We all take our cars in to the mechanic for periodic checks, and as painting contractors you often offer home maintenance or warranty inspections to check that your customer’s home exterior is in good shape and that the coatings are wearing well.
As a business owner, how often do you check up on how your business is doing?
Are you hitting your targets for revenue and profits? Are you receiving the necessary number (and right type) of leads to hit your sales goals? Do you have the right number of personnel (field and office) to accomplish your goals for the year?
You need to know the answers to these questions, just like you need to know if your automotive fluid levels and tire treads are at optimum levels to get you where you need to go.
At the half way point in your year, it’s a good time to make sure you are on track and on target. If you did good strategic business planning at the beginning of the year, you have a profit plan and budget for 2013. Now, evaluate your revenues, expenses and profits against your plan and budget for the first half of the year. Are you exceeding your expectations or falling short?
If you are exceeding your projections…great news! You will want to review whether you need additional infrastructure to support the increase in growth.
If your results do not meet your expectations, how far are they off? Can you reasonably make up the difference? If your budget had plenty of profit built in, then you may be fine for the year even if you don’t quite hit your targets.
If, however, your results are falling far short of your plan, it’s time to recalculate! Take a look at your budget for the rest of the year. Is it still achievable in light of the results so far? If not, rework your budget for what you know is achievable so you know if you need to make changes to your strategy and cost structure.
If you believe your plan for the rest of the year is achievable, look at your strategy for how you plan to get there. Where do you need to put more focus? If it is revenue, maybe you need to get more focused on your marketing, lead generation and sales. If your revenue is fine, but your profits aren’t, you will need to put your focus on productivity, pricing and overhead costs.
Whatever actions you decide to take now to make 2013 a good and profitable year for your painting business, I guarantee you will make better decisions if you take the time now to do a mid-year business check up.