Canadian Contractor

Robert Koci   

When $600,000 is no longer enough

Canadian Contractor

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

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.

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