Our biggest cost in the last 12 months was the opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is the chances we didn't take. In our situation it was not hiring more salespeople to estimate the extra leads we received. It was not bringing in more crews to handle the additional workload, causing our lead times to go out too far to win more work.
We failed to promote team leaders fast enough and then give them the authority to run their division as needed. It was a mistake to not put more emphasis on customer communications, risking our reputation via negative reviews. We didn't stay on top of collections like we should have, hurting our cash flow and preventing us from taking full advantage of supplier early-pay discounts.
Our focus on putting out fires distracted us from running a lean organization, continuing to cut costs even in booming times. Looking back over the last 12 months I realize our team missed out on opportunities, which cost our organization.
But we learn best from the mistakes we make. I can confidently say; these are mistakes that will not happen again. And, even with all the opportunity costs, we still had our best year ever. I'm proud of our team and what we accomplished. Here's to another 12 months of learning opportunity costs.
Ken Kelly is President of Kelly Roofing. See his full bio here.