The past week I, along with a number of other facilitators, was in Dallas, running peer group meetings for Remodelers Advantage. All told, there were just under 300 people attending the Remodelers Advantage Summit. It was a remarkable event. While at the event, I noted some things that might be good for all remodelers to be aware of.

Shiny Objects
When a business is doing well, the owner might have a tendency to get bored. Why? There isn’t the excitement that came from starting the business. Making money seems to merit less attention than losing money does.

So what does the owner do? Start another branch of the business or do a spec project or do a pet project.

The owner’s attention is focused on the shiny object. What happens then is that the core business then suffers. Stay focused, my friend.

Long In the Tooth
Over time, a remodeling company mirrors the sensibilities of its owner. Some owners are results-oriented. Some are people-oriented. The best are a combination of the two.

A people-oriented owner often ends up with a work force that averages seven to 10 years with the company. On the one hand, that stability is remarkable. On the other hand, the owner’s cost of doing business is likely to be higher than others because of the ever-increasing compensation the company needs to be providing year after year. At the same time, those employees might be a bit too comfortable, lacking a sense of urgency and a focus on results that newer employees might have.

Don’t get stuck in this rut.

Would You Want to Work for You?
A business owner can be inspiring or scary. It is not uncommon for an owner to be both, depending on how they feel at the moment.

When you are working with your people, behave as if you were being videoed. Better yet, the next time you get upset about something, record your response. Then watch that when tempers have settled down.

Be the person your employees want to work for. You will like yourself better for doing so.

Know Your Numbers and Pay Attention to Them
How can a business be run well if the owner does not understand the financials? Who would ever start a business or run it year-by-year without a business plan?

Well, it turns out many people don’t pay a lot of attention to anything but the crisis of the day. A lot can happen very quickly in a business. Often what happens is not pleasant.

The owner thinks the business made money but it really didn’t. A loan might be needed to pay taxes. The line of credit gets drained down. In the worst case the initial payments for new projects go to pay the bills for existing projects. Keep your eye on the metrics. If you don’t do that who will?

All the above seem so obvious it might be hard to understand how people can be seduced so that they get distracted. Your day, your life is filled with choices. What do you want? Be clear about it and keep your eye on the ball. That is how to be successful. That is how to reach the summit.

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