Your End Of Year Review
Well, we’re at the end of another year. I hope that it was a successful and fun year for you and your business. As you head into 2017, let me throw out a few questions that I hope will help you take your business to even greater levels in the new year.
- What was your gross margin in 2016? What can you do differently in marketing, operations, or your sales process to increase that by 3 points in the new year? 5 points?
- Which products offered by your company offer you the best combination of profitability and liability? How can you shift more of your upcoming sales to those products?
- How successful were your cost control efforts in 2016? As you review your job by job costs for the previous year, what information is yielded that can lead to increased profitability and effectiveness in 2017?
- Can you define any stumbling blocks in your business that caused you frustration or financial loss in 2016? Are there any changes you can make or systems you can define and implement which will prevent those problems in the future?
- How is your onboarding program for new team members going? Is it formalized for maximum success? Do new team members know exactly what is expected of them? Is everyone receiving proper safety training?
- Are your company’s insurances and licenses all up to date? Should you consider increasing any of your insurance coverages? Should you consider a personal umbrella insurance policy?
- What succession planning is in place in your company? What would happen if key leaders or owners became injured or sick?
- Are your company’s Mission and Vision clear and understood by all team members? Are your Core Values identified and do they truly serve as the banks of the river for your company’s every action? Is 2017 the year to update your company’s strategic plan?
- What team building activities can you do for your company in 2017? Are there any community outreach projects that might help your team unite and connect, as well as serve?
- What changes have you seen in the behavior or product offerings of your competitors? Do you need to react to those changes by either leveraging them to your advantage or taking your company in a different and more competitive direction?
- How have consumers changed in your area? Are their demographics changing? Are they staying in their homes longer? Have their priorities in terms of home improvement goals changed? If so, how will you react to those changes in terms of your marketing and in-home presentations?
- What was your best lead source in terms of sales volume? Profitability? How can you generate more leads from your most fruitful sources?
- Do you plan to add any lead sources in 2017? If so, what under-performers will you eliminate from your total marketing mix?
- How are consumer media habits changing in your area? How will you respond?
- How up-to-date is your website? Does it include multiple lead generation points? Are “soft leads” being developed as well as firm leads? Do homeowners view your website as a trusted source of information and education? Is your website responsive? Do you have systems in place to cultivate the long-term leads you receive? Particularly if almost all of your leads eventually end up on your website, do you need to invest in your website?
- Is your percentage of sales sold to referrals increasing? What creative things can you implement to maximize the referrals you receive from past and current customers in 2017? How can you re-direct some of your traditional marketing dollars to referral maximization?
- Were you consistent in debriefing your salespeople after their “pitch and misses”? What did you learn from them? What things need to be paid more attention to in order to increase their individual closing ratios?
- How successful was your sales team at “sticking to the system” and giving full presentations to all of their appointments? What is the cost to your company when they do not follow through with full presentations?
- How consistently do you meet with your sales team and do role playing, quizzing, and refresher training?
- How fully are you utilizing the promotional materials, presentations, and training offered by the manufacturers of the products you sell?
- What happens when a prospective customer calls or emails your company? How quickly are they gotten into the hands of someone who can help them? Are your processes for appointment setting fully documented and is everyone doing their part in selling the idea of an appointment to the prospect? Is information being collected upfront and passed along to your salespeople that helps them guide their presentations?
- Are your salespeople using the internet to learn about prospects and their homes before they visit them? Are they using Google Alerts as a way to help stay connected to past customers?
- How often was your ability to get jobs installed / completed a bottleneck for your company’s growth? How can you improve upon that situation in 2017?
- What ongoing strategies do you have in place for installer recruitment and retention?
- How successful were your quality control measures in 2016? Are all team members fully invested in ensuring homeowner delight? Are your crews properly incentivized for high quality work?
I hope these questions are helpful to you. If there are any things you’d like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact me. I always enjoy helping business leaders talk through the above questions, and more.
And, of course, if you see where it is important for your company to seek continual improvement and education, please consider attending the 2017 Metal Roofing Summit to be held March 13 – 15 in Piqua, Ohio. This year’s agenda is sure to inspire, educate, entertain, and influence the development of new, creative ideas to grow your business. Registration is free.
I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and all best for a bright new year. Please feel free to call me at 1-800-543-8938, ext. 201 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org whenever I can be of service to you.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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