The team of Bill Baley and Chuck Chapman provided keen insight to the Best of Success audience in its dialogue titled “Think Big: Establishing Processes and Procedures.” According to Baley, president of C.I. Services in Mission Viejo, Calif., and Chapman, president of Tecta America Arizona, the process of improving your business starts with re-examining the fundamental questions: Who are you? What is your company? Who or what do you want to be? What did your original business plan look like? Do you even have a business plan?
“If you don’t have a plan, if you don’t have a map, if you don’t know which road you are on, of course you’ll feel like you’re going nowhere, because you don’t know where it is you’re supposed to be going in the first place,” Chapman said.
The key to business success is to develop a plan and execute every part of it like a top-flight professional. “The difference between an amateur and a professional is discipline more than anything else,” Baley said. “Have you disciplined yourself to handle your business the way a professional does? It really comes down to some basic things.”
A company’s size shouldn’t matter, noted Chapman. Perception matters. “Professionals are on all levels,” he said. “I don’t care if you are a one-truck roofing contractor that services the heck out of your neighborhood, state or region — you can be and should be every bit as professional as the guys doing $20 million a year. There’s no difference.”
Baley agreed. “You don’t have to be a big contractor — you just have to think like one.”
People will buy from someone that makes them feel comfortable about their decision, noted Baley. They choose a roofing contractor based on their belief that the contractor will deliver quality.
Baley and Chapman offered some tips to help contractors who feel like small fish in a big pond gain a professional edge. They recommended joining national, regional and local roofing contractors’ associations, where they could network with and learn from successful contractors in the field. “These are the guys you should get next to,” Baley said. “These are the guys you should ask a lot of questions. They can teach you so much.”
Succeeding in today’s marketplace depends on defining your goals, building your company’s image and looking like a professional at all times. For example, trucks should be clean, presentable and serve as rolling billboards advertising your services. Every company needs a logo, business cards, letterhead and a website, and they should be professionally designed and work well together. Chapman and Baley suggested using the website to highlight the company’s abilities and successful projects, as well as manufacturer certifications and letters of recommendation.
Baley and Chapman believe every company must have a manual that details policies and procedures for every process the company follows, from the initial phone call, to the preparation of the work order, to the dispatching of the crews, to the actual work, safety planning, invoicing and collecting payment. Policies and procedures should be periodically reviewed, updated and changed as needs arise. “If something’s not working, kill it right away,” Baley suggested. “If you want to find out if something is not working, ask the people who use it. They’ll tell you.”
Establishing best procedures office- wide can help keep everyone pulling in the same direction — and impress customers. “Our goal is always to get a customer and keep them forever,” Baley said. “Think big and you’ll win.”
Click here to check out the Best of Success session featuring Chuck Chapman and Bill Baley, which was presented as a live webinar. To view the archived version on demand, just visit www.bestofsuccessconference.com.