By Lauren White.
Entrepreneurial-type contractors who are interested in growing their business are stunted by unpredictability. It’s difficult to invest in something that might not give you continuous cash flow or a return. “The problem isn’t your business itself, it’s your sales. It’s the way you sell, where you sell, how often you sell...People who struggle with predictability, struggle with selling,” explains Ryan Groth of the Sales Transformation Group
This unpredictable situation is similar to a fog. Ryan shares, “...you can’t see clearly in the fog, you don’t know where left and right necessarily needs to be. You struggle with, ‘Where’s the sun?’” Companies with clarity have direction, processes in place, and a team. People who don’t have that, have a hard time growing confidently. Owners, for example, spend money on payroll and hesitate when it comes to investing in more. Ryan points out, “...if you had more stuff coming in, the cashflow is coming in, you wouldn’t lose sleep at night thinking about growing your business.”
Below are five steps that can help to fix this unpredictability:
Step one is to focus on repairing, maintaining, and servicing existing buildings. These buildings are always going to be there. It’s challenging to anticipate when there’s going to be a demand for a lot of new buildings. Ryan explains, “...you can’t predict a storm...You can count on it happening for sure, but what if a hurricane doesn’t come or a windstorm doesn’t come...and you’re just unable to really invest in employees and have an actual payroll where people stay.” Having consistent cash flow helps establish predictability. And this can come from a “locally focused brand around repairing, replacing existing buildings,” according to Ryan.
Second, define your vision. Ryan urges people to, “Say who you are, what you stand for, what does perfection look like, and what are the goals?” Although you can’t control the weather, you can control the number of people you speak with, the number of meetings you attend, the number of places you market. Have a vision and goals centered around the things you can control.
Next, remove any kryptonite, also known as self-sabotaging beliefs that inhibit your ability to sell. Ryan clarifies, “It is lack of confidence, lack of clarity, lack of training. All these things that just suck the energy out. And it goes down to the personal stuff.” Social media, bad food, too much alcohol, are all examples of kryptonite. Ryan shares, “I don’t drink any alcohol anymore, because it always messes with my body too much. Although, I certainly enjoyed it, I just don’t like feeling like crap the next day…”
Remove the kryptonite in your sales too. That can include: self-sabotaging thoughts like being too emotionally involved, need for approval, discomfort discussing money, a poor buy cycle, recovery from rejection, and other similar things. In doing this, you’ll already be on a better path.
Fourth, optimize your team. Think about your organization. Ryan illustrates, “If you’re looking at baseball, football, basketball, who gets paid? The people who put up points every day.” Create a training environment. Establish a culture of high expectations. “We get down to every bit of the skill and the mindset and the approach so that then we can grow,” Ryan explains. Thinking you’re just going to get rich won’t give you predictability. A client Ryan worked with “sold $30 million one year, so they get their overhead to $20 million, and then they [had] a $10 million year. Now they [have] a $10 million company with a $20 million overhead.” This is not where you want to be.
Finally, measure, get feedback, and improve. This should be an everyday goal and something that never stops.
These five steps will help eliminate your unpredictability. You’ll have a cash flow so you can “reinvest in your business with confidence,” Ryan discloses. Your business will grow and you’ll continue to make money, all with five easy steps.
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