Do you feel like your business is drowning? Like no matter what you do — no matter how hard you work — you’re just barely keeping your head above water?
Unfortunately, that’s the case with far too many contractors. But we’re here to let you in on a little secret. Actually, it’s quite a big secret. In fact, it’s the single biggest difference between contractors who crush it and contractors who get crushed.
When we talk about business systems, we’re referring to the documented procedures and processes that allow your business to run in the most efficient manner possible, without your constant attention. Systems can be set up for nearly every aspect of your business — from accounting to estimating; scheduling to ordering; onboarding to customer service, and much more.
The Importance of Systems in Efficiently Running a Business
The idea of implementing systems in your business isn’t revolutionary. But it’s oftentimes too easy to overlook the most basic of ideas when we’re tied up in the day-to-day tasks of managing a business.
Here’s the thing, though: systems don’t just streamline your day-to-day tasks. They are the key to growing your business on a big-picture level, and a lack of systems is the single greatest reason why contractors end up going out of business – they’re crushed by their own growth. Even still, systems are often ignored.
According to Successwise.com, systems are oft-neglected for two reasons:
- Systems are a “back-office” function. A common thought: why spend time focusing on back office functions when the front line is where all the customer interaction and selling takes place? Systems are boring, right?
- Lack of urgency. When building a business, sales, marketing, and service need all the support they can get. The business will grow and run — for a while, at least — without back end systems in place. With zero upfront urgency, it’s easy to devote time elsewhere.
Why Contractors Get Crushed
What is it about systems that make them the key to whether a contracting business “crushes it” or gets crushed?
It’s a simple answer with a complex implication: for businesses without proper systems in place from the get go, growth in leads, closed deals, and incoming profits will outpace the supply of time and attention needed to make sure other aspects of the business grow along with it.
Said simply: your contracting business cannot survive unexpected or unanticipated growth without proper systems in place first.
How Systems Help You Level Up Your Contracting Business
Here are a few things systems can do to help you grow your business and increase revenues without more time needed on your end:
Systems build consistency and efficiency. Let’s use employee onboarding as an example. Having a documented process for onboarding builds consistency for when new employees are brought on. You can guarantee that all employees have gone through the same paperwork and training and are on the same page from there on out. In addition, it makes the onboarding process incredibly efficient and allows you to get new staff operating at full speed faster and with fewer headaches.
Systems free up staff to spend time on more valuable things. Because of the consistency a system provides, your staff doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel each time something needs to be done. When estimating, for example, your sales staff doesn’t have to come up with a unique procedure for quoting jobs each and every time a new lead comes in. With a comprehensive system put in place — i.e. using a system such as JobFLEX for mobile estimating — your sales staff is freed up to quote more work, more often.
But the most important reason why systems are necessary for your contracting business:
Systems enable your business to scale. With consistent, efficient, and detailed systems put in place, you’ve built the foundation upon which your business can scale. When tasks like onboarding, estimating, payroll, and scheduling are systematized, it makes them easily replicable for anyone to implement. (This is actually the key to successful, billion-dollar franchises, according to Entrepreneur Magazine.)
The goal for you: as your business scales and tasks are decentralized and running smoothly in the background, you, the business owner, are freed up to focus on the big picture of moving your company forward.
Build Systems that Support Growth
Like we said — this idea isn’t revolutionary. But it’s your job to use it to revolutionize your business so you can scale with relative ease rather than getting crushed when growth comes too fast and you simply can’t manage it.
The lack of systems that plagues the small-to-medium sized contracting businesses we interact with on a daily basis is what led us to create JobFLEX. Now, it’s feedback on those systems that keeps us constantly improving the software and mobile app that lets you generate estimates and close deals from anywhere at anytime.
Stop expelling all your effort just to keep your head above water and get back to doing what you do best. Implement systems that grow with your business and keep it running efficiently and independently of your constant attention.