By nature, the disaster restoration industry is a reactionary one. Calls for response to new fires or floods every day or worse, a lack of calls to new fires or floods can cause a business owner or manager to fall into reactionary mode. Unfortunately the, management and their restoration companies in this mode never meet their full potential because they don’t take action as a result of well thought out business strategy. These organizations are left playing catch up against their proactive peers who always seem to be ahead of the game.
Below are three actions that you can begin taking immediately that just might be game changers for your restoration company.
Set SMART Goals
Take the opportunity to write out a list of all of the goals that you want to achieve. This will have a huge impact on your business. And guess what…..only the top 3% of people actually do this. Keep in mind that the most effective goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound). Next select the three goals from that list that will have the greatest impact on your business (hey you’ve got to start somewhere). Begin to list out all of the actions that you will need to take in order to accomplish those goals and organize them by the order of operations and the impact that they will have on helping you achieve your goals. Finally, take action immediately and do something every day to help you achieve your goals. This method of goal setting is based on the teachings of Brian Tracy (www.briantracy.com)
Complete a SWOT Analysis
Perform an analysis on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your business at least on an annual basis. The key is to get the entire organization involved in the process. Bring the restoration technicians, carpenters, laborers, managers, and everyone else into the mix to get their perspective. Sure some of the finer strategic points may be kept inside the boardroom but the best SWOT aren’t kept exclusive to the executives behind closed doors. Completing a SWOT analysis will allow you to make sound decisions and take proactive actions to meet the goals that you have set for your organization. Click here to see a great little SWOT Analysis Worksheet.
Build a Business Operations Manual
It’s important for a business leader to be able to take a few steps back from the business in order to work on it rather than in it. This means that you’re going to need to have other people do the day-to-day tasks. In order for you to help them understand exactly how you want it done, you’ll want to have a formal business operations manual. An operations manual spells out all of the jobs and tasks that need to take place in order for the business to operate. Not only does it serve as a powerful training tool for new staff and a benchmark for existing staff but it also makes your business more marketable if you ever want to sell it. Building an operations manual can be daunting task as it should cover everything from how the telephone is to be answered to when sub trades should be requested onsite for a policyholder meeting and everything in between and after. Therefore, it is best to break it out into bite size chunks that can be undertaken individually. If you are looking for guidance on building an operations manual for your restoration business, check out the Effective Loss Response training module from Restoration Guru.
Have a Formal Human Resource Plan and Strategy
Everyone has probably worked for or managed a company that says “our people are our most valuable asset.” An organization that is able to take this beyond just lip service will enjoy reduced employee turnover, higher work efficiency, and greater business profitability. Some restoration companies will spend thousands of dollars each year servicing vehicles and equipment yet they don’t invest the resources to maintain their so called most valuable asset – the people.
It’s important that you have clearly communicated expectations for everyone in the organization. In addition, show a career path within the business so that the team can see the opportunity for advancement. Your training strategy should ensure that the objective of all training as well as an implementation plan and evaluation system is clearly thought out and communicated prior to the training ever taken place. For more information on this topic, check out the blog post on “Building a Winning Team”.
As a result of all of this you will make fewer decisions based on today’s problem and more decisions based on where you want to take your organization. Commit to making decisions and taking action based upon the goals that you have set rather than simply reacting. And when you do, you will enjoy a smoother restoration operation and less stress from today’s problems.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!