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The Profit Builder

Doing this 1 thing can help alleviate your worry…

As Don sat down across from me the worry and angst on his face was palpable.  “What’s up?” I asked?

“I know we’re in better shape at the beginning of this year than we were last year at this time, but I’m worried that it’s not enough.  I’m concerned that the economy is going to turn, and we won’t have enough work.”

I can relate.  We’re all wondering when the economy is going to take a turn. And none of us have a crystal ball that will tell us that.

But what we do have is data.  Data that can help us alleviate at least some of that uncertainty and worry.

I asked Don if he knew how much his backlog was as of the beginning of the year.  “No” he explained, “we have just been pushing to get as much work done as we could by year-end to meet schedule deadlines, and we’re trying to ramp up bidding right now.”

With all the balls we must juggle as business owners, it can be difficult to take the time to stop and look at the data.  And yet, it is exactly that which will allow us to get more clarity, focus, and certainty about what we need to be doing to “have it all turn out okay.”

Finding relief in the numbers        

Looking at the data will let you move from worry and uncertainty, to have certainty and focus on what actions you need to take.

I asked Don if he could easily access this information, and could we look at it together. He said yes, and as we started to dig into his project reports we pulled out the following information…

               The balance remaining on contracts at 12/31/18.  I asked him to include T&M projects and an estimated amount that he would bill for the balance of the project.

               Value of contracts on projects signed, and not yet started

With this data in hand, we spread out over 12 months the amount he projected to bill on each project by month.  I suggested he be conservative.

Then we took his revenue goal for the year and split that out by month, taking into accounts fluctuations of when he is busier or slower.

We then tallied up the amount he projected to bill each month in total and compared that to his revenue goal by month. 

This allowed Don to see exactly how much he was short or over per month and for the year to meet his revenue goals. 

As we reviewed the data, Don’s face began to soften, and the look of worry faded from his face. 

He suddenly smiled and said “wow, that’s the biggest backlog I’ve ever had at one time! And while I’m a little freaked out by the fact that I have that much more to sell this year, I now can at least see exactly how much that is!”

When you can see it, you can do something about it

 

In today’s video I walk you through how to use this kind of tracking tool and give you a link to a worksheet I’ve developed that you can use right now to develop your own backlog tracking worksheet.

As I told Don, and I’d recommend for you, if you want to have more peace of mind and alleviate the worry of whether your going to make it, update this spreadsheet every month.

Even if the numbers don’t show a picture you want to see, it will at least let you get clear on how much of a gap exists between where you are and where you want to be, so you will know definitively how much you still need to sell.

Hope you find this information helpful. 

Warmest,

 

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p.s.  Get my Backlog Tracking Tool at no charge, and start having a greater sense of clarity and stop the worry!

p.p.s.  If you found this article helpful, please share it with an associate or friend?

p.p.p.s.  In my book, The Profit Bleed, I talk in more depth about other ways you can get more peace of mind and stop worrying.  AND start having more control over the results of your business.  For a limited time, it’s available for FREE, so check it out.

Vicki Suiter helps people see their businesses differently, then gives them the tools to do things differently.  Since beginning her business in 1990, Vicki has helped hundreds of contractors achieve the kind of success they never dreamed possible. Today, in addition to consulting, Vicki is an in-demand speaker at industry conferences nationally and internationally. Vicki’s articles and opinions have been widely shared in print and across the web. She is also the author of the book “The Profit Bleed” How managing margin can save your contracting business.

Celebrating the wins…

Each December I ask my clients to share with me their biggest wins for the year.  And as the discussion begins, I notice the stranges thing happens…

People want to tell me all about what they didn’t get done!

It’s funny how we’re wired to look for where we’re lacking, or not perfect, or falling short.  Somehow we have this strange idea of that until we’re perfect, we can’t celebrate the wins!

In this weeks video, I share with you how I’ve helped my clients get past this – check it out… maybe it can help you too. 🙂

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I’d love to hear what one of your wins are from this year in the comments below! Or, reach out to me on LinkedIn or Facebook and tell me.

In closing, I wish the happiest of holidays and may 2019 be your best year ever!

Warmest,

 

p.s.  sneak peek… my book, The Profit Bleed has just been released in Kindle version – check it out.

Vicki Suiter helps people see their businesses differently, then gives them the tools to do things differently.  Since beginning her business in 1990, Vicki has helped hundreds of contractors achieve the kind of success they never dreamed possible. Today, in addition to consulting, Vicki is an in-demand speaker at industry conferences nationally and internationally. Vicki’s articles and opinions have been widely shared in print and across the web. She is also the author of the book “The Profit Bleed” How managing margin can save your contracting business.

Done for you marketing – with Kyle Hunt

When your super busy, it’s hard to think about marketing.  You know you “should” but who has time? 

And, with all the choices for how you could be marketing – social media, networking, sending postcards, etc. – which is the right one to choose? How do you know which one will have the greatest return?  It’s often this question that keeps us from doing any marketing.

The problem is this – when you don’t market when your busy here’s what happens…, after the current flood of work is over, you start to panic, you begin marketing like crazy, work comes in, you get busy, you stop marketing, and then work stops, you panic, then you market like crazy – and the cycle continues.

I call this the “roller coaster” of being in the contracting industry.

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2 Numbers in your business you need to know

The one report I see most business owners don’t look at very often, if ever, is their balance sheet. The bummer is this – that means they don’ know two of the most important numbers that will help them grow a successful company.

It’s not because their lazy, or don’t care. Mostly it’s because they don’t know how to interpret what it says, or how to use it.

Is this true for you too?

In this week’s video, I show you what those two numbers are, and how to use them to build a stronger, more profitable business.

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The Secret to Having Certainty in Pricing

I had the most interesting experience last month being a guest on my friend Kyle Hunt’s podcast, Remodelers on the Rise.

I came prepared to talk about pricing for profit and ready to answer the questions we’d outlined ahead of time.  But right from the get-go, Kyle went off script.  At first, I was concerned and thought “where is he going with these questions?”

He’d make these funny comments, or intersperse a light-hearted observation while I’d be making a point, which threw me off a bit.

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Why your sales process is taking too long, and wasting precious time

When my client Bob first called me and I asked what was the number one thing he’d like to change in his business and he replied – “I’m bidding at all hours of the night and weekends, and then working in the field during the day.  I feel like I jump through hoops to try and give prospect what they want, and it takes forever to get them to commit if they commit at all. I want to find a way to get more control of this part of my business, and stop working nights and weekends.”

I told Bob he wasn’t alone.  If there is one thing most contractors can agree on it’s this: selling is not at the top of the list of things they love to do. I can understand this since selling is not usually where your greatest strengths lie. It can feel unnatural and awkward and often leave you feeling like you’re wasting precious time trying to get someone to make a decision, especially when you’re competitively bidding against other contractors.

So how do you stop wasting time bidding the wrong jobs, get control over the sales process, have people commit faster, AND, have you be the preferred contractor?

Good news – it’s not as complicated as you may think.

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Finding Success – Getting What You Want

We all want to be successful; it’s part of being human. We want to be better at what we do, particularly when it comes to our business; whether that’s increasing revenue, implementing better processes, improving how we hire, or perfecting a skill. Finding success and getting what you want is often attached to making a change or improving in some way.

We start, then we put it down. We put it on our to-do list, and then it sits there. We put in a stack on our desk and assign a due date, and then it sits. Undone. Incomplete. Nagging at the back of our minds, “gosh I really need to …”

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