And Have The Ability To:
And Live My Life ‘On-Purpose…On-Target!’
What’s Your Five-Year Business Vision?
Next, let’s get specific about the future targets and goals you want your company to accomplish. What exactly do you want your company to be or do in the next two to five to 10 years? Think about precise targets and results you want to achieve. Imagine what you want your business to become and do: how big, the type of customers, the wealth and assets you want to acquire, where you want to do business, number of employees, project sizes, how you will generate revenue, what your company will be known for, and what your role as the owner will be. Think big and be specific.
My 5-Year BIZ-VISION
1. My VISION Of The Perfect Business I Want To Own:
2. What Will Make My Business Successful?
3. What I Want My Business To Be & Do In ______ To ______ Years?
- Business Characteristics
- Strategic Partners/Business Opportunities/Joint Ventures
- Our Best Products or Services
- Our Best Type of Customers
- How Big We Will Our Business Be
- Where We Do Business
- What My Company Will Be Known For
- My Management Team & Employees
- My Role As Owner
What Do You Want?
Next write out and draft your personal ‘BIZ-Vision Statement’ using the descriptions you outlined above describing your personal business vision for future accomplishments, achievements and results your company will achieve and become. An example of a business owner’s personal ‘BIZ-Vision Statement’ might be:
“Within the next 5 years, we will build our company into a major full service and full value commercial construction and development company. We will pride ourselves in meeting our customer’s goals in the areas of schedule, cost, and quality. Our Goal Is To Make Every Project A Success! As a general contractor, every year we will build 10 to 15 projects totaling $40,000,000 to $50,000,000 in annual sales. This will generate 4 percent minimum pre-tax net profit. We will participate in the development, ownership, acquisition, planning, design, construction and management of at least two industrial and office building real estate development projects annually at least 50,000 square feet.
We will specialize in building great projects for a small exclusive group of loyal customers who demand trust, integrity, expertise, full value and total service. Our project types will include: office, industrial, manufacturing and warehouse buildings; corporate headquarters; multi-tenant business parks; and small buildings for sale projects throughout Southern California and the Las Vegas market. Our average project size will be $6,000,000 and the minimum project we will build is $2,000,000. Our customer targets shall include privately held corporations and professional developers with a mix of 80 percent loyal repeat and 20 percent new customers every year. We will negotiate 80 percent of our contracts.
We will be recognized as the leader in providing the best personal, professional, and knowledgeable construction and development services available. We will be known for our open book “full-service” management system, competitive prices, great subcontractor relations, the best pre-construction services available, accurate cost estimating and value engineering. We will be known as a financially strong, fiscally responsible, systemized, organized, in-control company with leading edge technology.
Our company will be 100 percent managed by the executive management team including the general manager, financial manager, business development manager, chief estimator, operations manager and office manager. My role as the owner will be to provide leadership, inspiration, direction, motivation, set the targets and goals, and keep people focused on achieving the results we want. I will also seek, create, and generate new business opportunities, be active in the community, and not get involved in the day to day business management activities.”
Now it’s your turn to create your ‘BIZ-Vision Statement’ that will describe how you see your company in the future.
My BIZ-VISION Statement:
Within The Next _________ Years, My Company Will Grow Into A Successful & _______________________________________________________________(My Dream)
________________________________________________________ (Type of Company)
Providing _________________________________ (Description Of Products & Services)
To ____________________________________________________ (Type Of Customers)
Throughout _____________________________________________________. (Location)
We Will Be Recognized As The _______________________________________________________
My Company Will Be Managed By _________________________________. (Employees)
My Role As The Owner Will Be ______________________________________________________.
Put Your Dreams into Action!
The next task is to take your vision and purpose for being in business, and turn it into a working action plan. This one-page ‘BIZ BUILDER BLUEPRINT’ will clearly describe what you want your business to become in the future and the action steps you’ll take to achieve your dreams. Start by simplifying and recapping your ‘BIZ-Purpose Statement’ and your ‘Business Vision Statement’. Then think about what specific targets you must achieve to make your purpose and vision become reality.
For example, if one of your goals is to grow your company, your may want to create a ‘BIZ-Builder Target’ as follows: Seek 10 loyal customers within five years who will generate at least $5,000,000 each in sales at a gross profit margin of 10 percent. Another target you might want to achieve is to develop a management team who’ll run your company for you.
A ‘BIZ-Builder Target’ could then be: Within 5 years, have in place a full charge management team including a general operations manager, field manager, office manager, financial manager and business development manager.
My BIZ-Builder TARGETS
Put Your Plan into Action!
After you have identified your ‘BIZ-Builder Targets’, think about what actions you need to take to achieve you personal business vision and purpose. Some actions you may need to take might include: drafting a marketing plan, hiring a general manager, installing a professional accounting software package, getting a line of credit, selling some of your underutilized equipment, getting a handle on your job costs, improving your estimating accuracy, creating a better way to serve your customers, finding an excellent project manager, or seeking additional capital to grow your business.
What actions are necessary to achieve your business goals? Fill out the action plans to make your dreams become real.
My BIZ-Builder ACTION PLAN
Putting it All Together!
Now that you’ve done all the work to layout and draft your future business plans, the fun part is to get everything written precisely on one page. This document will be your blueprint as you manage your pressing activities and decide what you should do first every day. Review your business purpose, vision, targets and action plans and write them onto your personal one-page “BIZ-BUILDER BLUEPRINT.”
MY BIZ-BUILDER BLUEPRINT
My BIZ-PURPOSE Statement
My BIZ-VISION Statement
My BIZ-Builder TARGETS
My BIZ-Builder ACTION PLAN
My Business Will Achieve My Vision & Purpose By: ____________________
Signed: _________________________ Date: _____________
George Hedley, CSP, CPBC, helps contractors grow and profit as a professional business coach, popular speaker and peer group leader. He is the author of “Get Your Construction Business to Always Make a Profit!” and “Hardhat BIZSCHOOL Online University” available on his website. Visit www.hardhatbizschool.com for more information.