Category Archives: Project Management

Measure and Aim For What You Want!

Measure what you want!
Without numbers to track, it’s like playing baseball in thick fog. You continue to play ball and try your best. But in the fog, you can’t see past first base, where the hits go, or read the scoreboard. This lack of information makes the game rather challenging, perplexing, and dull because nobody knows how they’re doing or who is winning or losing. Without knowing the score, what’s the point?

Measure what’s important to you. Paying your bills, invoicing customers, and keeping your checkbook balanced isn’t enough to get ahead or be the best at what you do. In everyday life, you measure your weight, blood pressure, miles per gallon, the Dow Jones average, who won the football game last Sunday, or the dollar amount on your paycheck. What measurement indicators will tell you if your business is on track, serving your customers, achieving your goals, building wealth, or enjoying your life? Here are some numbers to track and indicators which will tell you if you are building an excellent company:

– Annual taxable business income & profit
– Company Net worth & equity
– Personal net worth annual growth
– Annual income from investments
– Annual company profit margin growth
– Sales from new, loyal & repeat customers
– Profit from new, loyal & repeat customers
– Customer complaints & referrals
– Employee turn-over & training
– Personal time off & vacation days

Aim at what you want!
Start with what you want to accomplish. The number one stress business owners experience is from not knowing where they’re headed. What do you want and where are you headed? Next, how will you achieve your goals? If you depend on hard work to deliver what you want, you’re going to be disappointed every time. Then set up a measuring system to keep track of your progress towards your targets.

For example, if you want to increase your net profit margin, there are many things you can do. You can lower your overall cost of doing business, increase your sales, or charge a higher price for the services you offer. At first glance, most business owners focus on cutting costs. This is futile and won’t work over the long haul. With lower expenses as your solution, you won’t be able to hire better people, add more services for your customers, do the little things that make customers want to give you more work, or help you reach you ultimate goal of more time off or freedom.

The second choice is usually to increase your sales volume by proposing on and winning more business opportunities. Winning more work should increase your total gross profit, but will keep you working at an even faster pace to accomplish the additional projects you have to manage. This is like running on a treadmill faster and faster going nowhere. This won’t move you towards your goal of earning more, working less and living the life you want. But it will keep you busier – is busy what you want?

Expand your business expectations. Learn how to measure your success.
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The Sad Truth About Small Business Owners

Talk to 95 out of every 100 small business owners with less than 100 employees and follow their progress for 10 to 20 years. You will hear the same sad story repeated over and over. They work too hard for the effort and risk they take. They don’t make any real money or have enough left over to invest. They can’t stop working or take much time off to do what they want. They can’t find any good help. They sell low prices to get most of their customers and revenue. They’re out of control and spend too much time putting out fires. They wish they could start saving some money and can’t figure out how to make their business better.Only 5% of small business owners will ever become wealthy or financially secure.

Why? 95% don’t implement the 8 key success factors that guarantee you can get your business to work for you:

1. Have a Passionate Vision
2. Written Clear Targets & Goals
3. Structured Organization
4. Accountable Responsible Management Team
5. Operational Systems Run the Business
6. Hit the Numbers & Make A Profit
7. Unique Delivery System
8. Pro-Active Sales & Marketing
9. Seek Wealth Building Opportunities

What key are you missing in order to help your business reach it’s full potential?

Change = Growth = Improvement!

Remember when you learned something new like ride a bike or learn the computer? It was hard and caused you some pain. But with training and diligence, you succeeded. And now these tasks are like second nature and easy. Change is good and allows for growth and improvement. Without change, nothing new happens, you stay put, and go backwards.

Do you have to change? The old way still works, doesn’t it? YES you have to change! I know you don’t like to change. You want the economy to go back to its’ old steady ways. But I’m sure your goal is not to strive for stability. Today, change is the norm. Change is not something that happens to you. Change is what you must do to continue to make a profit, grow your business, and expand your customer base.

In the old days, you only had to make one or two changes every few years. Like buying a new adding machine, upgrading your typewriter to an electric model, buying a fax machine, changing from a yellow pad and pencil to a computer spreadsheet, changing from a dot matrix to laser printer, moving from Lotus 123 to Excel, buying a new pickup truck, adding a laser screed to your concrete tools, or attempting to use email to communicate.

As a part of your ongoing business management role, what do you do to plan for change, make change happen, and force change to happen? The companies who wait for something to happen die off. Look at Sears. The leaders never thought their business model would ever need to change. They hoped Wal-Mart would never catch on. To date, they still struggle to get back the market share and customers they lost while waiting and doing nothing new or different. How would you have liked to be a steel golf spike manufacturer hoping soft-spikes didn’t sell? You would now be broke and without a company.

The second part of changing how you do business is to have a pro-active plan to stay ahead of your competition and abandon your old ways of doing business. Ask yourself: “What leadership decisions should you make, but you won’t? Why not? What are you waiting for?” You have some tough calls you need to make right now:

– Do you have a customer you need to fire?
– Where are you wasting money?
– How can you be more efficient?
– What improvements are needed with your staff?
– Is there a faster way to complete your projects?
– What can you delegate or let go of?
– What should you stop doing?
– What should you start doing differently?
– What areas should you improve now?

– customers -personnel
– mgmt. team -training
– qty workmanship -service
– scheduling -sales & marketing
– estimating -technology
– subcontractors -suppliers
– productivity -financial systems
– ops systems -field systems
– project mgmt. -equipment
– banking -bonding
– insurance -your paycheck