Shop Savvy

Be a Goal Crusher: Follow These Steps to Ensure Your Future Success

By Paul Bieber

You must have goals. You can’t come to work each day and say, “well, what are we going to do today that will impact our future?” You need a budget in mind so you know when to buy a truck, hire an extra per-son or lease some extra space. The opposite of this is spending so much time conforming to your goals that you don’t spend time making money.

NOW WHAT?

Here’s a list of basic goals to consider. I’ll tell the three we ran our company on, and you can pick three that will work for you.

  • Improve employee satisfaction;
  • Lower employee turnover;
  • Reduce or stop employee accidents;
  • Implement more in-house employee promotions;
  • Increase average employee tenure;
  • Better educate employees;
  • Set and stick to a budget;
  • Earn more revenue dollars;
  • Earn more profit dollars;
  • Increase revenue per employee;
  • Improve cash flow;
  • Increase market share;
  • Lessen total expenses;
  • Make sure expenses stay below revenues; and
  • Increase customer sales/service through the web.

My company was a fabricator with about 200-plus employees, where we tempered, insulated, laminated and distributed every type of glass possible. It was a private company with only one shareholder. Our three goals were:

  • Improving profits;
  • Improving cash flow; and
  • Improving market share.

Now, hindsight is wonderful. It’s been about 15 years since we sold the company and looking back we should have paid more attention to our employees’ job performance and work satisfaction. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.

WHAT WORKS FOR YOU?

There are many more goals that would fit any individual company, but let’s concentrate on the goals that fit a glazier with up to about 30 employees in today’s business climate.

First would be employee retention. There is not a company in our industry, anywhere, that is not trying to get good employees. Protect your company by having solid relationships with your folks, good wages, great and affordable benefits and a charted path for your employees to grow. I’ll bet that if a good employee from a competitor walked into your company, asking about joining you, you would immediately hire him or her. Don’t give your employees a reason to go job shopping. Benefits today are more important than cash for most workers, especially those with a family. Have different tiers of benefits that fit your company. Let your insurance agent set this up for you.

Second would be better cash flow. Nothing works without cash. Nothing. If you don’t know the customer, get a sizeable deposit. Start calling customers on the 31st day past due. Don’t wait. Get a solid promise when the bill will be paid, and the day after it’s due, make the next call. Work better terms with your vendors. If you have a good cash flow, ask for a two or three percent cash discount on purchases paid within ten days. Do the same with your good customers. Give a one percent discount for cash on delivery or a bill paid within ten days. If you’re working on a contract that has bank or third-party financing, make sure you understand the terms and that the paying party sticks to them. Don’t be afraid to stop work at a jobsite if terms aren’t being met.

Lastly, wrap your arms around the electronic world. Give as much customer service as possible on the web. Answer all inquiries within an hour of their coming in. Maybe your answer is to set up a personal visit. Your potential client has sent this same request to two other people. And the first one in the door is most likely to get the sale. Do your banking electronically; this will save time. Send out emails and Facebook posts about your company and its special niche in your community.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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