So…What is it That Your Company Does?

The Importance of Telling Your Companies Story and Telling it Well

We’ve all been asked the question…you know the one. “So…What is it you do for a living?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions when people meet someone new.

A simple answer of I’m a contractor, a painter or an electrician doesn’t cover it anymore. The business world has become so diverse in the different types of things being done. As an entrepreneur or solopreneur giving a clear and precise answer this question can be tough.

A cookie cutter answer doesn’t cut it anymore.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve worked on getting clear on our mission and the characteristics and actions needed to accomplish it. We’ve been using the Business Made Simple process for this.

This week we’ll use the things we learned, making a story that will clearly explain what it is we do in an exciting and interesting way. It won’t be the typical boring history of when the company was founded by my grandfather in 1929….

This story will be focused on our dreams and the future, not the past.

When asked, “What is it that your company does?”, we tell this story:


Construction companies struggle with a lack of business knowledge and construction customers don’t know what to expect.

Lack of knowledge and understanding leads to out of control, unprofitable businesses requiring too much time for too little profit and customers paying more than estimated for less than expected. This results in overwhelm, burnout, unhappy dissatisfied customers, lawsuits and termination of businesses.

We help both achieve their dreams, by providing businesses with systems, processes and training while educating and guiding customers through the construction process.

This leads to happy satisfied customers who become raving fans and profitable less overwhelmed companies separating themselves from their competition.

With the right tools and knowledge, construction companies and customers can build the businesses, construction projects and lives of their dreams.


If we will live out our story everyday in everything we do, we’ll accomplish our mission and…

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers.

We can choose to live in a boring mundane world, void of purpose and vision…or we can discover our passion and purpose and write the story of our dreams.

It’s up to us.

Why Do We Put Things Off Until the Last Minute?

This Seems to Be Especially Prevalent in The Construction Industry

I was visiting with some people recently about the disappointing number of companies signing up for the upcoming Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal workshop. I’ve seen the results of poor communication between contractor and customer. This workshop would help with this problem.

Every one of the people I was talking with said the same thing. “They’re contractors, they’re not going to sign up until the last minute. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just show up.”

Later I visited with a few different construction company owners and asked if they were coming to the workshop. Their answers were eerily similar…I’m not sure if I have time. I’ve got a lot of work scheduled. I’m not sure that I can afford to take a day off work. I’ll have to wait and see how things are going.”

Why would this be a problem in construction more than other industries?

I don’t know if it is more of an issue in construction than anywhere else or if it just seems that way because that’s where my focus is. There are a few things that I think contribute to this situation, construction or not.

Why are there so many that aren’t signing up for the workshop?

We’re too busy – We’ve said yes to too many things. We feel pulled in so many different directions. It’s common to hear people say, “I don’t have enough time.” Most of us overbook and then spend most of our time fighting the hottest fire. My argument is –

God has given us enough time…it’s up to us to invest it wisely.

We struggle with prioritizing – I’ve got this important project that I’m working on. It’s more important than learning something new. Every day we are learning in a variety of ways. The question is, which is the better investment, learning from “on the job mistakes” or from someone else’s. On the job mistakes can be very costly.

Learning from what someone else has learned is a good investment.

Not sure if that training is for me – How will you ever know if you don’t check it out? Most of the time our uncertainty is fear. We’re afraid to learn new things. “I’ve managed to get along just fine so far”. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a predesigned system that would improve your communication and increase your accuracy? The question is…

How long can “getting along just fine” be sustained?

I can’t afford it – Things are tight right now. Profits are down. Maybe I can do it next time. What if your out of business before the next time. There is a cost to any kind of schooling formal or otherwise. How long can you afford to not invest in yourself?

Investing in this workshop now, improves your odds for a brighter future.

I don’t know if the construction industry procrastinates more than any other. What I do know is, if you’re in the construction industry, time is running out to invest in yourself and your business. Don’t put it off any longer. Stop procrastinating and get signed up for the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal workshop.

If you or someone you know would benefit from learning how to do better proposals, sign up here.

How To Keep A Finger On The Profit Pulse Of Your Company

 

Accomplished by A Weekly Profit Comparison

 

Have you ever been shocked when preparing your year-end financial paperwork and you find that profits were not what you expected?

 


You had, what you thought, was a good year. You were busy and working hard all year long. This was an unexpected and disappointing surprise. What happened?

 

There is so much required to operate a business and it’s hard to keep everything balanced. There are three support columns that hold up a company and financial health is a crucial part of one of them. If you neglect to regularly monitor finances, by the time you realize it, that support leg may be too weak to keep the company stable.

 


It’s easy to lose track of things if you aren’t intentional.


Profit and loss reports are easy to prepare, especially if you use a computer bookkeeping program. The problem I had with the profit and loss report was that it didn’t answer questions that I wanted answered, not without doing a lot of extra work. We all struggle with not having enough time to get everything done so, it gets put off and the next thing you know the year’s over.

 

Been there done that. That’s why I developed a Profit Comparison report.

 

I wanted, at a glance, to know if we were on target for the current year’s financial goals. This way adjustments could be made before the financial support leg got too weak. I also wanted to be able to see how the company’s income and expenses compared with last week or last year at any time throughout the year.


The Profit Comparison is an Excel spreadsheet that within a few minutes can be filled out and ready for review. We take information from a standard profit loss report, enter it into the proper places on the spreadsheet and with a few clicks of the mouse it lets us see what the “profit pulse” is. By filling it out and reviewing it every week we can stop bleeding before it becomes fatal.


The Profit Comparison report provides:

  • Comparison of the current Gross Profit to last week, last year and this year’s goal.
  • Comparison of the current Overhead Expenses to last week, last year and this year’s goal.
  • Comparison of the current Net Profit to last week, last year and this year’s goal.
  • Revenue deficiencies or surpluses, providing an opportunity to make necessary adjustments to get and stay on target.
  • Job cost overruns, providing an opportunity to make necessary adjustments to get and stay on target.
  • Excessive overhead expenses, providing an opportunity to make necessary adjustments to get and stay on target.


One of the biggest problems that businesses struggle with is the lack of time to get everything done, this is especially true for small to medium size companies. Financial reports are one of those things that get put off because they aren’t “directly connected” to generating revenue.

 


This simple report can easily provide the “profit pulse of your company” weekly.

 


We are working on developing this Profit Comparison Report complete with instructions into a product available for use by others. If you or someone you know would be interested in this, please let us know in the comments below.