By Andrew Houston
May 10, 2018 — Meetings are a waste of time, but only when they lack structure and purpose from you, the leader. When led properly, meetings can be one of the best ways to improve leadership.
For now, let’s assume you know how to run a meeting. The next consideration is determining whether you are conducting too many or too few. Most contracting companies I work with tend to fall on either side of this fence. Which side are you on?
When you’re on the too many meetings side, you’re probably facing some of these issues:
• I constantly have to babysit my crews/staff. I feel like I have to micro-manage their every move.
• When something negative happens, it always seems to create immense panic, like a fire drill.
• It seems as though I conduct so many meetings that I never have time to do what is needed.
• My To Do list seems to keep growing.
When you’re on the not enough meetings side of the fence, you should be able to relate to some of these issues:
• I keep everything in my own head. I can’t stop thinking about the business even when I’m at home. It’s mentally draining.
• I don’t know where my crews need to go or where they are.
• I’m not sure if I’m making progress on my jobs.
• I’m not sure of my current profit or cash flow status.
• I always seem to have too much work, with a constant stack of quotes on my desk, or not enough work, constantly fearing my crews will quit and find work elsewhere.
By now you should have determined which side of the fence you’re on. Structured, regular meetings will counter these issues and enable everyone to get on the same page.
Principles for improvement
To find improvement, let’s take a look at the following principles that you and your team must understand:
First, your profits and cash flow follow your calendar. When you fill your calendar with high-value tasks 52 weeks/year, your bottom line ROI will grow year-over-year.
Second, you need to establish weekly money-making meetings that are held every week at the same time, involving the same people, to create success.
Finally, people follow your lead. As the owner, you must lead by example and showcase the value of these meetings.
Let’s take a look at the Top 5 money-making meetings:
1. Monday morning meeting. You and your team define the desired results for the week.
2. Daily team huddle. Prep for the day to ensure everyone is on the same page.
3. Friday reflection. Did you achieve the desired weekly results as identified in the Monday meeting? If not, why? Discuss.
4. Sales team huddle. Proactively identify opportunities so you can dial up or down your marketing efforts to prevent having too much or too little work.
5. Review financials. Make sure you’re making profit week-over-week.
Here are some key steps to help you get started:
• Download our Profit For Contractors Top 5 Money-Making Meetings tool at tinyurl.com/y94payzk.
• Don’t try to implement all five meetings at once. Start with the Monday morning meeting, as it maps out the rest of the week.
• Don’t look for perfection. Rough it, review it, then improve it!
• Start right away. Don’t procrastinate.
Finally, sign up for my next webinar “Babysitter or contractor? It’s time for Structure, Order & Control”, being held April 25, 2018, at 2 pm EST.
During this webinar, brought to you by Electrical Business Magazine, you’ll learn how to become a better leader with 5 Proven Steps that will help you:
• Create structure, order and control that lasts the life of your business.
• Make your team accountable.
• Identify the weak spots in your business so you can start creating systems tomorrow that work and save you money.
Visit EBMag.com/webinars to Register.
Andrew Houston is the owner and founder of Profit for Contractors. He has been coaching trades business owners for nearly a decade, helping them improve their business skills so they can achieve their personal and business goals. A graduate of George Brown College, Andrew achieved Industrial Controls Licensed Electrician as well as Electronics Engineering Technologist. Call 613-209- 3828 or visit profitforcontractors.com.
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Electrical Business Magazine.