One limiting factor for a great number of home improvement and specialty remodeling companies is a lack of ability to find qualified, hard-working installers and installation crews. It seems difficult to believe, but many firms will actually cut back on their advertising and sales because they possess a limited capacity for production.
There are multiple avenues to examine when considering a solution to this all too prevalent problem; however, the one we will examine most closely here is the recruitment process. After all, if your company has the ability to produce leads and sales in excess of what you are able to install, increasing the size and quality of your labor force is a highly effective way to transform that “problem” into thousands of excess dollars in your pocket.
The first and most obvious key to increasing your capacity for production is to enlist the help of additional crews. I know of many remodeling companies who have a difficult time pinpointing their desired demographic for installers. One way to combat this is to simply ask other individuals in your industry where they have had the most success recruiting their best crews. Another method simply involves stopping at jobsites if you see workers performing at a high level and would like to potentially offer them business from your own company. Dive in and take action on these two measures today and you will see that both are simple but effective ways to increase your labor force and grow your business.
Additionally, no matter where you are located within the United States, there will be workers and crews from different parts of the world who excel within your industry.
For example, if you are a painting contractor and in your area the Brazilian population happens to perform a large percentage of the painting work, make your presence felt within that community. Distribute flyers in local markets and stores. Become familiar with the churches and recruit there. Research what newspapers and Web sites this group of individuals frequently read, and place ads in these spots. These efforts will be rewarded with responses from hungry, motivated workers.
When it comes time for the interview process, bring in as many crews as possible. There will be an inherent number of workers who will not show up, and others who are not up to the standard required for your business. Be certain to check references. Take note of who shows up on time. Again, I cannot stress enough the need to over-schedule the number of installers you hope to interview. This provides you with the greatest possible opportunity to select from the best of the best.
Once you have established yourself within a community of workers, it is important to treat your crews fairly because any negative press on your behalf can spread rapidly. However, the other side of that coin represents a great opportunity and a momentum-gathering effect that can leave your firm never needing to recruit crews again. Why? Because qualified, capable crews will be coming to you in search of work.
Allow me to explain: If you treat your crews fairly and give them consistent work, almost immediately you will notice that they will send their friends, cousins, brothers and former partners into your office in search of employment. Additionally, you will find that these referrals have a high rate of success due to the fact that they were introduced to you through someone they know.
This new community of crews is almost a self-policing entity which can produce a steady stream of installers who are, in many ways beholden to one another, and, most certainly beholden to you for providing them with employment.
If you are in the position of shutting down your marketing half-way through your installation season because you feel that the “schedule is booked,” this is a process that is highly recommended. Slowing down your marketing means that you are literally refusing potential dollars before they have the opportunity to come through the door.
Not only will increasing the number of skilled workers within your company allow you to install everything that you sell, it will aid your selling process in a number of other ways: Your customer satisfaction numbers will rise, passers-by will be impressed with your top-notch work, and your number of referrals will go through the roof.
Whenever I hear from a companion in the remodeling industry that his biggest hurdle is a lack of good crews, my first thought is how manageable a problem that is to fix. Not to mention, how quickly this individual’s bottom line can be affected in an overwhelmingly positive fashion.
Rick dudley has worked in numerous capacities over the past six years in the home improvement industry. He started out as proprietor of a start-up painting business that grew rapidly into the multimillion dollar coatings company Lifetyme Exteriors.
Currently, he also works as an outside consultant to Conversion Associates, a technology and process consulting firm with heavy ties to the remodeling industry.