Business consultant Ellen Rohr summed up her job this way for attendees of the Best of Success Conference: “I help you make more money and put a little more life in your life.” Rohr, the president of Bare Bones Biz and a Roofing Contractor columnist, says she nearly starved in her family’s contracting business until she learned how to make money - and keep track of it. Her session titled “Extreme Makeover - Roofing Contractor Edition” centered on the importance of a business plan. “It has to be written down,” Rohr asserted. “Some of you had to compile one to get a loan and probably put it in a drawer. Well, pull it out of the drawer, dust it off and put it in a binder.”
“It all begins with the business plan,” she said. “Craft a vision of your ideal company and put the systems in place to move you in that direction.” She recommended using tabs to divide the binder into six key sections as follows:
- Setting sight: This section should include your vision of the company and its mission statement. “Remember, the mission statement should inspire you,” said Rohr.
- Building the team: Position descriptions and the company’s organizational chart should be inserted here, including plans for growth and prospective employees to contact.
- Making money: The income statement and balance sheet are central here, along with weekly budgets.
- Getting it sold: This section should contain your marketing plan, calendar and sales strategy. “Are you willing to charge what you need to charge?” Rohr asked.
- Getting it done: Company procedures and operations should be detailed here, and this section should contain a master to-do list and a top 10 projects list. “Implementing systems forces you to grow,” she said.
- Making sure: This section covers your quality assurance division. “It’s the work you do to make sure you’re delivering on your promises to yourself, your employees and your customers.”
You have to develop your own vision for your life and your company, asserted Rohr. “Plan or be planned for,” she concluded. “If you don’t craft your plan, you’re at the mercy of others who plan for you.”