Much can be said about the advantages of working on your business rather than focusing too much time working in your business. As your company grows, and you hire more and more employees, it becomes a necessity for you to spend your days managing.
Every contractor, at some point, will reach the level at which it becomes less important for them to spend their time out in the field.
After all, you’re the boss. Your responsibilities have grown past the point where running calls is your top priority. Managing a business involves dealing with finances, training your team, marketing your company, recruiting employees and, sometimes, putting out fires on a daily basis.
The reality is, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutia of running your business and lose sight of where you want to be as a company.
I was reminded of this recently when I attended the annual conference of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) in San Antonio. I spoke with many contractors at the conference who were all focused on just that — redefining company goals with a focus on the future of their business.
Steve Schmidt, outgoing chairman of ACCA, opened the conference talking about the organization’s strategic plan.
Member growth, business training and continued thought leadership are three areas in which ACCA is focused for the future. Schmidt and the rest of ACCA’s board of directors have been working tirelessly for the past year on developing this plan.
Using feedback from members was important to them, as was identifying what ACCA wants to be as an organization in the years to come. Essentially, what they did — and what you can do — is take a step back, look at the business and refocus goals for the future.
Rarely, if ever, do you know exactly what needs to be done to succeed from Day 1. True success comes from constantly evolving your business model, your strategy and your tactics to align with the ever-changing landscape of business.
Darryl Robinson, owner of Robinson Air in Lawton, Okla., also spoke about this when I interviewed him for this month’s 20 Questions. I met him while in San Antonio and was impressed with the way he’s grown his business in a controlled way. Instead of growing for the sake of growing, Robinson ensures his company stays profitable while safeguarding the well being of his employees and customers.
Each time he feels like he may be losing control, he pulls back on the reigns and refocuses on ensuring everything is being done correctly. That, he says, is how Robinson Air maintains its integrity and profitability.
Running a business isn’t always easy, but I don’t have to tell you that. Thankfully, there are many resources available to you that ensure your journey doesn’t have to be so difficult.
Evolving as a business owner is a process; one that the most successful contractors don’t take lightly.
ACCA’s annual conference was full of successful contractors looking to evolve and become even more successful. Attending these events, meeting with other contractors and using all the resources available to you is how you move from having a company to actually running a successful business.
The more open you are to learning new ways of doing things, the better your chances for success. I’ve yet to meet a successful contractor whose secret was to simply do things the way they’ve always been done.
Planning is a key component of success. No achievement has ever been won without a clear plan for victory. Just ask Brandon Jacob, a long-time industry consultant who recently hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.
Look at your vision and set goals to help you get there. If something you’re doing isn’t driving you toward those goals, then ask yourself why you’re doing it in the first place.
Always keep an eye toward the future and only do that which pushes you in the right direction. When you streamline your operations so that everything you do and everyone at your company has the same focus, then you’ve reduced the time it will take to achieve success.
Now is your time to shine. Not tomorrow, not next month or next year, but now. It’s never too late to take a step back, look at your business and refocus your goals for the future.
Trust that the team you put in place can handle the day-to-day tasks and spend some time working on your business.
Sometimes, all it takes is a different perspective than what you’re used to.