When I was a contractor, most days seemed like there was a hurricane heading my way. The winds of change and destruction of running a contracting business are enormous and seemingly never ending.
This in a nutshell is how I spent my formative years in my family contracting business. I thought there were a million and one things I must master and stay on top of to not just make it through the day but feel like I was making some headway.
Fortunately for me, I came to realize that the contracting business really requires us to master 7 Powers. And for that alone I felt some relief. It felt doable and indeed it was. With clarity comes power.
I’d love to tell you that you have to be a 10 on a scale of 1-to-10 for all these powers but the truth is even the best clients of mine have their weaknesses in some of what you’ll read below. The trick is to never be a zero in any of them and to always be working on improving what’s a weakness today, so it can become a strength tomorrow.
The following is an excerpt from my new book called The 7-Power Contractor: Run Your Contracting Business With Less Stress and More Success by Al Levi, Appleseed Business, Inc.
What’s a 7-Power Contractor?
A 7-Power Contractor is a leader who is in command of the seven major areas that require their attention as an owner:
1. leadership and planning
7. and sales coaching
Being a 7-Power Contractor is similar to being a five-tool player in baseball, an athlete who excels at hitting for average, hitting for power, base-running skills and speed, throwing ability and fielding ability.
The good news is becoming a 7-Power Contractor is not nearly as hard as becoming a five-tool baseball player. All that is required is a desire to succeed, a commitment to getting organized, and a willingness to follow the program so you can run your contracting business with less stress and more success.
THE 7 POWERS are Planning/Leadership Power, Operations Power, Financial Power, Staffing Power, Marketing Power, Sales Power, and Sales Coaching Power, and they’re designed to work together
Planning Power, in a nutshell, is the ability to set a goal and then confidently and consistently work on the right things, at the right time, in the right way to make that goal a reality. . Planning Power is always on and running in the background, kind of like the operating system on your computer.
Planning Power will stabilize your situation and provide you with the structures and direction you need to leverage the six other powers. In this system, Planning Power should always be undertaken first. No exceptions. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to end up someplace else!
Next up is Operating Power. This critical power is undertaken second, again no exceptions. Operating Power is manifested through the creation of policies and procedures for every task, in every department of your company, and the implementation of systems that will enable the company to run systematically and automatically without you from day to day.
By establishing written documentation about what people need to know when they need to know it, you sharing the knowledge that you probably were used to keeping to yourself before will become second nature because it means you don’t have to do everything anymore!
The next power we suggest you tackle is Financial Power. Financial Power is expressed through a known financial position (KFP), accurate selling prices that are driven by your budget, not the market. You need to know the difference between tax accounting and the kind of accounting you do to make sure your business stays on track day to day. To achieve your goals, you need to take control of your financials and monitor them weekly. Yes, weekly. (We’ll provide you with a fast budget and pricing model you can use to get your prices in the ballpark. Key word: ballpark. Ellen Rohr’s self-study materials are excellent and will lead you through step by step.)
The next power in line is Staffing Power. Staffing Power comes from your commitment to constantly recruit people with the right attitude and develop them in-house, with continuous and comprehensive training. Staffing Power also puts an end to awkward end-of-day “Got a minute?” meetings with employees who want to ask you for a raise, because everyone will know what the next level is, how much it pays, and exactly what they need to do to get there. When you have this power, you are helping existing staff get better and encouraging those who don’t want to play a better game to go work for your competitors!
Selling Power focuses on the selling process, specifically on how each employee affects the selling process. Few if any of us are “born to sell,” but there are a multitude of ways that anyone can get better, if they really want to get better, starting with thoroughly documented procedures (remember Operating Power?) and continuous training (Staffing Power).
Once the selling price has been established through Financial Power, the number of clients you can service well has been determined through Staffing Power, and the tools to sell have been given through Selling Power, you can begin to undertake Marketing Power.
Marketing Power ensures we are marketing in a way that will effectively reach our target audience — those most likely to desire what we’re selling and who are more than willing to pay for our expertise and professionalism.
In fact, Marketing Power is as much about demonstrating our professionalism at every juncture as it is about letting prospective customers know we are out there. Marketing Power ensures that every encounter customers have with our company reinforces an image of professionalism, from our logos to our trucks, forms, business cards, uniforms, and shoe covers, and even how we greet the customer at the door.
It should come as no surprise that the final power, Sales Coaching Power, and Selling Power are linked. Selling Power is about the system of selling, while Sales Coaching Power is all about measuring the selling results and creating a reward system that rewards the right stuff.
You’ll want to make sure you have Financial Power before you start Sales Coaching Power, because one of the beautiful things about this system is that it is designed to reward people with money they create! (And if they aren’t creating any money, we’ll tell you how you can deal with that as well.)
Are you beginning to get the picture? All the powers are integrated and reinforce each other. No Frankenstein-like botched up results!
Al Levi helps contractors solve problems and turn greater profits while making it possible for them to get their lives and free time back. Now he’s written a book that tells you how it’s done. Go to www.appleseedbusiness.com/bnp to purchase The 7-Power Contractor and download your free BNP exclusive extras, today.
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