“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.”
The profitability of most independent kitchen and bath firms is compromised by the owner who works hard in their business without working enough on their business. These owners would benefit by gaining practical business knowledge from research, seminars, conferences, the internet, and reading books by business gurus. For them, it is not worth learning how to understand and implement new ideas when they can be working to generate higher gross profit margins.
SEN has learned that these owners are applying less than 20% of the industry knowledge that they have learned. It’s time for owners to apply their knowledge and learn about kitchen and bath firm ownership to actualize their profit-earning potential.
Real change begins with the owner
The one constant challenge everyone has in their endeavors is themselves. Independent business owners must work at generating a profit and understand how their company earns and spends its money. Owners must be observant and bold enough to make necessary changes. Trim the fat here, spend more there. It all comes down to what’s right for your business at any given time. Of course, prudent care is an integral part of good business, but a business can only be successful with the involvement of calculated risk.
Coaches facilitate the growth of an owner and their business
A business coach is not a replacement for a board of directors or advisors in your decision-making process. A good business coach is not meant to replace or challenge their authority or undermine your ability to lead your company. Business coaches help strengthen leadership, communication skills, prioritization, and goal setting.
A business coach can serve you in several areas if you choose one wisely. The coach to hire understands your needs and abilities and helps you channel your energy to complete the goals you target efficiently. The wrong coach will allow you to deviate from the path you set for yourself and or doesn’t hold you accountable for the actions you take along the way. Your goals are your business, and it’s an owner’s responsibility alone to go after them.
Three reasons to hire a business coach
Perspective. A coach can help you see the flaws in your business model. When strategic changes are needed, such as during a recession, a coach can help you determine a plan to get your firm through the slump as quickly as possible. Here’s one tip for owners entering a recession – keep pouring funds into your marketing budget. Prospects seeing your firm’s image during challenging economic times doesn’t just make you look good – it brings in business. It’s not a good idea to stand too close to the tree. Coaches will give you a fresh perspective.
Accountability. Coaches can help you shift your pace to be more effective or productive. They also help owners stay focused to achieve their goals and keep their activities on track. Identify any changes you need to make upfront with your coach and refine them while working together.
Insight. Most kitchen and bath owners are preoccupied with daily, monthly, and quarterly operations. A business coach thinks three years out and knows the internal and external changes to make to prepare for future success.
Jack Kellerman of Baton Rouge found great success from working with a coach. In 2005, Kellerman planned a second showroom in New Orleans to begin construction late that year. As Hurricane Katrina became a threat, Kellerman discussed his plans for the showroom with his business coach and decided to finish the showroom months earlier than expected rather than wait out the storm to complete the project. In the wake of Katrina, his $900,000 business shot up to $3.2 million virtually overnight.
A coach gave Kellerman the insight that helped him develop a three-year budget, and expedite plans for the New Orleans showroom – guiding him to triple his profit very quickly with the New Orleans location.
The bottom line of working with a kitchen and bath coach is that owners will become better at running their operations. While owners beginning work with a coach will know areas they would like to improve, working with one will help them see things about their leadership style that could benefit from being changed. It comes from getting a fresh perspective from somebody with industry knowledge.
Six ingredients needed for real change
For your work with a coach to have a lasting positive impact on you and your business, it’s essential to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.
The following six items are necessary ingredients for real change. You may not have to be a pro in all of the areas mentioned below, but to get to where you want your business to be, you should have a working relationship with these concepts or be prepared to develop one with them during your work with a coach.
Awareness. If we continue to do what we’ve done in the past, we will continue to see similar results.
Intolerance to dissatisfaction. If we are unhappy with the results we are getting, we need to be motivated to change our behavior to improve our results. Otherwise, we will continue to be dissatisfied with the state of our operations.
Solution. We need to believe that there is a better way to do business. If we don’t see the answer to doing better business, we need to know that we can find it.
Strategic Plan. Owners need to see how the proper action will get us to the solution. So we need to write a step-by-step procedure to implement plans leading us to our goal.
Environment. It’s crucial to have the right working environment. From the building you use for your operations to your team and those you subcontract work to – whom and what we surround ourselves with are either supportive of the change we want to see or inhibit us from making it.
Action. A resolute decision to take action is the first step, and taking action is step two. You may have plenty of great advisers and an excellent team working with you, but you are the only person you can depend upon to change the course of your firm’s profitability.
Your kitchen and bath business can grow to great sustained success if you put the work into it that’s required for its growth. Hard work and dedication to daily operations are integral to your business, as is seeing it from a fresh perspective and having the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
—SEN Leadership Team
Master strategic planning, selling more into each job, leveraging technology, Good-Better-Best selling, and other intelligent implementations at one of SEN University’s valued online business courses. Or contact us to attend our in-person schools.