How to Shape the Future and Plan for Success
Lack of vision, strategy, and tactics are the main reasons why most contractors fail. You can put different words on it such as:
- Inability to manage growth and expansion
- Marketing initiative targeting the wrong audience
- Not enough cash flow (reserves)
- Lack of control over overhead expenses
- Not being able to adapt to a shrinking economy
But it all boils down to lack of vision, strategy, and tactics. Let’s start by defining those terms:
- Vision: An aspirational description of who a company would like to be or achieve in the long term (WHO)
- Strategy: A method or a plan chosen to bring about a desired future or result (WHAT)
- Tactics: Means by which a strategy is carried out (HOW)
Now, for the killer question: when was the last time you took a moment to think about those three things? If your answer is it’s been over a year or never, then the best time to do it is right now! Write them down, run them by your key employees for improvement, and incorporate them into your day-to-day actions by strong leadership.
I’ve been traveling across North America for three years training and helping roofing contractors of all sizes, from the two-person company to a large firm with over 150 employees. I’ve always wondered what makes one company so successful and so wealthy and the other not, in the same market. No matter what, the answer always points to those three words—vision, strategy, and tactics. When I walk into a successful company, I always see a mission and vision statement on the wall somewhere, and when I dive deeper into their operation, that vision is easy to see. They use key words such as “People,” “Respect,” “Communication,” and “Leadership.” From the hiring process to the day-to-day job, you can feel the vision.
When I ask them about their plan this year, they typically correct me and say: “Our strategy is…” as opposed to giving me a sales number such as $2 million. A sales plan is good, but a strategy is much better. As an example: we noticed that a new contractor had opened up last year and they’d been stealing a lot of our business, so we decided to move forward by obtaining the GAF Master Elite® Contractor status in order to offer a better warranty and command a higher price point/margin.
Every salesperson in the company is aware of the strategy because they have monthly meetings to discuss advancing toward their goals. In those meetings, they will develop their tactics for their business unit according to their specific market condition. For example, one salesman said his territory is mainly rural and that farmers are a large portion of its business. They believe that when something is broken, you fix it and make it last, not throw it away. So he put together a rural maintenance program for farmers that includes a roof inspection and cleaning every other year, free for the first four years. He then offers a discounted price to lock in a maintenance plan for 10, 20, or 30 years.
What is your tactic and your strategy and who are you when it comes to vision? If you’re unsure how to do this or would like to refine it, please join me in the “Unlocking New Value – Shaping Our Future” Webinar on Monday, Feb 1. We will cover the following topics:
- What is the new Unlocked Value with GAF for 2016? – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST
- How to shape your online future with refreshed apps – 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EST
- How to get an early-year lead generation for a great start – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST
- How to create a strategic position, tactic, and leadership – 2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST
Are you ready to shape your future? Sign up to register for the four-part class on Monday, February 1.