45 min read
Watch Fergus founder, Dan Pollard, share his story of how his 19 person plumbing business got through the 2011 recession by developing new...
Well districts start at 12. I want to lie low. I'm going to join us this morning. So a lot of this. I've talked about before. But the reason we're doing this recap is if you're not aware or think it's not coming the recession is starting to really come in next year, you're going to really feel the effects of it is all the government subsidies that come off they'll be extended a little bit to get through for the election. But after that, they'll all be sort of coming off. And if you haven't noticed the unemployment figures are rising. And because the jobs have disappeared from tourism and education. Now they're not coming back. So you do have to come here for a reasonably long periods of sustained maybe negative or very little growth. And it would have an impact in the way you and your business for the next few years. So that's sort of all, we're talking about. Just that's my dog barking in a bit background. It's funny. I'm sure this dog is a reincarnated cat. He chases birds and ignores cats. Weird he's he's quite lovable. Right the numbers are sort of slowly getting steady. So I think one I we'll actually stop. So I'm trying to finish in just under an hour to get it all done right. So I it's got so good. Thanks so much for joining us today at recession proof your business? Before we get started, a couple of things to cover off your lines have been muted to avoid background noise. If at any point, you have a question. It's just talk but into the Cuban eyebox and I'll answer as we go. We're at these Kia with this guy. For those isn't even he knows who I am. And if you don't. On the Fender of Fergus extra deep in the fall of Rome 24 years go to plumbing company to 25 staff after a couple of nonstarters and now is over 50 staff in two countries. And I'm not sure if you'd if he did see what we got righted in the tops or the top five job mentioned in the world a few months ago. So I think it really is a worldwide leader of our job management. Right So I of the overview. So the reality that is talked about predicted a few months ago, we are going into recession and that the worst effects will be felt in the last quarter of this year. And the last quarter of this year. That will be the new normal for a while. How long is a war. Well historically recessions last around two years and then slowly ease back in over two to four year cycle. Will this one be better or worse now. I think logically when you think about the impact on immigration tourism international students and international travel, it will be a longer into the cycle. It will literally be a three or four year low. A trough because all those people have lost jobs, and tourism education have to redeploy these skills elsewhere. So they have to retrain and get re-employ. And the market has to find ways to use those services for the money cycle to begin. So it's going to be a longer slower recession, then probably the previous ones. It's you know if you think about the mission if you lost 10% of your workflow. The impact would have a new profit would be quite dramatic it feels 10% If you would play was the in the economy. We're now going to reach 10% to 12% unemployment. So that money is just not available to come into your businesses. So the chances of you losing team the scenes of your turnover is relatively high. So how do want to know is that there is always work. And you can get more work if you really improve your customer service. And also just be thankful you aren't in tourism travel or education right. So again, we talk about the next forecast it is sort of going through in this order right. Because what you sort of this is this weekend, we are the webinars on how to get your business in the right shape for next year. So the fifth one is obviously always not your financial position, which is what being that cash flow is also about the next one is the leadership. So how do you need to act. And your team and what to do next. He is just talking to the practical realities. Once you've had that leadership discussion around labor and materials because that's how you actually make sure your business can afford to pay its bills and keep you unemployed and actually and your aim should still be to try and grow through this time if you can. OK So getting a handle of your cash flow and financial position. So for most of you, you can safely bet that you attain a turnover and margin next year will be down on this current year, I think you can you can actually almost bit, that bit the house on of some of you will grow. There are always outliers he managed to do well. But for the most part, those in smaller towns and smaller populations will always feel the effects far greater than a big city right. It's just less people less opportunity. So if you are rural and small towns, you really have to get the that at least work on these margin you always have work just not the same amount. So the first port of call from there is to find out where you are at financially. I did a cash flow forecast we've been a month or two ago that was really, really successful. It's a great feedback. If you've missed it or didn't use it at least it's going to send you a link to that spreadsheet. Now it's a relatively easy switching to fill out and only you know what all your commitments are every month and what your revenue is likely to be. Don't be afraid to ask your accountant bookkeeper or somebody is confident of numbers to help you fill it out. It will also take less than half an hour. If you have zero setup and from this, you can x equal you will know every month. What your overheads are that you've committed to and what revenue and income you can expect right. So first, we got to get that part sorted. How much money does my business need to make every month for me to pay my. It's the first. You just got know that because then you can go. Can I see you for doing