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5 Steps To Be Off The Tools By Next Christmas

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5 Steps To Be Off The Tools By Next Christmas

“I just want to be off the tools by next Christmas,” one of my clients once told me. “What can I do this year to make that happen?” 

Forward-thinking businessmen and women are always looking for ways to grow their company. After all, success in business is about growth — not just survival. But there is a problem. 

As you grow your business, you can’t help but spend more and more time working in the business. Not only does this mean less time available to work ON your business (growth strategies, goal setting, marketing, product/service innovation, etc.), but also less time out in the real world with your family and friends. 

This moment is a line in the sand; an opportunity to control what the next 3-12 months look like. If you want to be off the tools by this Christmas, there are certain things you need to change or navigate to make it happen. So you need to review, reflect, and reset.

With that being said, here are what I believe are the five fundamental steps to making that happen.

Step 1 - Review your pricing formula

If you’ve been running your business for a while, you may have gotten used to a certain pricing formula. But in the midst of an inflationary economy, it’s vital to know exactly how much everything costs you, so you know what cash is coming into the business. 

Review the pricing formula of your last 10-15 quotes. Are you including raw cost at the actual cost and your overhead margin? Are you factoring in all your material and labour? Is there a job margin?

If you lost money on these jobs, or are not working at your ideal price, then it’s time to increase your prices and/or look for cost cutting opportunities.

Making less money on every job means you need a higher quantity per month. This increases your chances of being on the tools longer than necessary.

Step 2 - Find your ideal jobs

To get your ideal margin, you need to know your ideal job, for the ideal customer.

After following step 1, you will know what your ideal margin is. This is the benchmark. You don’t accept anything less. Now you can look at which jobs can give you that. 

The key here is to niche. It doesn’t matter what trade or construction industry you’re in. You could be a plumber, tiler, roofer builder, renderer, etc. Forget about doing everything for everyone. What is the specific job that gives you the ideal margin?

If you get a request for a job that doesn’t give you your ideal margin, turn it down. You’ll stop wasting time quoting and delivering the ‘wrong’ jobs, because you have pre-selected criteria that make it easy to say yes or no.

Now you know that the work you carry out will bring in the minimum you want it to. Because you’re only offering those jobs.

Step 3 - Create a hit list of your top 10 customers

This hit list can include ‘avatars’ of previous customers or ones you’d like to attract, but haven’t yet worked with.

Be clear who you’re going to attract in your business over the next 12 months. Think about the kind of people who want to hire you for your ideal jobs with ideal margins.

Make it easy for them to be attracted to you and work with you by giving them exactly what they want.

At the end of step 3, you should have nailed the trifecta. You know your ideal job with the ideal margin for the ideal customer. Knowing these 3 things gives you control over who and what you’re saying ‘yes’ to.

Step 4 - Build your Qualifying Questions Toolkit (QQT)

So someone wants to hire you for your ideal jobs at the ideal margin. Great! Now it’s time to qualify your lead. 

Just because they’re willing to pay you at your ideal margin doesn’t mean they’re going to be an ideal person to work with.

Your QQT is a list of questions that you ask yourself when deciding if you should move forward with a quote. It helps you quickly and easily qualify customers, so you’re only saying yes to the right jobs and saving HOURS on preparing quotes for the wrong people.

Include questions like:

  • Is this customer going to respect working with us because we are reliable?
  • Is this customer committed to us delivering high-quality work with high attention to detail?
  • Is the customer prepared to ensure our communication is open and always up to speed?

If you follow this process, you’ll build a waiting list of high quality customers, and every one of them will pay your ideal margin for your ideal job.

Step 5 - Review the development of your team

To get yourself off the tools once and for all, you have to trust your team to maintain your high standards, deliver on your promises, and problem-solve without your input. 

Everyone must be on the same page and heading in the same direction. All with the aim of serving those ideal customers, with the ideal jobs, at the ideal margin.

This can only happen with a growth plan for every team member. Are they moving forward? Are you able to give them more responsibility? Can they take accountability? Or do you need to deselect them and bring in/move up someone else?If you’re attracting the ideal customers who want the ideal jobs at the ideal margin, you need a team who can deliver that.

2023 is your year to make real change

There you have it! These are the 5 steps I work on with every single one of our clients.

If you follow these steps, you can be off the tools (or far less on the tools) than you are right now. You’ll also bring in more revenue than ever before, because you’ll turn yourself into a client magnet.

For more valuable insights, motivation, and support for your business growth in 2023, join our Trades & Construction Mastermind Facebook Group, exclusively for tradies.

Power to you!

Stefan Kazakis,

CEO & Founder, Business Benchmark Group

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