Apr 2015 If you don’t have enough time in your day, what to do about it!
When I met Steve, a landscape contractor, he said he felt that there was never enough time in the day to do everything. Work on site and instruct the guys, buy materials, see new potential clients, draw up designs, work out estimates, do invoicing and basic bookwork and then have some time with his family at night and on weekends. He needed a better way of managing his time.
He said, “John, I need your help, my business is taking all my time and thoughts”.
So I made a list of the things he could change to free up his time:
Bookkeeping – I suggested that he stop doing the bookkeeping and gets a bookkeeper. His reply was, “I like doing the books and it saves me money”. I said “Steve, I know you enjoy doing the books but don’t you want to work less and spend more time with your family and it’s a task that someone else can do”. He agreed for a bookkeeper to start doing his books.
Quoting – I asked, “which jobs are you quoting that you shouldn’t quote, in other words, which jobs are too small, have terrible access or too complicated, which jobs won’t have enough profit and are not worth doing or don’t fit your target market and skill set? Do you quote a few that fall into those categories”?
Steve said “Yes there are always some that I shouldn’t quote but I don’t like missing out on any potential jobs, so I find it hard to not quote jobs”.
I said, Steve, when I show you how your overhead recovery works and what profit you need to make as a minimum per job to cover your overheads and make you a profit and include a wage for you, you will understand that some jobs will not meet the necessary profit criteria.
So I spent a few sessions explaining how he needed to structure his business to make certain profit, cover his overheads and make a decent wage for him. This process allowed him to stop quoting every job and return the quotes he did do much faster.
We discussed rather than picking up materials, having them delivered or getting his leading hand to pick them up at the end of a day. But better job planning and ordering of materials minimised trips to suppliers.
We also discussed giving his leading hand more responsibility (who was almost ready to start running jobs), discussing every aspect of a job with him, getting him to lead the team over time so Steve could prepare the transition to get off the tools over the next 12 – 15mths.
So my question to you is; what can you start doing to organise your business and manage your time better?