3 New Year's Resolutions Every Business Owner Must Make

by

Greg Dooley
VP of Customer Success
January 2, 2019
/
3
minutes to read

Get to the Point

  1. Close the Books — Take care of closing the books for 2018 right away, and open them for 2019.
  2. Look at Pricing — The start of the year is a great time to make sure your pricing is in line with where it should be.
  3. Set Goals — Take the time to understand what the goals are in each department, and make sure they are in line with your goals for the company.

The calendar year has changed, and that means a new start. It also means it’s time for new year’s resolutions, and that is especially true for business owners. We all know new year’s resolutions are not the best way to think about change — you can try something different any time of year — but January is a great time for planning ahead.

Here’s how to start 2019 off the right way.

Close the Books on 2018
From an accounting standpoint, closing the books on 2018 and opening them for 2019 is essential. This could be in your accounting system, or through working with your accountant.

Making sure your pricing is in line with where it should be is one of the strongest ways to start the year the right way.

However you manage the books, make sure to take care of this right away. Once you have the new year ready to go, you won’t be scrambling as the first expenses and invoices of 2019 start flooding your office.

Look at Pricing
The start of the year is a great time to look at pricing. Usually, you have an idea of how your company fared the year prior, and you want to ensure you will continue to grow in the year to come. Many of us make new year’s resolutions with respect to spending or saving in our personal lives, and it’s no different for business owners. Making sure your pricing is in line with where it should be is one of the strongest ways to start the year the right way.

Part of looking at your pricebook is finding where the issues are, and that can take time. An HVAC company in January is going to be very busy, so it’s a difficult time for a close look. However, a plumbing company might not be as busy. Whenever you tackle this job, your best bet is to look at what your labor rates are. Start there, and let it trickle down across the board. Ask yourself, “Are my labor rates helping my business stay profitable?”

Remember, there are many different services out there and many different groups or communities that you can engage. Never hesitate to say, “Hey, I’m a business owner in Florida. What should my labor rates be?” You can build your price from there. There are also some great billable hour calculators available.

Set Goals
There is no better time of year for looking inward than January. Set your personal goals and company goals for 2019. If you can break those down into departmental goals, even better! Perhaps that means a CSR booking closing rates a little better, or a truck doing 250,000 a year rather than 200,000.

Entrust your staff to aim higher, and watch how they respond.

At Pointman, we use the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) goal-setting system internally, and it pays off. Looking for a guidebook when it comes to OKRs? Check out Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr.

One key question is the best way to handle setting goals: Is it smarter for business owners to handle this solo, together with staff, or to delegate completely?

The best approach is to set goals at the department level. As an owner, you need to take the time to understand what the goals are in each department, and make sure they are in line with your goals for the company. No one likes to set unattainable goals for themselves, so make sure you push your departments to set goals that are lofty, rather than simple ones to feel good about hitting. Entrust your staff to aim higher, and watch how they respond.

Need help with your books, setting goals or reviewing your price book? Pointman PACT can help. Learn more about this combination of Process, Analysis, Community and Technology.


4. Add-On or Upsell Count and Amount

Here, we’re looking at repairs sold beyond the original reason for the call. Every time you enter a customer’s home your techs have the chance to sell value added work, beyond the repair itself. If you’re training your techs to sell add-on products, don’t you want to know who's doing it well, and who may need a training refresher?

5. Agreement Opportunities/Sales

Maintenance agreements are the key to a consistent client base and essential for keeping your team busy during the shoulder seasons. Every time your technician is in the home of a non-member there is an opportunity to sell. Are they delivering? You need to know.

6. Future Opportunities

Are your technicians talking to customers with forced air heat about the improved comfort that comes with a humidifier? How about the benefits of water softeners or whole-house surge protection? If the customer is interested, but not now, you need to be able to follow up on those opportunities.

How much money do you think gets left on the table just by failing to make a follow-up call to reintroduce an offered product or service? Tracking these opportunities can be the secret to putting more of that money in your pocket. These opportunities are the gold dust that’s hiding in your business. With a little work, there’s a lot of money just waiting to be panned for and earned.

7. Replacement Opportunities/Sales

Repairing a capacitor on a 17-year-old condenser, or the pilot on a 12-year old hot water tank? These are opportunities for replacement, and your techs should be offering that as an option along with the repair itself. You can determine what you consider a replacement opportunity in your business. But regardless of the conditions you establish, you want to know which of your techs is making the most of them. 

And if they didn’t sell? See the previous item. You should be setting this as an opportunity for a follow up.


Have any recommendations for additional information you’ve found to be essential? How do you make sure your team shares these details after each visit? We’d love to know — drop us a line here.

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