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Ep 32: 3 Brutally Honest Observations After 1000+ Contractor Business Assessments – Benji Carlson

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30-SECOND SUMMARY
General observations after conducting more than 1000 business assessments with contractors
3 easy to avoid mistakes that 9 out of 10 contractors are making in their everyday decisions
The area where a company falls apart when there is no clear vision
Why being the ‘nice guy’ sentences you the death of a thousand cuts
The biggest opportunity for recruiting that is sitting right in front of contractors faces but few recognize it
A rant that most contractors need to hear about where they focus their efforts

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Read a Summary of Episode 32

Running a business can feel like a roller coaster ride with all the various obstacles and challenges you face along the way.

But, in my experience, there are 3 Things ALL Contractors Struggle With.

Before I dive into that, let me tell you a little bit about myself.

When I’m not in the studio, I have a full-time role as Assessment Specialist at Breakthrough Academy. My job is to make sure business owners are ready to take on the BTA Management System to build a solid foundation for their current operations and future growth.

Over the past 4.5 years I’ve conducted 1000s’ of these meetings and I thought it might be cool to share some of my perspectives on this.

If any (or all) of the following resonates with you, you need to check out BTA and book a free call. We’d love to talk with you.

THE 3 THINGS ALL CONTRACTORS STRUGGLE WITH

1.UNCLEAR VISION

One of the questions I ask in assessments is, what are your future goals?

9/10 times the entrepreneur’s vision for the future is pretty undefined. Responses include: “I want to grow,” “I want to work a little less,” and “I want to make some more money.”

1/10 times, however, someone will be able to articulate their picture quite clearly: the growth revenue, key roles, new systems and technologies they want to implement. They may not have it all figured out, but they can speak with more clarity. These people are our highest performers.

So how do YOU build a clear vision?

The truth is that the vast majority of entrepreneurs have made almost no intentional shift in their actions to reflect the dramatic change we have seen in the business landscape. Too much time is spent in marketing and sales, and not enough in recruiting and hiring.

Every business guru out there talks about the importance of setting goals, but no- one breaks down the formula for how to do it.

The best time to set those goals and create your vision is once your business finds its feet; when things start to stabilize. 

Start by being real with yourself: Figure out where you want to be when it comes to revenue, growth net profit margins, key hires, systems, tech, etc. And what skills you will need to develop.

(Download our free Strategic Planning Quick Tool. It will help you organize your thoughts and reverse engineer your vision into a series of actionable steps.)

 

2.HOLDING TOUGH CONVERSATIONS

In our assessments I see a fear of tough conversations – those moments when someone needs to be held accountable.

It’s hard, uncomfortable, and most contractors shy away from them. (No-one likes conflict or to be the bad guy. AND, you’re probably terrified to lose your employees).

The trouble is, avoiding these conversations is:

Expensive: Because if you don’t hold the line, people will start to take advantage of you.

Stops Development: The highest form of love and care is to communicate to someone when they haven’t met a standard. There’s a way to phrase it to make these conversations easier.

A Recipe For Resentment: They help clear the air!

As a leader, going into these conversations with confidence makes it a lot easier. 

A great book I recommend on this is Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior – it gives you an exhaustive framework on how to get over these crippling conversations. 

3.ATTRACTING TALENT

Yes, I’ve saved the worst for last. Most contractors are woefully inadequate at hiring. 

It’s time for some tough love. If you’re feeling hiring people is harder than it used to be, it is. Get over it.

The truth is that the vast majority of entrepreneurs have made almost no intentional shift in their actions to reflect the dramatic change we have seen in the business landscape. Too much time is spent in marketing and sales, and not enough in recruiting and hiring.

When you started your business you worried you would run out of work. Now, let it go! 

There’s enough work out there, but not enough talent, so stop spending most of your time selling . . .it’s not 2010 anymore.

 

Be sure in your weekly schedule you carve out one day a week entirely devoted to recruiting and hiring initiatives (Check out our Ultimate Hiring Funnel series HERE).

Attracting talent is the biggest challenge; act like it!

 

In this episode I also dive deep into how NOT doing these things can impact your business, and further steps to take to overcome these common challenges.

Thanks for joining me (and sorry for the tough love, but I want you to succeed). Just remember, as we like to say at BTA, “What got you here, won’t get you there.”

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Benji Carlson

Benji Carlson

As the son of two proven entrepreneurs, Benji’s spirit for self-starting business runs deep. Since he was a young teen, Benji has been starting and running profitable small businesses; most recently culminating in a highly successful 4-year career as a franchisee with College Pro Painters. Benji’s enormous heart and passion for people is what drove him to produce over $1,000,000 in revenue while taking the highest quality care of his employees and customers. He was consistently acknowledged for having the most productive staff in the company, while leading more junior franchisees to fulfill their potential. Benji’s uncanny ability to find the right people and put them in the right place make him a natural fit for Breakthrough Academy’s Assessment Team.

Upon finishing up his career with College Pro, Benji set out on the ultimate victory lap: a nine-month transcontinental motorcycle trip from Canada to Peru.

Benji lives in beautiful Kelowna BC. During the summer you’ll usually find him on two wheels: either bombing down a trail on his mountain bike or cruising the pavement on his motorcycle. When the snow falls, he escapes to the mountains for steep and deep powder.

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Welcome to Contractor Evolution, a show created for high-performing contractors that are focused on scaling up, working less and increasing profitability.

While a lot of other shows focus on early stage growth challenges, we focus on real life scenarios faced by contractors that are scaling at a rapid rate, and how they keep everything dialed in without losing sight of work/life balance.

If you’re ready to evolve from a contractor into a better business owner, you’re in the right place.

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