As you update your business plan, focus on what's most important for your construction business to achieve this coming year. Then break your goals down into smaller tasks, maximize productivity, and enjoy the little successes that lead to significant changes. (More on this below)
Keep in mind Randal's Contractor Success M.A.P. (Marketing-Accounting-Production) to help you stay on track and provide you with solid direction to reach your target.
Your priorities in the coming year may be to hit a specific revenue target, launch a new service/subscription, or tap an entirely new market.
An important thing to keep in mind as you make plans to move your construction business forward is how you'll stay competitive. For instance, it's essential to review your pricing strategy on an annual basis, to ensure you continue to attract new prospects and retain clients.
As part of your overall business planning process, spend some time on competitive intelligence, too. Include in your plans how you'll increase value for your offerings and continue to stand apart from the crowd. Review your bookkeeping reports and consider the insights of your accountant moving forward.
If scaling your service-based business is on your agenda for the year ahead, and you don't have savings earmarked to fund your ideas, you'll want to make sure your business plan includes adequate financial planning.
Applying to a lender for a business loan is one option. In this case, you'll want to include up to date cash flow reports, income statements, budgets, and projections in your plan for a potential lender.
If your construction business doesn't have a credit history, you may need to look at other options for financing your plans. Using a business credit card regularly and paying off the balance can help you build a good credit rating, which will help you prepare to apply for a loan down the road.
Again, your accountant can help provide additional financial advice and support as you update your business plan, based on your most current financial records.
While some of you love planning, others feel overwhelmed by the process. How do you decide on just a handful of goals that take priority, with so many moving parts that make up a construction business?
- Set SMART Goals
Focus your efforts and increase your chances of achieving your goals by the SMART guideline: Specific, Measurable, Achievable (Attainable), Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Start by defining your top three business goals for the next four quarters. With those in mind, do some research to help you decide on the best way to achieve those three goals – and a reasonable timeline for meeting specific targets.
- Redefine your brand
Is the elevator pitch you used a year ago – even six months ago – still accurate? Unless you are crystal clear on who you are as a construction company, whom you're here to serve, and what you hope to achieve in the next one to three years, it's going to be hard to come up with meaningful goals.
Take a look at your company vision, mission statement, and core values. If they need tweaking to reflect where your construction business is today and where you want it to go, start there. Then you can move on to setting some useful long and short term goals.
- Big picture planning
Construction business owners dream big—and they should! Thinking big can lead to groundbreaking products and services that become the foundation of innovative, successful companies.
When it comes to goal-setting, thinking big is great, too. But to make those big ideas like "increasing market share" or "growing profits" happen, you need to break them down into smaller, specific goals and strategies tied to a budget and timeline.
For instance, while your overarching objective may be to "grow profits by 50% by December 31", your smaller goals might include:
- Launching a social media campaign the first week of March to attract 2,500 new prospects by months' end; or
- Increasing total sales by 40% by establishing an online presence (Business Website) by July 1st.
Again, the key is to define goals that are measurable and achievable.
- Define smaller goals
Thinking through how you'll achieve your broader objectives can be a fun exercise – one you can turn into a group activity, including your entire team. Sit down and discuss what you know about your customers. Review your historical sales data and look over your current budget and forecasting.
With all the relevant information at hand and everyone at the table, you can come up with strategies that align with your construction company vision, assign deadlines, and get buy-in on what everyone needs to do to see your ideas through to completion.
Review your business plan every quarter to ensure you stay on track with your goals and priorities throughout the year. Be realistic about opportunities and challenges as you plan. Your accountant can offer business advisory services – and help you set meaningful short and long term goals.
It's worthwhile to take some time to reflect on your personal goals as you think through your business goals. Maybe you've wanted to get involved in mentoring, improve your networking skills, or attend more conferences. Self-development is, in a sense, professional development – and vice versa, so include them in your plans.
Of course, coming up with business goals is just one part of the equation. You'll also need to monitor your progress, noting milestones and sharing your company achievements with your team regularly. Tracking your results will help your employees stay motivated – and it also gives you the chance to adjust your goals and strategies in time to achieve the best possible results by year's end.
With these business planning tips in mind, you'll be well-prepared for a new year of growth and continued success.
About The Author:
Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or email@example.com
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