Why Do Small Businesses Fail to Grow?

This is not an easy question to answer, particularly when our economy is so turbulent. However, contrary to popular belief, the economy is not the biggest factor in the decline of entrepreneurial selling organizations.

It is extremely complicated for most business owners to make the transition from an environment where they are at the heart of everything that goes on within the company to one where there are multiple levels of organizational structure.

Within the home improvement industry, this becomes even more complex as many companies that are looking to grow consist of no more than a few employees, and the principal owner of the business may be responsible for the majority of the “selling” that takes place.

As you are looking to take that next step to grow your business, keep these points in mind:

Hiring the right people and avoiding the wrong ones is the first step you need to take before you can undertake significant growth

As I stated in the last blog posting, “Turnover is the death knell of any small to moderately sized selling organization.” You need to decide what positions are most critical that you hire for first. Do not make the mistake of attempting to grow your business by hiring extra sales personnel, a canvassing crew and a marketing manager all at once.

Once you determine what position(s) you want to start out with, you need to invest the time and resources in hiring the right people. I have yet to meet a manager who was perfect at pinpointing the right person for every job. This is why we recommend the use of tests and behavioral profiles during the process. The test determines whether the individual can do the job that they will be assigned to (i.e. if they have the skill sets). The profile will determine whether the individual’s behavior matches the job. Behavior is neither right nor wrong, it just is, and we have identified specific behavioral types that fit best in certain job roles.

Stop thinking like a salesman

Easier said than done right? In all likelihood, if you are reading this blog entry, then you have been a salesperson (or someone in a selling role) for most of your professional life. The problem is that when you make the transition from a “salesperson” to a business owner you need to change the way you think. It takes a different mindset to manage sales than it does to manage people and you will frequently find yourself struggling to relate to your employees if you do not abandon some of the behavioral traits that made you a sales superstar.

Plan more structure

Some of your employees may like structure, others may hate it, but the truth of the matter is that all of them need it.

Without clearly defined boundaries and goals in place, there is too much freelancing and your employees will have a tendency to abandon reason in the face of personal priorities.

Furthermore, there needs to be organizational checks on this structure or it will be changed and altered within weeks of their training.

System selling

A common question we get when conducting a client observation is: “How many steps do you recommend in your sales system?” My response is that the steps aren’t as important as “sticking to the system”.

Too many people get hung up on a number, when that is not the key in closing a prospect. The key is a scripted sales methodology that you are comfortable with and becomes part of the organizational philosophy.

Structured price (formula – application)

I recently covered this is another blog posting. Too many companies arrive at a price based on what their competition is doing, what will give them a “competitive advantage”, or some other arbitrary number.

The fact is that in order to achieve a healthy profit margin, there is a formula we developed that is foolproof. No matter your product/service, by sticking to the numbers you will assure that you don’t miscalculate your profitability.

Log and track every lead

Yes – it is important to qualify your leads, but it is also a huge mistake to not log and track every single lead that comes into your business (by any form of communication).

Just as important is what you are using to track your leads. Without a strong system in place to manage, organize and follow up with your prospects, you are increasing your administrative time and costs exponentially.

Delegate, delegate, delegate

Staying involved in all facets of the business is critical for all business owners, but just as important is delegation.

As your business grows, so should the number of tasks that you assign to other employees.

What? You say that you don’t have faith in them? Go back to step 1 and get your hiring system up to speed to make sure that you have a team in place that you can count on to do the tasks that you simply don’t have time to do anymore.

Before you lay too much blame on the economy and the government (I’m not saying they aren’t responsible), you need to examine your internal processes, because unless you are sticking to these guidelines you are setting yourself up for failure.

We’ve used the consulting services of Dave Yoho Associates for several years now. Much of our success can be attributed to following their systematic teachings and practices.

Michael Hoy, President
Great Day Improvements

Dave Yoho Associates’ consultants are the sharpest in the industry, and are incredible communicators, very engaging, and always inspiring. Their industry insight is unmatched, as is their creativity.

Todd Miller, President
Isaiah Industries

Dave Yoho Associates produced amazing results for us! Every percentage point of improvement in our lead issue rate translated to an additional $500,000 in business.

Brian Leader, Founder
Improveit! Home Remodeling

I want to thank the entire team at Dave Yoho Associates for meeting with our Canvassing Managers last week. The knowledge we learned in only one day was invaluable.

Jason Hollister, Proximity Marketing Manager
RbA Southard Corporation

We found Dave Yoho Associates extremely professional and knowledgeable in evaluating our current business model and recommending specific solutions that will improve our efficiency and profit.

Wasyl Bodnar, President
Ventana Design, Sales, and Manufacturing

Recently, Dave Yoho Associates performed ‘role-play’ scenarios for three hours with our salespeople. The eye-rolling is gone and their confidence has grown substantially. Can’t wait for your visit next month!

Jason Phillips, CEO
Phillips Home Improvements

Immediately after your training, I ran my first solo appointment and got the order for $16,088! I beat out a reputable local remodeling company whose bid was $4000 less and was referred to by the customer as a slightly ‘better’ product.

Sara Zarndt-Brickey, Operations
Re-Bath of Illinois

Our remodeling business had annual sales of under $9 million when we became contract clients of Dave Yoho Associates. Due to their training and systems, our revenue soared – – we are headed for over $35 million this year.

Vince Nardo, President
Reborn Cabinets

I learned an abundance from your canvassing training. Thank you so much for helping us revise our methodology!

Lynann Everett, Interactive Marketing Manager
RbA of Northeast PA

Your consultant introduced many thought-provoking, exciting concepts that were implemented and drove our net profit. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Dave Yoho Associates!

Mark Watson, Owner
Exterior Medics

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