I'm adding Mark Paskell's Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog to the permalink list.
In his most recent entry, he makes the case for effective business planning:
As 2008 comes to a close are you working on your business plan for 2009? Have you assessed the results of 2008?I enjoyed this reference to Mark from the Eastern Massachusetts (Boston) Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) newsletter:
With the recent downturn in economic activity and the pending election, many contractors are experiencing less work than previous years at this time. Many have never witnessed such a dramatic drop off in business so early in the fall. While the economy works itself out this is the perfect time to develop your strategy and business plan for the coming year.
Many contractors are realizing that their lack of planning and training has left them in a precarious position this fall. Now it is more important than ever to know how to sell your services. Across the board, leads have dried up and backlogs of work are not sufficient to carry companies through the end of the year. Droves of workers are being laid off or let go. Hopefully, this will not mean the end of the road for many contractors, only time will tell.
Meanwhile why not spend this time working on your business? Seek out and invest in best practice education and training to prevent this from happening to you again. Some major reasons for failures in our industry are lack of planning, inadequate marketing and lead generation, not aggressively selling, poor cash flow, lack of or inadequate systems, lack of industry specific and business training and owners wearing too many hats.
The industry is rapidly changing. Homeowners are more knowledgeable, savvy, demanding and discerning on who they will hire to work on their home. The Next Level Consumer is expecting service from The Next Level Contractor. If you are not like the contractor they expect, you will have a difficult time getting work. If you are not like the Next Level Contractor, even if they hire you, they will not pay you the amount necessary to run a legal profitable contracting business.
Most contractors have learned that the best customers are homeowners who are professionally educated. These customers tend to provide professional services in their jobs that are supported by processes and systems. These consumers are expecting the same quality of service from their contractors who work on the home. The Next Level Contractor knows this and has adopted the use of best practices and systems to deliver his service. This way the Next Level Contractor can command the price needed to support a professional contracting company.
The Next Level Contractor is an expert in his field. He will use best practices and systems to deliver an outstanding contracting experience. He is now planning for 2009 to make sure that when the economy turns around he will be ready for The Next Level Consumer. He is working marketing plans, website development, sales training and processes, lead carpenter and employee training, home show planning and more.
The Contractor Coaching Partnership teaches contractors how to align themselves so that they can win the business of this consumer.
Are you ready to start your planning for 2009?
During the May NARI meeting we welcomed a new member company called The Contractor Coaching Partnership. Founder, Mark Paskell came to us and said if there is anything he can do to help us increase the chapter membership that we can always count on him to help. In that same meeting he brought six guests. We learned that he is an expert in building groups through networking, in addition to his profession as a “Contractor Coach”. In August, Mark was nominated by EMNARI President, Bill Farnsworth, to join the board of directors.This posting led me to check out NARI, which may be a valuable resource for remodelers. (I can also recommend participating in your local home builders' association; in Ottawa, the Renovators Council has an important place within the Greater Ottawa Home Builders' Association).
Mark has over 22 years experience in our industry and is known as a Design/Build and Exterior Renovation Expert. His industry related experience includes Sales and Marketing Management, Production and Administration System Development, Design/Build and Lead Carpenter System Development, Public Insurance Adjuster, and BNI Networking. He is a Graduate of SandlerSales Institute, Design/Build Institute and a 10 year member of Certified Contractor Network.
In February 2008, he founded The Contractor Coaching Partnership. The company provides coaching and industry specific best practice system development and training for residential contractors and the supporting trades.
He says that he got the idea for coaching contractors when he met Richard Kaller of CCN in 1996. Mark says, Richard taught average contractors that they could succeed if they developed, implemented training systems and best practices. Mark also said that he was inspired to start a coaching career by Tim Bretton of Sandler Sales and Shawn McCadden, Consultant.
“I always believed that choosing the right role model and mentor has a huge impact on long term success. In NARI, I see a great opportunity for new contractors to learn from the professional remodelers and I recommend NARI to all my clients”
Don from Bryan Construction says “The Lead Carpenter and Systems training has been great. I look forward to the Design/Build sales training we are now starting. Working with someone that has direct knowledge of the industry, has made all the difference in the world. Thanks Mark, Don Bryan”
For more information please check Mark’s website and blog at www.thecontractorcoachingpartnership.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Cell; 508-847-0162, Off. 978-422-6354.