Wrapping up our 5-part series on common restoration business challenges, we’ve shared some actionable tips on how they can be addressed. An overarching summary of these include:
Challenge 1: Finding and Retaining Top Talent for Your Restoration Business
Your people are vital to the success of your business. Yet finding and retaining talented, hard-working employees are among the more complex problems that owners face in today’s business environment. Fewer young people are entering the general trades, making it more competitive to find and train young employees. More experienced candidates can be expensive to recruit.
But, good planning and hiring systems will go a long way in helping you to attract the right people into your business. Remember:
- Do your due diligence – don’t take shortcuts
- Create employee personas – who is your ideal person for the job?
- Use screening assessments – filter applicants to find where they best fit
- Focus on hiring for traits and attitude – skills can be taught, but aptitude and disposition cannot
- Proactively take ownership of your search – think about where your ideal candidates are and make sure you’re there too
- Be visible to your target audience – let the world know who you are as a business and that you’re hiring
Challenge 2: Lead Generation for Restoration Companies
Lead generation is vital to get right. But at times, it can be counterintuitive in this business. You might assume that running some ads and billboards will make your phone ring non-stop, but that isn’t always the case. Often, it’s about your brand-building efforts, delighting existing customers, and taking care of your employees.
Even so, there are direct actions that you can and should be doing to create more business:
- Track your leads – know where they came from and who’s converting into customers
- Diversify your lead-gen channels – Cultivate B2B referrals and be active on website & social media
- Understand how people find you – map your customer’s journey from the first contact to a satisfied customer
Challenge 3: Maintaining Profitability in Your Restoration Business
There’s no point in operating and growing your business if it isn’t profitable! Keeping more of what you earn is the name of the game. Here’s a review of the critical solutions to making this happen:
- Establish profit benchmarks – profitability goals for each of your service lines helps you to sharpen your aim
- Master the skill of estimating – chronic underbidding is leaving money on the table
- Watch those material costs – to avoid cost waste, take pains to review job quantity estimates before buying materials
- Use employee pay incentives –align your people’s interests with yours by incentivizing their behavior with financial rewards
Challenge 4: Consistency in Operations in Your Restoration Business
Everything in your restoration company is connected to everything else. If any part or person in your business is not performing, the effects will ripple throughout the organization. Over time, this lack of operational consistency will degrade the performance of the whole company. This can result in lower returns and potentially even failure.
Business is a team sport. Make sure you optimize operations by implementing the following solutions:
- Systematize all essential tasks – Once the optimal solution is found for any repetitive tasks, document the steps
- Checklists for the win – Weaponize your systems by creating simple checklists that indicate what, when, and how to do a task
- Organize your plans and projects – make organization a high priority through advance planning, scheduling, prioritizing, and more
- Know your people – team members are your greatest asset, get to know what they bring to the table
Challenge 5: Scaling Your Restoration Business
Growth at all costs is a clumsy and unsustainable approach to business. Conversely, scaling is managed growth that is planned for before it happens. It requires forethought and preparation in advance of anticipated growth. Processes and systems are implemented and standing by to handle the sudden expansion of a business.
Address your efforts to grow your business by scaling with the following strategies:
- Plan early for growth – The sooner you start, the easier it is to handle growth when it happens
- Fix problems in the correct order – prioritize your issues and fix them in order of impact on your efficiency and profitability
- Customer Experience is always a priority – no matter where you are in your scaling efforts, always make your customers happy
- Take care of your team – your employees show up every day to help you build your business, treat them well
Every restoration business faces a myriad of challenges. Whether they be those listed in this summary or things altogether different, it’s guaranteed you will encounter them. That is not unexpected. Fortunately, there are solutions to be found! In our experience, those who are willing to do whatever is necessary to rise above their challenges will always find a way to do so.
Success Leaves Clues
There’s a lot to know in this industry. But you don’t have to learn it all in the school of hard knocks! As seasoned owner/operators in the restoration business (we also own our own restoration company, Power Dry), tap into our years of practical experience and advice by downloading our free guide: 5 Business Challenges Independent Restoration Company Owner Struggles With…And Ways to Address Them.