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3 June 2020

Top tips for embracing the new normal

Business Advice Partners | 3 minute read
Mark Legg

Author: Mark Legg

When I was 18, I started a painting and decorating business that took off quite rapidly and became one of the biggest painting businesses in my local area. However, after just a couple of years of trading, I learnt the hard way that we must lay the correct foundations and invest in the business infrastructure as it develops in order to build a sustainable business.

In 2008 after lots of lessons learnt, I founded C.D.M Contractors Ltd which now forms part of the CDM Contractors Group. I am still very much involved in CDM as founder and managing director, and have enjoyed working and watching them grow and succeed. However, since 2018 I have used my experiences starting and running businesses to help others within the trade sector to meet their business goals by leading Synergy Success Network Ltd, a business training and development organisation.

By Mark Legg, Synergy Success Network Ltd

It has been a difficult few months with businesses not being able to trade in the normal way or at all. Now with the trades being able to go back to work, it’s time to make sure you are ready and able to serve your customers and keep them well informed.

Working as a business management consultant to the construction sector specifically, allows me to combine my passions and give real life advice and support and discover your ‘why’.

Here are my key tips to help with getting back to work:

Stay calm and don’t panic

Your initial thought may be to panic and rush to get all your customers scheduled in as soon as possible - stop, wait! Before you go full steam ahead and start booking customers in for work, you need to check the status of your business and ask yourself some key questions:

  1. Do I and my customers have the correct health and safety procedures in place?
  2. Do I have the available workforce to manage all this work?
  3. Do I have access to the materials required?

Now is the perfect time to take stock of where you are as a business and plan your response carefully. Using job management software like simPRO will allow you to run reports to manage your stock allowing you to analyse the parts you have in store, the pricing and which items you use more regularly. You can also upload all your latest health and safety procedures to simPRO so your field team can have them on hand when they are on site; particularly important for reassuring your customers that staff know how to handle social distancing measures. Taking a calm pragmatic approach will give you a good foundation for when you start working again.

Develop your business systems

Now is a great time to ‘get your house in order’. Doing an audit of your current workflows and processes will give you an idea of what may need adapting so you can start seeing customers again. You may find, however, that your workflows are no longer fit for purpose and need to be adapted. Your field staff will need to be kept up to date on all the correct PPE and health and safety procedures. Can your current processes support this in a socially distant manner? Implementing job management software that works in the cloud, would go a long way to helping you manage your field team and keep them informed. It also means your office team can stay at home for a bit longer as they will have access to all the data in real-time.

Update your marketing plan to reflect the current situation

If you haven’t been serving customers during lockdown or only doing emergency call outs, it is time to let your customers know you are available to take on further work. Sending your customers marketing emails to communicate these changes is the quickest way to get your message across. It is also a great way to keep your customers up to date with opening hours, health and safety procedures and any other news you may have had since lockdown began. Check your social pages and update the opening hours. If applicable, update your Google pages so when people start searching for you they will know instantly you are open for business.

Making sure you are ready for the uptake in work is vital. The old adage ‘under promise and over deliver’ is a great leveller and will set you in good stead for when you get busy. The last thing you want to do now is let your customers down.

Mark’s book ‘The Business Builder: Plan, Develop & Build a 7 Figure Trade Business’ is available on Amazon.

Sign up to simPRO’s emails to keep up to date with how we can help you and your business.

Visit Synergy Success Network website to read more about Mark Legg and his network.

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