If the growth of your home improvement company has begun to mellow, it’s easy to dismiss it at first. But stagnation can unfortunately be more dangerous than just a slight dip in the middle of a steady upward trend. If your home improvement company is starting to see signs of a plateau, it might be time to shake things up.
Start with Your Data
Your numbers will tell you a lot about who’s spending, what’s important to them, and when they’re ready to tackle a project. As you look at your gross revenue, average project costs, and lead optimization, you can gain a better grasp of the problem. Some stagnation is a result of an inevitable seasonal slow-down. However, other causes, such as a downtrodden team, can be more worrisome for business owners that want to keep their margins strong.
Look at Your Team
Your employees are at the heart of everything you do. Whether it’s marketing or hammering, it all comes down to how they choose to use the resources at their disposal. Are workers interested in expanding their skills? Do they see every day as a challenge? Or are they coming in for nothing more than a paycheck at the end of the day? When you invest in the right talent, it’s hard for stagnation to take hold. Your team will be motivated instead of sluggish. They’ll set higher goals for themselves than even you could set for them.
As you screen employees, you need to look not just at their experience, but also their work ethic and performance metrics. You should also consider the trade-off of hiring someone new as opposed to seasoned. A seasoned employee will bring bad habits with them, while a brand-new worker can be easier to meld to your metrics.
Encourage Company-Wide Development
The culture of your company has a lot to do with how it operates. From the lowest workers on the totem pole to third-party vendors, you should be working with people who are both competent and collaborative.
When you think of development in your industry, consider that many home improvement companies benefit from branching out. This could mean anything from partnering with a neighboring business to expanding into different service areas. You might try cross-training employees, both to boost relationships between workers and impart new skills. Or implementing an incentive program where employees can earn bonuses or time off in return for meeting certain goals.
Shift Your Focus
When you control a company, it’s easy to think that you have access to the big picture in ways that your general staff doesn’t. But employees will also have valuable insights that can make a difference. If you’re not listing to them, employees will quickly start to see themselves as cogs in a machine.
Changing your focus often means giving people more freedom. There should be standards and customer service protocols in place, but there should also be room for workers to explore new ways of doing things. They should feel comfortable voicing their concerns and proposing new solutions. When people have the power to influence their position, they tend to take a much greater interest in it. You can’t please everyone all of the time, but you can take steps to ensure that people are heard.
If you truly want to minimize stagnation, the best thing to remember is to try something new. There will be failures along the way, but those failures should be seen as stepping stones as opposed to mistakes. As long as you’re learning and growing, you’re making the right decision.