Like many other ambitious business owners in the trades, I was finding myself overwhelmed and consumed by the endless stream of details required to run a roofing company. Days often seemed like unending series of decisions and tasks that were mine alone. Now bear in mind that Kelly, my husband and business partner, also had his own set of daily decisions and tasks in which he found difficulty in delegating.
Overwhelmed by the day to day, together we were not effective managers. I was personally frustrated by the pace at which our business was growing. The growth I am referring to relates to the organizational structure and overall business process; it is my belief that financial growth is the bi-product of a well-organized business structure and process.
Scaling to seven figure revenues only magnified issues, we realized we were running an inefficient business process thus taking a toll on our personal lives. I recognized were both over-involved owners. The demands of the business were depleting our energy to set any long-term goals. While I had a business partner on board with my visions of developing a streamlined business process, it was much harder for him to slow his daily grind because he’s a “doer”. He was trapped in the “busy” cycle.
I decided it was time for outside help, someone that would force me to work on the business.
So, what’s it like working with a construction business coach?
Having a business coach pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Peeling back the coffers of your business puts you in a state of vulnerability, but it is a necessary evil in order for the business to move away from a dysfunctional cycle. It was very important for me to find a coach who had hands on experience in the construction industry. It was crucial for my coach to understand all facets of construction from working with sub-contractors, understanding workers compensation requirements, construction scheduling and pricing, among other things. In preparation of digging into the business I contracted with a certified bookkeeper make sure my financials were in order before diving in head first. This decision was mine alone not at the urging of the business coach, so I was already reaping the benefits of a coach even before our first session began.
What I’ve learned from working with a construction business coach.
Outsider Looking In
You can’t see the entire picture when you’re in the frame. It’s easy to stay in a cycle of dysfunction when you don’t realize it’s happening. As an outsider looking in, it was easy for my construction business coach to pinpoint work processes out of balance. Actively talking through issues would lead to breakthrough moments where it seemed I had the answer all along. Sometimes it takes a new perspective to see an existing connection.
Once you have been made aware of the things you need to work on, a coach will help you work through solutions. He will help you realized things you need to do to change course. Change can be overwhelming, it really helps when you have someone to guide you through it. Putting off implementation of strategies is easy when the only person you must answer to is yourself. Having a coach served as my accountability partner who challenged me to strategize and develop my goals while aligning my efforts toward achieving them.
Nowhere else do you find someone solely dedicated to acting as your own personal sounding board. In my case, with my husband as my business partner, my coach served double duty as psychologist at times. As business owner I was always overthinking decisions, having a coach at my disposal put some of the decision-making anxiety at ease. A good construction business coach is a great listener and is able to propose questions in order to guide and provoke powerful revelations. A coach suspends judgement in such a way that leads you toward your goals.
A business coach provides valuable feedback and inspires a confidence level which helps lead to business growth. Overtime confidence can come from knowing your numbers, such as the ability to analyze the business P&L Statement; pinpointing your optimal profit margin and deciding whether you need to charge more for your service or product. Confidence in your numbers can then prompt you to confidently hire for a new role in your organizational structure you may have hashed out with your coach weeks before. Confidence can also come in the form developing a company culture that attracts great employees who align with your core values, assuring a team you can have faith in to deliver a quality end-product.
Accessibility to peer groups is another benefit to having a business coach. As opposed to one-on-one coaching, a coach can have a varying forms of peer groups including pods of similar trade businesses in different regions; within these groups successes and failures are shared freely. Access to a coach’s private Facebook group is another form of peer-to peer support where other business owners can seek the help of other business owners under the same mentor-ship. The open forum of a business coach’s private Facebook page is a great way to share resources and pick up business tips from other trades and apply it to their own business.
Our experience with a construction business coach included intensive bi-monthly two-hour coaching sessions; between coaching sessions my coach was at our disposal whenever we had any implementation questions or even run through job proposals we were getting ready to submit. Having the confidence in our numbers has empowered us to dial in on our ideal customers. Our business coach has made us realize our worth as trustworthy roofing company providing a superior customer experience. Since working with our business coach, in short 9 months we have filled 4 new job positions and put in place revenue, profit margin and net profit goals.
To sum it up, you must consider a coach as an investment, not an expense, towards the growth of your business. The value in coaching resides in the tools that will help you navigate your business towards steady growth.