Publisher’s Note: Welcome to a new series in C&R called The Profitable Restorer! One of our big educational focuses in 2023 is surrounding profitability, and how to help you create a more profitable and healthy business. Kris is a seasoned restorer, educator, and tech expert with vast knowledge on mitigation, reconstruction, and operations. This series will be published monthly, in print or on the C&R website. Plus, don’t miss the all-new C&R Master Class series on Profitability, launching in January!
For most restorers, the business of restoration is more than business as usual. You love helping people; it’s in your blood, in your DNA, and it’s what drives you to do unbelievable things that very few other people are willing to do or are capable of doing. You’re a person who is willing to sacrifice your personal time, expend enormous amounts of energy to accomplish these amazing feats, and you risk your financial health to help others. You want to run a profitable restoration company, or you want to build an amazing career in restoration.
But, everyday you’re fighting with adjusters, third party administrators, and third party consultants that seem to be only focused on reducing your profits, diminishing the value of your hard work, and they don’t seem to appreciate the effort and commitment you put into serving their customers. They try to dictate what you can and cannot do, and second guess your decisions and actions.
These pressures can make you feel like you’re doing something wrong. You start second-guessing yourself and your team and then you start yielding to the pressure of doing what you’re asked to do and not doing what you’re supposed to do. You start to feel like an imposter because you either have to bolster fake confidence or you are in fear your business will suffer taking short cuts.
But feeling this way is detrimental to your business, your health, and it is just wrong. You’re in the business of responding to property emergencies after a disaster strikes. You’re the emergency responders of the construction industry and you’re not just restoring property, you’re also restoring the lives and sense of security of your customers.
I get it. I’ve had sleepless nights worrying about payroll, been up to 4 a.m. getting the estimate just right, and responded hundreds of miles away from home. But, I have been very fortunate to have been mentored and guided by some of the industry’s best leaders, trainers, and consultants over the years. When combined with my own work as a consultant, trainer, and working to build Encircle’s technology for the field, I have gained a unique perspective of the restoration industry that I want to share with you.
I am going to share with you what I have learned, so you don’t have to repeat my mistakes. If you have tried to transform your business in the past, but things didn’t work or you didn’t find success, it’s not your fault. This is a complex business, and it has changed dramatically over the years. This means that things that worked in the past are not as effective today, or they may actually be hurting your business.
In the past, we used to say that “Chaos Creates Profits” because the more unorganized you were, the more you charged. The world has changed and evolved over the past 10 years, where restorers who drive efficiency into their businesses are being rewarded with incredible profits.
Getting control of your business, increasing the profitability, and making the business more enjoyable to run is not hard, but it does require a different approach. To make the change, you just have to look at your business in a new way. The first change is that it has to feel good for you and your team to make money. Making money while actually helping people in their time of need.
There are three things you can do to start making this change.
The first thing is to share with your company or division your daily goal: help people. This means adopting a servant’s attitude where everyone knows the mission of the job is not just physical fire and water restoration; it’s helping people through a tough time, using the skills we have to restore their building and contents.
The second thing you need to share is how your company makes and loses money. This means really explaining how their actions in the field, their documentation, and the way the company charges for their time is fully understood. Everyone from the CEO to the laborer should know where and when you make and lose money.
Finally, you’re going to want to pick up the low hanging fruit. Turn the tables on your team and ask them where they see opportunities to help increase the mission of serving others, how they would document in the field, and what they see as opportunities to make money.
These three simple steps will change the focus of your company, because it provides that higher purpose and lights the internal energy that people have inside of them.
Now you might be asking how does this result in increased profits?
I have helped hundreds of companies who found themselves in a bad position where they were having a hard time retaining and attracting staff, they struggled to get their profits up or worse they were bleeding cash. The companies who turned their operations around almost exclusively shared the passion of the higher vision and their staff don’t leave, but attract other amazing people who want to continue the mission on.
It’s that easy to start the change.
The problem I have encountered is that when you focus on the same struggles you have always had, your business will struggle to get out of the rut. It lacks the energy to do more with less and it lacks the ability to motivate your staff to want the company to be profitable. Your energy will be spent working harder and making less money, and you’re going to struggle to serve the customers who need your services.
Profitability is the result of building a business that finds its purpose through serving others. The profits allow you to continue and expand that mission or vision. Your business is the vehicle that allows you and your staff to do so much good, but the profits are what fuels the business, the vision is what fuels your staff. What better movement is there in the restoration industry than being a profitable restorer?
In the next article, we will set the foundation of a profitable business with “The 5 Foundations To Building a Profitable Restoration Businesses”. After you have figured out your bigger purpose, you then need to operationalize your business to execute on this vision.
If you want to follow along with a workbook to help organize your journey you can go to www.profitablerestorer.com and catch the podcast.
Remember, every dollar counts: It’s profit, it’s cost, or it’s been lost.