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Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by etwman, Dec 20, 2002.
Any more updates / and or words of wisdom?
I have read most of this thread again. Again very impressed. You had a list of books to get so I did a few months ago. They have been sitting on a shelf. I flew to Phoenix and Las Vegas last week and took it as a chance to start the book "becoming a category of one". Wished I had earlier. I am only about 50 pages in but already gave me alot of insite and huge motivation moving forward into this season.
Thanks for the recommendations.
After reading this (the first time you started talking about it), I started running some simple reports in QuickBooks on last year and I found a few things that really surprised me and would have probably never come to my attention had I not looked. I really need to start reading some of these books you speak of, just don't have enough hours in the day to do it!
Audio books are your friend! Listen to them in the truck on your route.
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Coming back to Tony's Book I wanted to reference something else that we are working on over this winter. Systems and Procedures. You almost can't have enough, and after re-reading Tony's Book it became even more clear on how important these aspects of business really are. Recently we've been taking an hour in our staff meeting to revisit how things are done in different areas of the company. We don't take hours, one is plenty, and it keeps peoples attention. Last week we did the "okay, the phone rings, what's next?" Right through the first appointment." We document all this and refine the system, making it accessible to all employees. Here's the deal, and I think Tony says it best in one of his quotes:
"What typically happens is that the landscape contractors, knowing they need help answering the phone, filing, and so on, go out and find people who can do these things. Once they delegate these duties, however, they rarely spend any time with the hoi polloi. Deep down, they feel it's not important how these things get done, it's only important that they get done. They fail to grasp the requirement for a system that makes people their greatest assest rather than their greatest liability.
Because without a system, with such a "recording" without a unique way of doing business that really works, all you're left with is people doing thier own thing. And that is almost always, a recipe for chaos. Rather than guaranteeing consistancy, it ecourages mistake after mistake after mistake."
Chew on that one for awhile.
Per your recommendation I bought Tony's book-great great read! I agree with you ETW. If there is a system for every aspect of your company you need to treat it like a regular cycle, check and balance or re-balance each system regularly (weekly, monthly, yearly, every 5 years etc).
Does your crew do the carpentry/roofing construction as well on these elaborate jobs or do you have another contractor on site? Does your company handle all the coordination of the other contractors on a job?
Whatever we don't do ourselves we project manage. Its a full package deal all under us. We do about 80% of what is shown on our photos in house, which is where I like it to be.
Here's one more. Our industry can have a degree of stress associated with it, I know shocking right? You need to make a point to unwind and get away. Its good for you, do it several times a year. You don't have to go crazy, but I would encourage you when you do, to put auto-replies on email, change your voicemail, and detach. Turn the phone OFF, trust me it'll be fine. Remember back in the day when you had the rotary phone in the kitchen and when no one was there it just rang there was no answering machine?
I don't get into alot of my personal life and what I do, but attached is a picture of where I was last week. On the other side of planet. It's good to get away, relax, and unwind in the off season. Take a book with you and detach, you'll feel alot more refreshed and focused when you return.
When you combined your crews what did you see happen with your productivity rates?