A Cautionary Review: After the First Six Months in 2021, is it Time for a New Plan?

By Dave Yoho

For many companies, 2021 has been incredibly successful. Sales have been at an all-time high. Creative marketing tactics led to abundant leads, resulting in a need for additional salespeople, as well as an increase in the installation crews to complete work. Others enjoyed the benefits of their PPP loans and felt content with their progress for the first two quarters of 2021.

That said, through our industry surveys and direct work with clients, hidden issues were uncovered which could derail the “full steam ahead” theory.
Consider these issues both positive and concerning.
• Repairing, replacing, modernizing and upgrading their most expensive assets (their homes) made sense to many property owners (a plus).
• Financing options provided an ease by which to pay for home improvements (a plus).
• Backlogs of uninstalled work and cycle times increased significantly, which led many companies to experience cash flow problems and customer dissatisfaction (a minus).
• The availability to hire additional crews decreased, as too few options were exercised (a minus).
• Rules regarding “independent contractor” status are already creating havoc and now face increased legislation (a big, big minus).

Meanwhile, there are more concerning issues on the horizon. So where are the solutions?

Relying on New Perceptions

A few years ago, Harvard Review published a study on decision making—partially authored by Emre Soyer and Robin M. Hogarth. The opening statement opines:

“We rely on the weight of experience to make judgments and decisions. We interpret the past—what we’ve seen and been told—to chart a course for the future, secure in the wisdom of our insights … It’s reasonable that we go back to the same well to make new decisions. This could be a mistake.”

An examination of current conditions might lead you to believe that these issues will go away or become less onerous over time, when in fact they are becoming more concerning.

It is time to re-examine what you are doing and make necessary corrections in order to make your business more profitable—both for the present and years to come. This will likely be accompanied by a level of discomfort, because it requires a detailed examination of issues and methods within your business that require change.

Often, companies examine success without due diligence, which requires an examination of overall costs and their consequences.

Examining data, performance and outcomes, then comparing them to existing conditions, as well as the “what if’s” of intended change, takes courage and discipline. If you detect issues within your company that require change, create a plan with several steps:

• Identify the issue;
• Structure a plan of action; and
• Anticipate resistance.

Institute a plan and measure its use and effectiveness on a day-to-day basis.

Behavioral scientists long ago established methods for measuring change. Part of their findings indicated that even the simplest modification in behavioral practice can take as much as 21 days. That’s where courage and discipline come into play.

Dave Yoho is president of business consulting firm Dave Yoho Associates.

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DWM Magazine

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