You quit that tech job at an established plumbing, heating, cooling, and/or electrical company because you figured you could be your own boss, make your own hours and charge a little less, and the money would come flowing in.
Maybe yes. Maybe no.
If you’re reading this I’m betting you also discovered there’s so much more to running a successful business than just being a good tech. And if you’re like most, you’re probably not completely sure what all of that “more” is!
Don’t get me wrong, actually knowing technical stuff for the work you do is helpful. But, it can be a double-edged sword if you’re the only one who can run a call the right way (at least, in your mind, anyway). It automatically limits your growth.
Maybe you went the other way in your entrepreneurial seizure moment, leaving your steady paycheck, going for the brass ring and growing fast. And growing fast can mean taking on big marketing expenses and overpaying staff you hoped were preloaded with all the prerequisite skills and abilities to make it all work.
Either way, you’re stuck, right?
Raise your hand if at any point you’ve ended up blaming your staff for letting you down, or you’ve kept flailing away, just hoping for your next new hire to make it all work.
Sorry, but heavy is the head that wears the crown. Meaning you are in the one charge so if you don’t like what is going on, the problem is not them—it’s you! How do I know? Because until I stopped blaming my staff and hoping for someone to walk in the door to make it all work, I did the same thing.
The only way I know to get unstuck, based on my 26 years at my own plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical company (and now for 15 years working with contractors all over the USA and Canada) is to put repeatable systems in place for the policies and procedures it takes to run your company without you.
And the only way to get there is to invest the time, energy and money required to arrive at a comprehensive set of integrated manuals that articulate exactly what you want and expect people to do.
The problem is if you’re creating and implementing this system all by yourself, there are no short cuts and it is a…bear.
How do I know?
Well, I spent a year of my life just writing the outline it took to document all the tasks our company did. Yes, just the outline. It took me sitting with every department and really seeing what needed to be documented so it was repeatable.
So, why would my family and I invest $153,000.00 in today’s money to just write the manuals and have the hundreds of hours in meetings it took? Because those manuals paid for themselves in about two years for just a few of the following reasons:
- Callbacks went down
- We were freed up to do our jobs more efficiently, and that increased profits
- Each job was a better job, which just happened to end up in bigger–but more importantly–better sales that benefited the customer first and foremost
- We were able to hire more willing people and give them the skills they needed vs. always trying to rewire “talented” prima donnas who were skilled, but held us hostage.
- We were able to get our insurance company to re-rate us because we had less accidents and injuries than before.
Ever wonder where my tagline, “Run Your Contracting Business With Less Stress and More Success” came from? Well, it started at my own company with the creation of the operating manuals, and it built from there.
Creating operating manuals is a bear but it is the one thing that you can do that will change your company for the better in ways you probably can’t imagine.
You’re responsible because you sit at the head of the table. So, what’s it going to be in 2017 that’s going to make a bigger difference at your company and complete your transition from great tech to successful contracting business owner?
Operating manuals. Plain and simple.