Canadian Contractor

When $600,000 is no longer enough

"I have always preferred action to talk. And I am not bragging. It IS a terrible failing.

August 7, 2019
By Robert Koci
Robert Koci

I recently spoke to a contractor running an annual revenue of about $600,000. He does a lot of exterior work and some kitchens and bath renovations. He works for homeowners sometimes and at other times for contractors as a subtrade. He is on site a lot, and working on the business a little. He keeps three guys busy most of the time and peels off about $90,000 per year for himself.

After 10 years in business, he’s ready to grow. Last year was a year of personal upheaval but that’s behind him now, he says, and a window was opening for him to consider the direction of his company; what he wants to do, what he needs to do, what he can do, to get his company to the next level.

Our conversation helped. The ideas we shared resonated. For instance, part of the conversation involved figuring out how to define his company as he grew. What did his company do best? What segment of the industry did he want to serve? What does he like doing? We decided that in the next few months he would book weekly one-hour meetings with himself for the sole purpose of working on his one, three and five year strategic plan. Importantly, he was going to send me invites for those meetings, not so I would join, but so I could monitor whether or not he was keeping those meetings, or finding excuses not to have them.

I have always preferred action to talk. And I am not bragging. It is a terrible failing. I thought for years that hanging around and dreaming big dreams was for dreamers and was mostly an excuse for avoiding hard work. But then I grew up. I understand now that looking into the future and fashioning it is MORE IMPORTANT than wearing a tool belt and driving nails. Also, I know now that if you like hard work, you will love thinking through what you REALLY want to do with your business because it is actually really hard work. Much harder, frankly, than driving a nail.




Print this page


2 Comments » for When $600,000 is no longer enough
  1. Harry Veenstra says:

    Bigger is not better
    Being more efficient is by far better than just more gross sales
    Like you said most guys don’t want to be in an office they want to do the hands on job
    Quality of life over runs quanity of evertine

    • Robert Koci Robert Koci says:

      I honestly can’t disagree, but to be able to make that determination means having considered seriously what it means to grow. Another contractor I was talking with yesterday LOVED working on site, and still misses the satisfaction of solving technical problems and, at the end of the day, making something beautiful. BUT, he is now taking home about $250,000 per year in income and is providing a good life for his family. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that, too! And a lot of ‘quality of life.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.