“What is called genius, is the abundance of life and health.” – Henry David Thoreau

The great thing about our business is that there is no real barrier to success. Some industries require massive investment or social status or extraordinary technology. Not ours.

The home improvement business simply requires that you make the decision to ACT — with integrity, with commitment to serving each homeowner, and most importantly, with dedication to a process.

Last month, we explored the first key in our strategies for creating abundance as a home improvement contractor, financial discipline.  This month, I’d like to give you my No. 2 and No. 3 key strategy. I hope they’ll give you some helpful perspective, to unlock your genius.

Key Strategy No. 2: You MUST have Systems and Routines

Having a system and following consistent routines can transform your business, improve the quality of your life and increase the value of your enterprise.

BAM. Mic drop.

Seriously, there are many reasons to have distinct systems within an organization. Systems help you train and retain personnel and improve your level of customer service, which will ultimate lead to greater profits. Systems save you time by automating and scheduling tasks. Time is certainly money. Systems will help you sell your business for a greater profit, because the person purchasing the system will feel more comfortable about stepping in and running the business.

Here are some areas where we suggest you have an established routine, method, and/or timing.

  1. Answering the phone – you MUST have clear and established scripting to take advantage of every opportunity.
  2. Pre-positioning – you MUST condition your prospects for the sales appointment. This will increase close rates and sell prices.
  3. Office functions – you MUST have a routine (or at least a checklist) of the items you will accomplish on a daily basis. Items such as follow-ups on new leads, sales and no sales, installation scheduling and follow up, job and finance paperwork. We suggest that you schedule these functions at certain times each day, leaving space for tasks that ‘come up’.

I’d like to re-emphasize that systems and routines not only help you with time and profit, but they will ultimately be a business asset that will value your company higher.

Key Strategy No. 3: You MUST deliver Value

Ultimately, all of your customers want one thing: VALUE.

Some may speak of brand, many may speak of price, but at the end of the day it is the company that is able to communicate and deliver the most VALUE that will win the job.

Not only that, it is the company that delivers the most value that will earn more referrals and forge the very best reputation.

So how do we deliver value?  How do we deliver more value than any other company in the marketplace?

Value consists of a combination of these factors:

  1. Price – the lowest “guaranteed”price often comes with the guaranteed lowest quality of product and service, doesn’t it? Likewise, the highest price in the marketplace rarely translates to the best quality. We must sell products for a FAIR price; one which balances cost with adequate margins to run a successful and healthy business.
  2. Quality of product and installation – cutting corners on your product and installation methods, due to cost, will ALWAYS cost you more in the long run. Sell quality products and pay your installers above market rate, but demand a level of craftsmanship and service that is above the market as well.
  3. Experience – you MUST make sure that your customers have a good EXPERIENCE dealing with your company. You must demand it from yourself and your staff as well. Make this priority one, for it can help you through any issues that arise with quality, scheduling, personnel, etc. Bottom line: Make your customers HAPPY.

When you make your company the best in all these categories, you will bring more value to the marketplace than your competition.

When you bring more value, you will sell more products, for more money. You will create a business reputation that enhances your brand, and ultimately the value of your business. You will create business value, and ultimately wealth.

Stay tuned next month for the final KEY.

Ed Kalaher is the president and CEO of Window Depot USA in Canfield, Ohio.

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