Are you constantly solving everyone else's problems and putting out fires, rather than working on the activities that will actually grow your building company?
Back in 2011 APB’s Cofounder Russ Stephens set up a digital marketing agency for residential home builders with his daughter Sky.
Their goal was simple, to generate high quality leads for custom home builders and renovation specialists, cost effectively, so the owners of those building companies could grow their businesses safely and securely.
Russ had recently sold his previous company that had employed 50 people in a multi-million dollar deal and he was determined not to go down the path of employing lots of staff again.
He had created a monster with that business, and found managing 50 people was just too stressful.
Every time Russ fixed a bottleneck or solved a problem in the operations, another one would appear somewhere else within weeks…
He organised regular meetings for individual departments, created regular incentive programs for staff, and even produced a monthly internal newsletter to keep everyone informed with what was happening in the company.
Good Communication Is The Key
And yet, despite all of that, the number one gripe that kept coming up in employee reviews was ‘a lack of communication’!
Russ was over it by the time he sold the company!
So, for this new venture, he planned to scale the company by using contractors instead of employing people directly.
However, as this new business started to gain traction, it soon became very clear to Russ that while using contractors was a good way to start scaling a business, like employees, they still needed to be managed…and that meant employing staff again!
So, in 2013 Russ and Sky faced a difficult decision. In order to continue growing the business they would need to start employing people.
However, Russ was determined not to fall into the same trap as before where it felt like the company was sucking the life out of him.
They say, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher will appear’, and that was certainly true for Russ when the book ‘Scaling Up’ by Verne Harnish appeared on his radar.
He was originally attracted to the systemised approach to goal setting, quarterly planning and budgeting.
The Secret Is To Create A Rhythm
However, to achieve the goals that had been meticulously planned out in the first 175 pages of the book, Verne emphasised how important it was to implement ‘A Meeting Rhythm’ into an organisation.
Because, “At the heart of every team's performance is a rhythm of well run daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings.” Verne went on to reveal that these meetings address the number one challenge people face when they work together. COMMUNICATION!
Up until that moment Russ thought he was the only business owner that had experienced this problem, and yet here was someone that not only understood his challenge, they had the solution all mapped out!
The daily meeting, or ‘huddle’ as it’s known because it resembles a quick team huddle on the sports field, lasts between five to 15 minutes.
The weekly meeting is a 60-90 minute discussion that keeps teams aligned and on track with the company's goals.
Monthly management meetings are more in depth and a great way for senior management to transfer knowledge, values and approaches to supervisors.
And quarterly meetings are more strategic and only for the leaders in the business to set the direction and pace for the company over the next 90 days and beyond.
Think You Don’t Need Meetings? Wrong!
The main objections that owners of small businesses have when considering whether to implement ‘The Meeting Rhythm’ into their company is that they either don’t have the time, or it’s not necessary as, “We see each other all day anyway.”
However, the fact is, when your meeting follows a structure, they actually save time. We have seen this not just in this business, but in the businesses of hundreds of residential building companies that have gone ahead and implemented the ‘The Meeting Rhythm' themselves.
Studies have shown that daily huddles alone save individuals around one hour a day in needless emails and interruptions.
While weekly meetings help employees to remain motivated and stay on track to achieve their quarterly goals.
Russ looks back now to those days of employing 50 people and realises the frustrations he felt at the time were not because of the staff, it was because he lacked the knowledge, the systems and the processes to manage the team effectively.
Effective Meetings Actually Save You Time
And Sky has proven that by using this system since 2013 to manage APB’s growing team effectively, keeps everyone motivated and accountable, despite the fact every single team member works remotely!
It’s incredible when you think about it, and something Russ would never have believed possible just 10 years ago.
However, having implemented this system he can’t begin to imagine how hard it must be for builders, that have staff and subcontractors, that don’t use it.
They always seem to be solving everyone else's problems and rushing around putting out fires, rather than working on the activities that will actually grow their business and their income.
So, that is how you save time by empowering your team to make decisions and avoid becoming a bottleneck in your building company.
Do you see how this can help you to scale your building company without getting more stressed?
Give it a try and see for yourself how much time you can save by implementing a 15 minute daily huddle into your building company!
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