August 28/September 4: Volume 32, Issue 6
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
(Third of three parts)
In the first two parts I compared a flooring dealership to a hot air balloon. It wants to float up into the sky but a rope is anchoring it to the ground. The rope represents the amount of hours you can physically work in your business. By cutting the rope, your business can grow and you can work less. In part two, I explained two out of the five keys to cutting the rope. Here are the final three.
Key #3: Marketing. If you want to work fewer hours it is essential to delegate, which means hiring quality people. Being able to afford this requires having effective marketing strategies in place, strategies you can rely on daily to produce a consistent stream of revenue.
The best place to begin is by marketing to people who have already proven they will give you money in exchange for flooring—past customers. Here are three examples of dealers who made dramatic business transformations by marketing to past customers on a consistent basis.
- In six months Mark Bouquet, an Illinois dealer, went from nearly closing his doors to being booked out for weeks. In recent years his business has exceeded $3 million in revenue.
- Garry Combs, another dealer in Illinois, was on the verge of closing his doors. He not only turned his business around but within two years he opened his second store.
- Craig Bendele, a Florida dealer, grew his business by 50% two years in a row. He is currently building his dream home.
These dealers did other things as well to build their businesses, but past-customer marketing was a major factor driving these revenue increases.
Key #4: Systems. A system is a procedure, process, method or course of action designed to achieve a specific result. Systems are the only way to produce a reliable, quality experience for your customers. They allow a person who owns 15 dealerships to deliver great service to his customers without things falling apart.
Your job as an entrepreneur is to work on rather than in your business, and that means developing and maintaining systems. Let’s say you implement a system for measuring a home and quoting the job. If something goes wrong resist the temptation to do the task yourself. Instead, work on your business by determining what went wrong and fixing the breakdown in your system.
Key #5: Management/ leadership. Part of good leadership means maximizing your team’s success. Here are three things you must have in place to ensure this happens.
First, you’ve got to give your team the tools to succeed. For example, if you want your sales team to increase their closed sales, it’s not enough to say, “You need to close more sales.” You’ve got to give them the tools, such as a step-by-step sales system that can be taught and learned. Second, you’ve got to train them on how to use the tools. Third, you’ve got to have accountability to use the tools correctly.
All three of these can be accomplished in weekly training. This same three-step process can be used for any position within your company.
By implementing these five keys you can cut the rope and allow your business to soar, while at the same time eliminating the stress and burnout of working 50-plus hours per week. If you have questions or comments I’d love to hear them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.