Earn More, Work Less, Live Life!
As a business owner, I bet you love what you do. You’re really good at doing your work with pride, integrity, and quality workmanship. If asked, you tell people you are the best at what you do and stand by your finished product and personal service. You have spent years working hard, building your company, grooming your management team, developing supervisors and foreman, training your crews, and growing your equipment fleet. You have a small list of customers who keep your company busy and provide you steady work on an ongoing basis. Your business pays your bills and often there is a little left over to buy a boat or recreation vehicle to enjoy on the weekends. Life is good as an entrepreneur and business owner.
Then the economy gets slower. Now what?
Never thinking a slow down will affect your business, you continue to do business the same way you’ve always done and hope the economy gets better. But it doesn’t and there are less jobs to bid on now. So you lower your prices to stay busy and keep your crews and equipment working. Your good old customers don’t have much new work so you venture out into new territories. Your competitors lower their prices even more and project bid lists grow from three to six to twelve to fifteen or more. The only way you can get any work now is to be ‘stupid low’ which guarantees you’ll never see any bottom-line profit for a long time in the future. So you bid more and more jobs in hopes of landing any work you can find. You start bidding on projects where you have no experience, track record, or expertise. Anything to keep your doors open, your crews busy, equipment working, and cover your overhead. Now what?
Then you finally land a few new jobs. Relief! Back to work. But within a few months, these new jobs start coming in over-budget. These projects are different than the ones you usually work on and the unfamiliar contract clauses and specifications cause you some grief. You have a tough time working with these new customers. Your crews aren’t very efficient and productivity is poor as they know there isn’t much new work for them when they finish the jobs they’re on. So it starts costing you money to finish the few projects you have going. And your paycheck is only a distant memory as you begin to feed your company to stay afloat and keep unneeded employees and managers on the payroll as you hope to land some new work some day soon. Then your lenders start calling to meet and review your monthly profit and loss statements before they renew your line of credit. And then your suppliers call to notify your monthly accounts are late, you must get them current, or you will be put on COD. Now what?
Stop! Time out! Hold Everything!
What are you doing? Why are you slowly going out of business by spending your savings and trying to keep your crews and equipment busy? How long can you survive feeding your company every month? Do you think something good will happen quickly to renew your bank account balance? Will your long time employees help pay your monthly expenses as a thank-you for keeping them busy when you are totally out of money? Will your underutilized equipment fleet be able to produce enough cash-flow to survive? It’s time to stop and take a hard look at what you are doing right now before it’s too late.