It may come as a surprise to some but in the Britain of 2018 (nearly 2019), time still counts for more than money – at least for businesses in the Construction and Trades sector.
We recently polled our clients in these sectors and two thirds said that, if we were able to wave a magic wand, they would rather be given more time than more money. With most indicating that they’d spend that extra time with family. Demonstrating that the desire for a work life balance is strong amongst the Construction and Trades industries.
At Evolve and Grow Coaching we’ve been working with SMEs for nine years and these sectors specifically since 2014. The response to the poll absolutely fits with what we see every day as business coaches. Business owners in the Construction and Trades industries often struggle to juggle a multitude of tasks that range from attracting and servicing customers to the day-to-day running of the company. As a result, they can lack essential time and space to step back, manage and grow their businesses effectively.
Business owners often tell us that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that they need to. Our view is that there is enough time, it’s just not being managed as effectively as it could be! If firms face too much demand (which we call being ‘in overwhelm’), it’s usually because they have challenges in three important areas:
Organisation and systems
The starting point is to put robust systems in place – it might be as simple as switching to an electronic diary or something more sophisticated such as a CRM system like SimPRO. Also systems for managing workflow, and certainly the right processes to attract and recruit good staff.
Hiring and then keeping the right staff is vital. This needs to be approached in a professional manner making sure that you hire the person with the right skills and attributes for the job and to complement the rest of the team. Not just a friend of a friend who happens to be available! Recruiting, developing and retaining quality employees is one of the hardest things to get right and shouldn’t be done in a panic.
If you’ve built a company from scratch it can be difficult to delegate. But if your staff are trained and motivated, and they understand and align themselves to your company values (which you’ve clearly communicated), they will be your best ambassadors. Try to ‘coach’ rather than ‘tell’, which can be demotivating. A coaching approach fosters good behaviours and helps people to think for themselves. This may be a bit of an effort to begin with but will save you so much time in the long run, plus you’ll have a more engaged and capable workforce.
So, three things to think about as we go into 2019. Implementing small changes like these can free up business owners to concentrate on growing the business. Or spending more time with the family!
You can read more about these best practices in Alison’s book, which is available from Amazon.