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Hope is Not a Winning Plan

The most common business plan for construction business owners is “HOPE.” They hope things work out, the economy stays strong, they win enough work and they make a profit. To win games in a professional sport or a business, it takes a written and thought-out game plan with clear goals and strategies to achieve the results the head coach, assistant coaches, players and team members wants to hit.

By George Hedley

George Hedley 95X150

Imagine a construction business owner sitting in their office alone trying to make the right decisions on how to run their company, increase high margin sales or improve their project management systems. Without input from others, making decisions based solely on what you know and your past personal experiences are no guarantee you’ll choose the right path to take. Your chances are less than 50%, or 20%, or perhaps ZERO to succeed. Not good odds when your future is at stake.

It’s Lonely at the Top!

With the fun and excitement of owning and running a company comes much stress and strain. Overwhelmed with tough questions, no easy answers and difficult decisions; frustrated business owners delay deciding what to do about their direction, management team, customers, equipment, marketing, profits, financial reporting, investments and growth. When you delay or postpone necessary key strategic decisions, you continue living with mediocre employees, below average results, inadequate organizational systems, the wrong customers, or too many low bid jobs. Plus, you continually struggle to keep things moving in the right direction at a profitable pace. Eventually you come to the realization you can’t do it all yourself and need to seek some help.

We all know that two heads are better than one. The odds are less than one in five or 10 you’ll make the right decisions when you do it alone or use the trial-and-error method to run your business. And when you ask your managers or key employees for advice, they only likely give you their perspective on what’s best for them, not you or your company.

Where Do You Need Help?

The best advice you can get is from successful peers or outside, unbiased professionals who know your business, can give you real opinions of how to improve, and are not afraid of telling you the truth or hurting your feelings.

Every small business owner has internal challenges, external threats and tough decisions to make. Some have long-time employees who have stopped being productive. Others have relatives in the company who aren’t doing their share of the work. Many just can’t decide what moves they need to make to make more money or find better customers. Some struggle with incentive compensation programs or basic ways to generate steady and profitable revenue. But without sound advice, these owners try to make sound decisions but usually stay stuck doing what they’ve always done.

What Is a Strategic Business Planning Workshop or Retreat?

A strategic business planning workshop is a one-, two- or three-day retreat where company owners, leaders and the key management team sit down and draft out the direction for the future of their business. They develop a one-, three- and five-year strategic business plan with their mission, core values, priorities, goals, objectives, targets, strategy, organizational structure and action plans. The decisions they make will answer these key questions:

  1. What’s our five-year business vision?
  2. What are our core values?
  3. What are our financial and growth goals?
  4. What improvements do we need to make?
  5. What’s our people and structure plan?
  6. What’s our business-development plan?
  7. What’s our wealth building plan?
  8. What’s our action plan to achieve our goals?

Invest in Your Future!

To become a high margin contractor, every business owner must invest time and money into their company’s future. Business coaching and strategic business planning takes dedication, time, energy and money. You and your management team will have to dedicate time to the process. And implementing a successful plan will take even more dedication and effort. You as the company leader must demand and want real meaningful change in the direction you decide and want to go to make your company achieve its goals.

And the End Result?

Fast forward one year later after your strategic planning workshop retreat. Your company will have made incredible progress and accomplished more than you would have ever hoped for. You will have improved your bottom-line profit, revenue, customer loyalty, market share, employee morale, teamwork, systems, and overall operations. Without a plan, nothing will get better. Why? Because: “When you aim at nothing, you hit it every time!” So, make a decision to stop trying to make all the decisions yourself. Invest in your future by getting help and hold a strategic planning workshop retreat. Then watch your company become the best it can be.


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.