Know your core values, target and purpose. Too often I see contractors 'just want to make money' and think they can do it in the roofing industry. Roofing is an opportunity industry, no doubt, when it's done right. Without having a sense of direction, achieving profitability will be difficult, if not impossible. Let's take a closer look at each of the three.
Core Values: This is a list of three to seven, less if more, values that describe the values you have, people who work for you have, vendors you employ have and customers you work for have. If they don't share in your core values, it's not going to be a good fit, regardless of price, talent, skill or desire. Save yourself the headache early on by defining what values everyone who is a part of your organization possesses. Our core values are Family Helping Others, Doing What's Right & Kaizen. We use these values as a way to hire, fire, associate with and work for.
Core Target: Be careful not knowing where you are going because you just might get there. This famous quote speaks truth. Having a quantifiable target ten years into the future is critical for planning, deciding and running an organization. Think about what you want life to look like ten years from now. Where will you work? Who will you work for? How many employees will you have? What will be your revenue? What systems will you install, and not install? What will your profit be? What equipment will you own? What will your company structure look like? How will your processes be documented? These questions are all listed after you decide on the big one, purpose.
Core Purpose: The story goes, a janitor working for NASA in the 1960's was asked what his job was. He responded, "I'm helping to put a man on the moon." That's purpose. When everyone in your company knows why your company exists. If it's to make money, so be it. But, make it a number and a date. Maybe it's a territory coverage area. Perhaps it's a number of employees. Maybe it's McDonald's, 1 billion people served. Think about what Ray Crock was thinking when he owned two stores and said, "I want to serve one billion customers!" That's a huge goal, but it gets everyone rowing in the same direction. Just like NASA coming from behind to put a man on the moon first, your company can accomplish something great or nothing at all.
Ken Kelly is President of Kelly Roofing. See his full bio here.