this money. The second part of cash flow is knowing where all your data is or. It's important for brand for the call and find out where things are right. Don't worry about emails or Texas just jump on the ballot and actually give them a call and see what's going on. And then the best way to manage dealers is really offering them a payment plan and just giving the stock to pay the debt of in 3, 2 six months, if they owe you a lot of money has been going on a while. Just say, OK. All that's been going on a walk this just commit to 400 bucks a month for the next six months and pay it off right. And it can be a really good way to get the ball started rather than trying to get 5 or 10 grand in one lump sum. But if they're just not going to really entertain it then just move to the speech tribunal. Now you can take a date to dispute a tribunal, if there is actually a dispute if they're just not paying. That's not a dispute and it's a really hot place. So someone is not paying well paying a little bit. You can really sort of move to debt collection or trying to get an outside agency to put pressure on some of the pay. And it's an to breathe in often you. I have found that if someone just didn't want to pay. I just had to let it go because it's really, really hard to do. Because if they owe you money and they don't want to pay. What are you going to do. You can you'll have to tourists trunk disputes tribunal set the paying light, you'll get a judgement in your favor, which is very easy. And then the adjudicator will make a payment plan. And then they won't pay the payment plan. And then you go back to the disputes tribunal to get an enforcement order. You get that. And then it goes to the bay leaf and then the bailiff can go and seize the goods and then it's to sell the goods. And oh my goodness you are talking 3, 2 six months for that price is to work its way through. And if it's just a few thousand dollars it's honestly not worth your time. So the best thing. It's likely they just agree to pay the debt. And that's good. If there is an actual dispute within its with the disputes tribunal is really good because they'll make a judgment. And then the judgment can be enforced quite quickly. So don't muck around and keep Harvey is going to come. Right If they don't agree to a payment plan future disputes tribunal the prices, if they're just not paying in because they're just rogues and it's not a large amount of money just let it go and move on. It's not with your time. You better off getting new work and to replace the money you've lost. Now the first part of cash flow and data management is all. We'll see not to give credit. So taking. So what does it mean. That means taking deposits this is crucial. I know in my business. It took me a long time to think I could even charge deposits but we'd gotten into such a cash flow hope that. So we had to and they know. To my surprise no I'm underplaying deposits. So because people are used to paying deposits for you kind of what a concrete carpet windows joinery or Kitchens without paying deposits. It's just a game and people expect their deposits. The other thing you find is people quite like deposits because it means you get the fixed price and people like fix cross work because they know what they're going to pay. And that's really good because that then means you can see the teams, which is 50% upfront and payment on completion when it's all done. And it's really clear. And the other big thing you find which I found, which is some people just didn't want to pay deposits and that was always an alarm bell for me because I've given you a fixed price and I'm pretty reputable and you might pay me to oppose it. That's a big Warning sign that you don't have the money and you kind of fooled me. Which means also going to get money off you. So deposits are really, really big deal to weeding out bad payers. So quitting and deposits is a big deal. And it fixes happy cash flow issues up front. If they want your cash flow is trying to find a way to invoice every day if you can try and employ someone to do it for you every day, they would probably need to come in for an hour a day getting a part time a part time, place, and then he can just do it money with zero figure Vegas there you can do it or mostly they don't have to come into an office. They just do it from home. And when I was writing running my company, we could do 20 invoices an hour. So once every three minutes wheat prices is in place to allow to happen. They're fast. Sure When you think of a client or bank credit it might take you half an hour, but it could just invoicing your maintenance jobs and you should be added to your invoicing due to sort of one job every three minutes. So in order to do an invoice every three minutes. You need to have your labor and materials reconciled onto a job and that job is marked as ready to invoice and this is where having a part time office where might staff and getting those routines in place for you during the day. So when you come home at night, you can just bang out the invoices when you want to be because is it Wade roll in invoicing and payments. If you take three weeks to invoice the customer takes three weeks to pay if you invoice within 24 hours they often pay within 24 hours. So the sooner you can invoice the soon you'll get paid. And I couldn't I couldn't recommend it strongly enough, especially in these down times is not to be giving credit into the invoicing as fast as possible to get the cash flow into your bank to pay your bills. And so once you get those things in place. So if you work out what your overheads are committed to right. You know what cases coming in because you're a. Can you pay all the existing bills you've got a new business and that leads us into the next bit, which is what I want you to really think about is when you do the cash flow forecasting and being really realistic. I want you to know actually know that. How much do you have to earn every month to pay the overheads in your