In this 4th of our 5-part series on common challenges in a restoration business, we focus on consistency in your restoration business operations. If you missed our 3 previous installments, you can check them out – Hiring, Lead Generation and Profitability.
The whole of your restoration business is only as healthy as the sum of its individual parts. You might have the greatest restoration company in the world with the most capable employees, the best equipment, and the most well-thought-out processes. But, if each part of your teams and systems are not executing their roles consistently and efficiently, the business will never reach its potential. Given enough time and neglect, a lack of consistency in operations can even cause your business to fail.
As an example, what if your field service teams lacked consistency in performing restoration jobs? Or, what if your salespeople couldn’t secure the jobs at a high level? Obviously, the consequences would be quick and disastrous! Even if every other department were operating at peak performance, the effect of these failings would eventually cascade across the whole business.
The above examples may or may not be relevant to you, but they illustrate the point. More realistically, a well-run restoration company might deal with smaller operational inconsistencies. Little things that matter but aren’t handled in a timely manner (or even in the same way) because there’s no process in place. Watch for these, as they create resistance to your company’s efficiency and profitability.
The takeaway here is that business is a team sport and every part and person in your operation matters to the whole. To help you address and prevent inconsistencies from happening in your business, you can implement the following critical solutions:
Essential Tasks Should Be Systematized in Your Restoration Business
There’s nothing worse than struggling to complete a task that someone else in your company has already figured out the best way to do. That’s why you should create and document systems for completing all repetitive critical tasks.
You can accomplish this by writing down instructions and relevant information necessary to perform these tasks. Be sure to include enough of an explanation that someone unfamiliar with the process could read and successfully complete it. If there are any materials, supplies, or information required to complete an essential task, be sure to make them available or provide instructions to get them. A good example here is having a truck checkoff system that ensures every time the vehicle leaves the shop, it’s properly outfitted to ensure no return trips (and thus, fewer profits!).
Checklists for the Win in Your Restoration Business
Want to really boost your systems game? Increase system effectiveness tenfold by creating checklists that provide simple clarity of the task to be completed. A good checklist will indicate what to do, when to do it, and how to get it done.
There’s no need for an unfamiliar person to reinvent the wheel every time a routine task needs to be done. By creating systems for critical tasks, documenting the process, and generating user-friendly checklists, your team will never be at a loss what to do next. Your employees will thrive and succeed as they gain clarity, purpose, and understanding of how to succeed in their respective roles. As a result, operational consistency will increase, job satisfaction will go up, and profitability will rise. A good example here is having a job workflow checklist that ensures every critical task of a job is completed.
Organize Your Plans and Projects in Your Restoration Business
Independent restoration companies run smoother when owners and managers make organization a top priority. As the captain of your crew, it’s your responsibility to ‘steer the ship’ by making decisions that will create operational success. This includes the work of both long and short-term planning.
For the long-term well-being of the business, study your market, customers, and competition. This information will help you to make strategic decisions for continued viability and future growth. In the short term, spend your time focused on your projects and your people. Daily, weekly, and monthly organizing efforts will include project management tasks such as work prioritization, work breakdown and milestone planning, job scheduling, workload balancing, business development, relationship building, and much more.
Know Your People in Your Restoration Business
Without question, your people are your greatest asset. That’s why the best restoration business owners and managers are focused on their people. They understand they can improve operational consistency by knowing their people well. Knowing their employee’s unique strengths, weaknesses, skills, experience, and potential can foster an understanding of what management might be able to expect from them. It also provides insight into how and where an employee will most likely succeed in the business. Having the right people in the right seats on the bus is the most important thing you can do to improve results in your business.
Incremental Growth in Your Restoration Business
Achieving consistency in your restoration business operations doesn’t happen overnight. With decades of experience growing and operating our own successful independent restoration company (Power Dry), and helping hundreds of restorers in our member network for almost two decades, we know what it takes to be a premier restoration services provider in the marketplace. Learn more about how to improve your business systems and processes. Download a free copy of our guide: Making My Restoration Business Work Without Me.