By Brittany Spencer, Nexstar Network Business Coach
This is it, everybody: it’s business planning season. Plenty of companies in the trades are building their business plans and gearing up to put them to work. Budgets are being made; goals are being set.
As a business coach, I see a lot of the same issues crop up each year during this season, and I’m here to offer a few quick tips on making sure your business plan is ready for takeoff.
When building your plans, involve your whole team.
I can’t stress this one enough. Any business plan you build on your own is your plan – not your team’s plan. And if it’s only your plan, why would anyone else care about achieving the goals you’ve set? You need to get buy-in from your team. Make sure your managers are the ones who build the business plan. Get every department head to commit to what they can do next year and let them talk things over with one another. Allow space for your team to offer up concerns and disputes – this is their business plan, after all, and disputes and concerns are going to occur when people are invested in the plan! Once concerns are addressed and settled, have your key managers sign off on the business plan. When everyone has signed off on the plan, it’s set!
Tell the whole company.
Have your managers communicate the business plan down to the rest of the company employees. Everyone in your company needs to know about and understand the business plan for next year. Not just managers! Your technicians need to know. Your CSRs and dispatchers need to know. Your install team, your sales team, accounting… heck, your parts-runners need to know! Why? For transparency, and to get everyone rowing in the same direction. A new plan can affect everything, from your working hours to which member of the team communicates with the pallet company you use. How are all your employees supposed to know what success for next year looks like if you don’t show them what they’re shooting for? Consider displaying your company goals in large poster-format somewhere visible to all employees, like in the break room.
Break down your business plan into smaller pieces.
Your business plan goals look great! They also might look lofty to the average employee. You can help your entire team by breaking down your business plan into smaller pieces, such as by department.
Let’s say you’re breaking down the goals for your HVAC department first. Part of the plan for the HVAC department is that they’re going to add three technicians in the coming year. OK: who’s going to be responsible for recruiting those technicians? When does that recruiting start? When are interviews going to happen? When do you need to have all three technicians in trucks, running calls?
If you have five different departments, and they all have recruiting goals for the coming year, you’ll need to have someone who’s responsible for recruiting in each department. And if you’re adding people, you’ll need more trucks! Break it down. What’s the current lead time on getting trucks? Who’s going to order them? Who’s going to make sure they get fitted out and wrapped?
Break those goals down by month, then week! Then break them down by day, and make sure you have daily huddles or short stand-up meetings with your team about each day’s goals. You win your year by winning your day. The more days you win, you can then catapult into winning your week, then your month, and ultimately your year. Your team can generate action items daily to create change where needed. And all you’ll need to worry about is making sure your revenue formula is getting the needed calls, converting those calls, and lastly converting those calls at the right average sale.
See what I mean? You need steps for each goal of your business plan, or nothing’s going to get accomplished. Take your business plan and break it down into smaller pieces, assign people to each piece, and assign deadlines to the people. You’ll reach your business plan goals this year!
Brittany Spencer is a business coach at Nexstar Network. Shas worked in the residential service industry as a financial controller and a general manager for the plumbing, electric, and HVAC trades. She’s passionate about helping members improve their day-to-day operations, financial results, employee ranks, and customer satisfaction. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.