In Episode 099 of Strongpreneur Nation host Tom Reber and Al discuss "The 7-Power Approach to Re-Engineering Your Business," including why it is critical to get the core 80 percent (not 100 percent!) of what goes on in your company 80 percent of the time documented in Operating Manuals, the importance of the triangle of communications between CSR to the Dispatcher to the Tech, and much, much more.
What’s Finally Going to Fix Things at Your Company?
Well, let’s start with what won’t fix things at your company.
Putting out a daily fire without focusing on fire prevention is just wrong. Because that fire is bound to break out again tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow until the day you finally lock the front door of your company and say “Goodbye!”
What is going to fix things?
Becoming proactive about running your company instead of letting the company run you. That starts with putting the right tools in place to make running your company day-to-day way saner and way more sustainable.
The biggest and best tool is to document what it takes to run your company, without you having to ride your white stallion to the rescue from sun up to sundown.
That’s why I’m advocating you dedicate a portion of your week—no matter how crazy that week is—to creating a series of documents designed to keep fires from starting in the first place.
Service Contractor Education and Consulting Business Evolves, Takes New Name: Founder Al Levi Renames Business ‘The 7-Power Contractor’ Scottsdale, AZ—April 13, 2017—The 7-Power ContractorSM is the new name for the service contractor education and consulting business founded 15 years ago as Appleseed Business, Inc. by serial entrepreneur, columnist, and author Al Levi. Levi’s website also [...]
I started Appleseed Business, Inc. because I know all too well the enormous stress and struggle for success you face as a contractor. Why? Because I once was one just like you. I worked for 25 years in my family’s plumbing, heating and cooling business.
My family’s business continues to flourish with a 4th generation at work because of a seven-concept system my brothers, dad and I put into place. It’s a powerful approach that helped us run our contracting business with a lot less stress and a lot more success.
The success of those systems allowed me to sell my share to my brothers and retire from that business at age 48, knowing all would be well.
I could have walked away from it all right there. But I felt honor-bound to help my fellow contractors discover these powers and use them to get results, too. And I started Appleseed Business, Inc. to do just that.
That name was a nod to the legendary Johnny Appleseed. I envisioned traveling this great country planting the seeds of systems and processes that would help contracting businesses grow and thrive. And that’s exactly what I’ve been up to for over 15 years now.
I chose “The 7-Power Contractor” because it reflects the business philosophy that was cultivated in me as a young man working in my family’s business. We were serial entrepreneurs who came to know, without a doubt, the key to creating a successful company were those 7-Power concepts.
That’s why, effective immediately the name of my business is changing to The 7-Power Contractor.
Everything in business is Important!
Not everything in business is Urgent. Thank heavens!
The trouble starts when all your focus is on fighting fires—dealing only with Urgent items—leaving no time to focus on any Important-But-Not-Urgent items.
When you’re firefighting day after day, how will you ever work on the importance of Fire Prevention?
Answer: You won’t!
This is the daily struggle we face as business owners, and even moreso as Contractors.
All of it feels like it’s urgent. This is especially true when there’s an unhappy customer yelling at you and threatening to post their unhappiness online to everyone on planet Earth.
Now, you and I both know that if everything is urgent, there’s no way to prioritize and maximize your and your staff’s day. You must develop the ability to separate the Important-But-Not-Urgent things that are going on at your company today, just like they did yesterday, that are likely to continue that way until the final moment you put the key in your office door.
Working with consulting clients, I create the Operating Manuals early on to help them immediately minimize the daily chaos in their businesses. For fast-growing shops, it allows them to keep growing in a smarter way.
All good stuff.
But, I let them discover “The Secret Bonus” of these operating manuals, which is that they boost sales. Most owners realize this right away, because the best shops closely track sales data.
Here are the top 7 reasons why having operating manuals in place boosts sales:
The CSR Manual trains the CSRs to put Techs in front of the right customer. This frees the Tech up from wasting valuable productivity time explaining pricing and payment policies. This is learned in weekly meetings using the CSR Manual for phone role-playing.
In Episode 008 of REHAU On Air, host and REHAU Academy Manager Max Rohr and Al discuss the power of planning and good communications. Here it is! (You Tube Link).
Al Levi says staying in front of the situation with creditors and trade partners makes them a lot more likely to work with you to get to a solution that will benefit both parties, in Small Business Debt Relief for FitSmallBusiness.com written by Jeff White.
“Déjà vu All Over Again” is a famous quote by the late, great Yogi Berra. I’ve lived this scenario, and I’m betting you have, too. I’m talking about callbacks--the bane of the contracting industry.
I worked in my family plumbing, heating and cooling business (today they also do electrical), so I know first-hand how demoralizing and damaging callbacks can be.
1. Your customers have to needlessly take off extra time from their paying jobs to be there for your Techs again and again.
2. Callbacks rob your ability to do new service and install work because you have to redo a repair for no money.
3. They ruin your good reputation, especially today, when unhappy customers go online and tell the world.
You quit that tech job at an established plumbing, heating, cooling, and/or electrical company because you figured you could be your own boss, make your own hours and charge a little less, and the money would come flowing in.
Maybe yes. Maybe no.
If you’re reading this I’m betting you also discovered there’s so much more to running a successful business than just being a good tech. And if you’re like most, you’re probably not completely sure what all of that “more” is!
Don’t get me wrong, actually knowing technical stuff for the work you do is helpful. But, it can be a double-edged sword if you’re the only one who can run a call the right way (at least, in your mind, anyway). It automatically limits your growth.