“My revenue increased by 50% last year, and this year it increased by another 50%.” Craig Bendele from Florida was speaking to a group of dealers during one of my training webinars, and we were discussing the strategies he used to grow his revenue. (I covered some of those strategies in Part 2 of this series.) But here’s what’s significant about Craig’s success: not only did his revenue skyrocket, but he cut the number of hours he worked from 60 to less than 40. “I used to work 6 to 7 days a week, dark-to-dark,” he told the group. “Now I arrive at 10:00, leave by 5:00 and take weekends off. The stress is gone, and my store runs without me.”
For most dealers, a dramatic increase in business means a spike in their workload and their stress. So what’s different about Craig?
Like many dealers, Craig grew up in the business, working in the warehouse as a teen, then moving up to sales person after high school. A few years ago he took over as the owner. However, he still kept doing all the day-to-day tasks of an employee: selling, bookkeeping, managing the warehouse, etc. With all the additional responsibilities of running the company, he was forced to work crazy hours.
“I finally got so fed up, I basically slammed my fist on my desk and said ‘enough is enough’,” he told the group.
Craig knew that there was no way he could reduce his workload if everything depended on him. So he set out to make his business system dependent rather than owner dependent.
First Craig made a list of all the tasks he was doing. Selling, bookkeeping, ordering materials: everything.
Next, he wrote out step-by-step instructions on how he wanted each task to be accomplished. Then he assigned each of those tasks to a different employee and trained them. In other words, he created systems for all the day-to-day functions of his business.
Now, instead of doing daily tasks, Craig’s job is to monitor the system. He holds his employees accountable to follow the system. If the system to do a specific task breaks down, he doesn’t sigh and say, like many floor dealers, “Well, if you want it done right you’ve got to do it yourself.” Instead, he fixes the system. Craig now works on his business instead of in his business.
This shift empowers Craig to grow his revenue—even expand to multiple locations—without adding more to his personal workload. He can also take vacations, spend time with his family, and never have to worry about his store because he knows it’s running like a well-oiled machine and generating money without him needing to be there.
Best of all, his business is fun again. Craig tells the story of taking another dealer in his town to lunch. They both put their cell phones on the table so they wouldn’t miss any calls. During the next two hours, the other dealer’s phone rang constantly with calls from employees. He spent the entire lunch putting out fires. By contrast, Craig’s phone didn’t ring once. “They don’t even need me at my store,” Craig laughs. “I go there each day by choice because I enjoy it, not because I have to.”
Some dealers might be saying, “Wow, setting up systems sounds like a lot of work.” They’re right. But what’s more work: setting up systems in your business, or spending your entire career working 50+ hours per week, stressed out, burned out, and worrying about your store even during the precious few hours you’re away from it?
To Tons Of Customers!
Jim Augustus Armstrong is The “Coach”
Jim Augustus Armstrong is the President of Flooring Success Systems, a program that equips dealers to double their profits, cut their work hours in half and beat the boxes! Many dealers have totally transformed their businesses and their lives for the better after joining Flooring Success Systems.
See what real, live dealers are saying!