AEM, Inc., Plumbing and Fire Systems Specialists

case studyLarry appeared to be doing well as a specialized contractor, pulling in $700,000 a year. Yet, upon closer examination, his business was a mess.

Larry worked too many hours – in the field, in the office, as well as managing his crew. He lacked a structure to effectively run his business and was constantly pulled in many directions because “he was the only one” who could get the job done. He was emotionally and physically "beaten up" and knew he needed to do something different for the sake of his business and his health.

Larry could not seem to turn things around on his own.  His business grow at times to about 8 men in the field, generating close to $1,000,000 in revenue, but then wheels would come off. His wake up call came when he learned that he had inadequately managed his bookkeeper and finances, and his business had lost $156,000.

Process:

When Larry came to us, he knew he needed to make changes. He’d tried working with business consultants before but hadn't helped because they had been too theoretical and "rigid,” not addressing his real world issues and day-to-day problems.

After an initial assessment, it was clear that Larry’s was running his business as an "owner-operator." He was immersed in every aspect of his business and did not delegate effectively. The result was that he was constantly scrambling, always dealing with daily crises, and doing too much work in the field. This approach was limiting his business growth, personal earnings, and quality of life.

But Larry made a commitment to change!  He made his number one priority to use systems and strategies that would push things off his place and open the path for sustainable growth and profit.

He started by creating a clear picture of where he wanted the business to go – personally as well as professionally. He then created a roadmap for his new business structure, hired people to run key functions, and improved his delegation skills and let go of his compulsion to control and micromanage.

Result:

Larry went from an average of 50 hours per week to around 20. His quality of life has improved dramatically. Key people are in place, business volume has increased to over $3 million!

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D And K Electric

case study

Dan has owned and operated D and K Electric since 1982. In 2005, he decided he wanted to transition to focus the company on larger project based work. He also wanted to position the business growth to accommodate current employees and potential future employees.

“I knew where I wanted to take the business, but on my own I was having trouble getting there,” recalls Dan. “I was getting bogged down in the day-to-day and unable to stay focused on the long term. I was wearing too many hats and being pulled in too many directions doing menial tasks that should be done by someone else.”

The Process:

Contractor's Business School helped Dan create a vision with clear objectives for where he wanted to take the business over next 3-5 years. We clarified Dan’s role, targeting the key areas where he needed to spend his time.

Next, we developed Dan’s delegation and communication skills and created job descriptions for his staff. This allowed him to start to let go of much of the work he thought he had to do himself.

The Results:

Within months, Dan felt the benefits of applying strategic thinking and overall management processes to run the business. The most profound result of the CBS process was that Dan could now focus on managing the business, rather than just reacting.

“CBS helped me to get my arms around my business, and the coaching really worked for me,” says Dan. “I’d been in business 20 years and gotten comfortable with the status quo. CBS pushed me out of my rut and got me thinking about and applying the things I never seemed able to get around to.”

 

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Weaver’s Rent All

case study

John and Toni Peterson ran Weaver’s Rent All for 20 years. After Toni’s parents retired many years ago, they bought the business. Recently, when their sons entered the picture, the Weavers realized that they needed plan for a smooth transition.

Their sons wanted to grow the business, which had been stagnant for years. At the same time they want to improve the infrastructure, which had been lacking, leaving them unclear and disorganized. They were ready for new ideas and, in their own words, “Needed a spark.”

A central issue for a successful transition was addressing the fact that John had built the business around himself. His vision was to create a business structure to pass the business to the next generation, but without all of the headaches and hassles he’d grown accustomed to.

“The business was running because I was there, watching and making sure the employees and everyone did their jobs,” recalls John. “But I know that if my sons took over, we needed to create systems to ease my departure from the business.”

The Process:

Jayme Broudy worked with the Petersons to set goals and establish a clear vision for the business as well as a transition game plan and time line.

Next, the Peterson’s created a “road map” for their company vision and tied their vision to daily business functions and activities. This included an organizational chart that identified all business functions. Job descriptions and training manuals were developed to ensure clarity, accountability and smooth day-to-day operations without as much “hand holding” from management.

The Results:

“The process has been both challenging and exciting for all of us,” says John. “The strategies made sense, created a positive vision for the company and gave everyone something to work toward. It was just what we needed to move the business to the next level.”

“Now, our overall communication is better. We make time for meetings and talk about big picture issues. We’ve gotten employees to take on new things; sometimes things they were not willing to do in the past. Everyone is more focused; we all work on same page rather than going in different directions.”

Update ** In 2012 the John and Toni retired and the ownership of the business was transferred successfully to Charlie and Anthony.

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