When your company first started, the founder had a dream where he or she wanted the business to go, do and become over the next few years. Nothing is different today. The owners still have a vision of what they want the business to become. But most owners have stopped pursuing their dreams and have settled for what they’ve gotten used to in the area of customers, competition, people, margins, opportunities and their ability to achieve goals they really want.
After several years building their companies, most owners eventually reach a level of what I call the uncomfortable zone where they’re uncomfortable being at their maximum level of pain, stress, energy and effort they can stand without having a business that works for them.
Have You Reached Your ‘Uncomfortable Zone?’
- At the maximum level of what you can do yourself?
- Your company has stopped growing?
- Can’t do more or grow with what you’ve got?
- Unorganized with all your systems in your head?
- Often feel overworked and out of control?
- Wish you had a stronger management team?
- You have to make too many decisions?
- You micro-manage, control and make most decisions?
- Unhappy with low profit margins?
- Tired of selling low price to win more work?
- Hope things will get better?
- Settled for less than what you want?
- Know you need to change but don’t know what to do?
I regularly get calls from frustrated business owners who have reached their limits and are finally willing to seek help. The typical question is what do I need to do to change my business and get it to work the way it should? The typical scenario is no written plan, no handle on their numbers, can’t find any good help, no accountable managers or supervisors, and not making enough money for their efforts.
To build a better business, you need to first decide what you want to accomplish over the next five years. Where do you want your business to go and what do you want it to become? You’re not in business to struggle, work hard, be frustrated and not make enough profit for the risk you take. The reason you’re in business is to earn a good return on your investment of time, energy and money. The owner must also have a vision of what the business will become and the return it will generate with good people, systems, production and customers. Only then can you draft a written plan or what I call a ‘BIZ-Builder Blueprint’ to go out and make the vision become a reality.
Decide Where You Want to Go!
When business owners call for help, I ask them to email me their business plan. All I normally get is a blank sheet of paper. If you don’t know where you want to go, does it really matter how fast you travel or how hard you work? Without a written vision and detailed plan, how can you expect to ever get where you want to go?
Step No. 1 of drafting your BIZ-Builder Blueprint is to decide where you want your business to go and become over the next five years. Think about what you want and precise results you want to shoot for and achieve. Identify how you’ll do business, the perfect size of your company, type of customers, where you’ll do business, number of employees, how you’ll generate revenue, what your company will be known for, how much money you want to generate, and what your role as the owner will be.
What’s Your 5-year BIZ-VISION?
Start by completing the ‘5-Year BIZ-VISION Worksheet’ and brainstorm as many dreams and desires you have about your company five years into the future. Don’t hold back. If you want to make $1 million per year net income or have a $10 million net worth in five years, write it down. Perhaps you want to be the leading specialty construction company in your market, or have 10 loyal customers who give you all their work, or become the recognized expert in your market who charges the most. The choice is yours. After all, it’s your company!
The 5-Year BIZ-VISION Worksheet
- Five years from today, describe your perfect BIZ:
- Five years from today, what do I want our BIZ to become or do?
- Characteristics, description and direction.
- What we do, how we do business and leader in.
- Specialties, expertise, niches, divisions or departments.
- Where we do BIZ—geographic area or locations.
- Size, sales revenue and growth.
- Profits, dividends, finances, equity, wealth and investments.
- Customers, markets, projects, contract types and services.
- Strategic partners, opportunities and joint ventures.
- Organizational structure, leadership and management team.
- People, employees and training.
- Project management, estimating, administration, supervision and field.
- Accounting and financial management.
- Productivity, tracking, job cost and technology.
- Equipment, revenue, profitability and management.
- Ownership’s role.
- In five years, what would make me excited about our BIZ?
- What results or improvements have we made?
- What challenges, problems or issues have been fixed?
- How would the business operate, be managed, and work?
- What would it do and how big would it be?
- How much money would it make?
- What type of projects or services would it be known for?
- What type of customers would it target?
- How would it be organized, systemized, and in control?
- What would it do for the owners?
- In five years, what ongoing results do I want the BIZ to achieve?
- Wealth and investments
- Personal and freedom
- In five years, what has happened in my BIZ for me to be happy with my role and results?
- What challenges, issues or problems do we need to fix or eliminate over the next five years to make my BIZ work for me?
Write out what you want your company to become and do in the next five years including specific targets and goals you want to accomplish and achieve.
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.