Monthly Archives

January 2019

KPIs: Identifying and Knowing Their Value

By | Tech | No Comments

Raise your hand if you know what a KPI is! I’m going to take a wild guess and say that if you never took a business class, you don’t know what I’m talking about, at least not the specific terminology.  A KPI is a key performance indicator, or said more simply, it is a measure of success. KPIs can be used in every facet of a business to determine how well it is doing. From marketing to finances to employee satisfaction, KPIs are in place so that you know how well everything is going. As simple as that sounds, KPIs can get confusing in a hurry, especially if other people are telling you what they are (or should be). The only people who can truly know what the KPIs are for your company are you and your employees because you know the business better than anyone else.

Identifying Your KPIs

No matter the type of business you run, there will always be business to business connections and outside people giving you advice. They can be financial advisers who help you keep the money flowing, accountants who can tell where you to look for explanations of losses, or marketing agencies swaying you in the direction of trends. All of these people mean well, but they can make determining success more difficult for you. They are experts in the broad spectrum; they know finance, or they know marketing, or they know employee management, but they don’t know your company. While they can lead you in the right direction, the accountant’s numbers might not be the most accurate way to measure success because of the time-frame your projects take. The marketing agency might know the best way to get your name out on Google, but does it line up with your goals?

You and your employees know the everyday ins-and-outs of your company, and you know best what marks your success. So take the time to take note of those things. Employee satisfaction may be determined by benefits or fun activities rather than base pay. Sales might not be measured by quarterly numbers. Marketing success may still be in the paper realm, not online. Look at how you currently measure your successes, those are your KPIs. Find ways to measure them more consistently (if need be) and share them with everyone you work with, both inside the company and out.

The Value of Knowing Your KPIs

Why is it important to know what you KPIs are? If you have measures of success that work for you, why re-name them and clarify them? So that you can share them, and do what is best for your company. Earlier we talked about working with businesses outside your company, and how they will have their own KPIs for your business, those companies are why you need to identify your own KPIs. You know what works and what doesn’t for your specific company, so share that with the other businesses you work with so that what they do for you can be more effective. If they are working to meet your standards of success, then you will likely see more of it. It makes everyone more productive when they know what the goals are, what aspects of the business are being looked at most closely, and where improvements can be made. Knowing and identifying your own KPIs gives you full control even when you are working with other businesses; allowing you to create and maintain higher levels of understanding, control, and, of course, success.

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!

By | Contractors | No Comments

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we want to talk about reviews…again. It’s not that we are trying to be boring and repetitive, it’s just that reviews are really, really important when it comes to keeping your contracting business successful. No matter what kind of contractor you are, you need reviews on your website, your google page, your yelp page, and where ever else your business has a presence. These reviews are good for a variety of things, but the two biggest are that customers can see and read them, and they can influence your online search rankings. Below we are going to dive into why you need to have reviews for both of those reasons.

Influencing Rankings

When people need something, they turn to the internet. Whether it is for advice, entertainment, or information the first thing most people do, is jump onto Google. What does that matter to you? It matters because that is where they are going to find you, or try to find you at least. While there are a lot of different things that contribute to your rankings in online search, reviews are one them so it is valuable to have them. When people are searching for contractors, they are going to get a lot of results because there a lot of contractors. One way to work towards the top of that search is to have reviews (and lots of them) on your google page and on your website. It might not bump you to the number one spot, but if people are looking and see you have a lot of reviews, it’ll make them more likely to click on you even if you are further down the page.

Convincing Customers

Piggy-backing off of influencing rankings, you need reviews to convince your potential customers to pick you. When they get on search, which they will do, they will look at your website, check out your photos and maybe your team, but what is going to make up their mind is your reviews. They want to see what other people have said about you, if your guys were clean, if the job was done correctly, were you attentive to specific needs? Those are the differentiating factors that people look at when they look for a contractor; anyone can do the work for more or less the same price so they are going to be looking for how easy you were to work with and is it worth it to work with you. Having lots of reviews looks good for one, because it shows the volume of your business, but also gives them typically all the information they want because every review will talk about different things.

So to wrap up. Ask for reviews. Then ask again. Ask until every customer you work with fills one out because it is better to have them (even if they aren’t all good).

