Most of us would like to expand and improve our Commercial painting operations, including Marketing, Estimating, Sales and Production. I would encourage anyone to set both short and long-term goals. These should be based on a very realistic evaluation of your resources: Financial, equipment, vehicles, skilled employees, market growth potential and how hard you are willing to work.
Planning and setting goals is an activity that most successful company engage in. If you don’t have any goals, you are guaranteed not to reach them. Most of the very successful companies I know of, conduct Annual Strategic Planning Sessions. This includes assembling your key staff, and setting aside as much time as necessary – probably a full day. The procedure first entails brainstorming to identify any problems, or opportunities, that need to be addressed as well as practices you want to initiate. There should be a facilitator who guides the group and writes down all of the ideas on large sheets of paper on an easel. When full, they can be torn off and tapped to the wall, in sequence.
Next you should come up with solutions to correct the problems, as well as ideas to implement the new items you want to do. At this point you will likely have to pare down the list to a doable size, by prioritizing the things that you all agree on. Once the final list is done, a person (or persons) should be assigned to each task, with a deadline for completion. Some items can take weeks or months to accomplish, and some will be ongoing and require follow up to ensure your goals are met. This process causes your entire team to come together and focus on the issues you all agree are important to your success. Your chances of succeeding will greatly be improved, compared to those companies who do not plan this way. You should identify specific goals for each of your key personnel as well.
Other items to consider
- Annual Strategic Planning Session.
- Sales Manager to submit an annual Market Plan to increase volume by 10%.
- Quarterly reviews for department managers. And key personnel. Set specific, quantifiable goals.
- Do we have too many irons in the fire?
- Weekly production and sales meetings.
- Website – more focus on Commercial projects – Gallery – testimonials – awards & achievements.
- Networking Resources can include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well painting-related websites.
This is the first of a four part series from Lynn Jackson of Paint Precise.