Using Small Steps To Make Big Changes

By | Health and Wellness | No Comments

The New Year gives people an opportunity to make changes. While you can make changes at any point in time, the beginning of the year gives some people the motivation, determination, or whatever else it is that they need to actually get up and change. But that doesn’t actually make changing any easier. Making changes to your life, no matter what kind of change it is, is hard. There really is no other way to put it. But even though it can be hard, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible; you just need to take little steps in the right direction.

No matter the type of change you are making, little steps and small goals are the most effective way to succeed. The best way to set this up is to write it all down, so you remember what you are working towards and how you are doing it. Start by writing your big goal down at the top of the page, and then follow it with 3 or 4 “steps” or mini-goals you can take to reach your goal. For example:

Goal: Be healthier

  1. Gym 3 days/week
  2. Drink tea instead of soda
  3. Eating out 1x/week

These mini-goals will help you to reach your big goal, and will make it easier to get you there. Start with step one and focus just on that for as long as need. Some people like to set dates they want to have each mini-goal completed by to keep themselves moving; so you could say you want to go the gym consistently three days a week and have it be a habit (or be completed two months after you start). The timeline is totally up to you, with the point being that it makes you keep moving forward with your goals.

This set-up can be used for any sort of goals, personal or professional, individual or as a company. It gives every one the opportunity to successfully make changes and improvements and move their lives forward. Use this tried and true template (trust us, we tried it!) to get to work on creating the best you for yourself and for your company in 2019!

How To Keep Salesmen Busy During The Winter Season

By | Contractors | No Comments

For a large part of the country, it gets cold, wet, and unpleasant during the winter months of the year. Here in Colorado we feel it for sure; as do the contractors in Wisconsin, Iowa, Washington, and Montana among others; all you lucky people who live in Florida don’t know what we’re talking about, so you might need to skip this one.

During winter, when it is cold constantly and dark at 4:30, work tends to slow down. It is hard to do some things in freezing temps and it takes twice as long to finish projects when you have so little daylight to work with. This trend leaves your salesmen bored, for lack of a better word. There are no projects building, no storms creating new business for them to find, and the holidays make it easy to slack off even more. So what do you do? You aren’t paying them to just sit around and take up space in your office, so you find useful tasks to keep them busy. Below we dive into some of our favorite tasks to keep the salesmen busy when it’s cold out.

Training

There is no such thing as too much training. Even your most seasoned salesmen can always learn something new. Use the down time to do different kinds of training with your guys. Work with manufacturers to get updated installation techniques or to learn about new products or warranties they are offering. You can also use training’s to talk about stress and time management when it is busy at work; work with the team to come up with methods to combat stress that everyone can use when everyone is crazy busy. New sales methods are coming out every day as well, so take this time to make sure all of your salesmen are up-to-date and evolving their methods for the current sales market. No matter what type of training you choose to do, it can’t do any harm. It keeps your salesmen minds on their jobs, and, hopefully, will get them thinking creatively for how to get more business when things start to pick up again.

Planning

Similar to training, down time can be used for planning. Sit down with each of your salesmen and set goals for the next storm season. Or brainstorm as a group the best ways to find new business; see who has good connections and where other connections can be built. Get the salesmen to work together to plan sales tactics for specific areas that you know you want. The down time can be used to prepare for when things get busy and to find the best ways to tackle everything. It allows you, as an owner, to set standards and practices for how you want things to go in the next season.

Prospecting

Just because they can’t necessarily be out in the field selling, doesn’t mean the salesmen can’t still be making sales and bringing future business into the company. Slow season gives them the opportunity to sit down and look at what connections they have to get business, and where they can improve those connections and try to get more. Depending on your specific sphere, there are a number of other businesses that can be great partners for bringing business into to your company. Use the down time to have your salesmen try and connect with people from those businesses; have them call, offer an introduction, see if they would be willing to sit down with your company. Doing this gives your company the opportunity to grow even when things are slow. Plus, this also gives the salesmen a chance to test out new selling techniques that you have taught them during this time as well!

Slow doesn’t have to mean stopped. See what works best for your company, your people, and your goals and find ways to keep everyone busy year round.