business. What can you actually make enough gross profit. This should say you're a teen capable only if you work out the cash flow forecasts, which would tell you every month. What are your overheads that are going to be over the year. And so let's just say it's green gross profit a month to pay 10 grand of over. It's like, can you business realistically sustain it over the next 12 months if you're currently struggling right now to get there. Then to make their gross profit. It's certainly not going to get better next year. So then you have to really go. What's going on. What needs to change so that I'm not going to be so stressed and pushing myself on the edge of bankruptcy or just the emotional stress because I can't pay my bills. So the fist the first thing got to work. I do is what my monthly committed overheads I just can't get rid of. You just is. And in the second part is working out that she can realistically afford your current lifestyle as well. Let's say the business is making 10 grand a month of gross profit. That's right. You've got IV it's a 10 grand a month. And it's say your lifestyle is costing 10 grand a month. So that's 20 grand a month of gross profit. The business has to make like can it. Can you actually make that much money sustainably month on month. Or is it all very tight right now. So it's all very tight right now. What are we going to do for next year. So you have to be thinking that way. So I will go into that a little bit more. So the things you got to know in this, which the cash flow forecast is what are you fixed ivy right. So that's powering fine insurances vehicle payments whatever. That's the stuff that's just fixed. It's going to go. You got variable overheats marketing health and safety advertising. What are those every month and what are my expenses. What does that figure right. Then the next one to work out, which is the cash rate forecast especially would do this for you is how many hours will I work this month and how efficient is my charge out right. And that will then lead you to know how many hours you need to work this week, this month to pay those bills. And then you have to think is cannot sustain it. And if you can't. You have to look at ways of cutting costs in your business. We are life to meet those costs. All used the flip side, you have to find ways to do more marketing to get more work to afford it. But you just have to know. You just have to know just how is going to come. Right It's not going to work for you. Not next year. So if we think about what is business run what what. What's the nuts and bolts of business. And what do you have to do if you're in this position. And it's important to remember that businesses sales and marketing and customer outcomes. So business isn't attainable work of pulling pulling wires and drilling holes and putting in pipe. That's not business. So business is sales and marketing which is lead generation. Right getting word in customer outcomes is getting cash because they're happy to pay you. They think she business. So if you look at your business and you look at your overhead commitments and your business and your personal lifestyle and you go shocks. I need more work. So I can keep my current lifestyle. The only choice you have to make from there is you have to work on sales, marketing, and customer outcomes because that's the only way you're going to get more work in business to keep your current business and lifestyle in its current position. But if you don't know where you're at financially you have no idea what you need to do to maintain your current position or improve your position. So if you don't know how to do that. What is too overwhelming. You really need to talk to an accountant bookkeeper someone who's going to finance a friend who's going to finance that, please go and get some assistance. If you're not confident honestly, that excel spreadsheets. Very easy. It's actually life changing when you actually fill it out and you go. This is actually what's going to happen in my business or the next year as a place to fill it out. Right So let's say you've now got your financial position sorted. That leads us into to the next topic, which is how do you do. How do you lead your team to success. Right and so I'm big on. So leadership. It isn't what it isn't and leadership itself should be self explanatory. We haven't thought about it. The first population of the league right. You lead and lead your team. And so your team work for you because they expect you to have a plan. So I'm big on that you can't moan or whinge so worry or fear to your team. Most people really pretty much even nearly everyone who's on wages enjoys the security of a 9 to 5 job right if they weren't like that if they were entrepreneurial then they would be business owners. So therefore, people most people who work on might just do so because they just love the security of a work might be a lot. Their life's passions and I have lots of hobbies families other stuff going on into them. Work is just a place, then they could go to in the money for the lifestyle. And that's totally fine. Therefore, the most important thing to them is just jobs ability and jobs security in a place that's not stressful or fearful or worrisome to come to work. So if you wish expressing emotionally to all you to tame the stress and the worry and the fear that you're under all that's going to do is cause panic. And so no doubt in them. And that is how much people will start looking for other jobs for other employees where they feel there's more job security because I've also got mortgages and kids to look after and bills. And I just kind of want to be without a job. So you must lead your team. And you mustn't complain. What you must do is say you're going to be a tough time. Yep it's been I've been through many recessions before, and I know how to get through this recession. And this is the plan. And this is what you have to do. And this is how it looks like right. So I think you can safely assume you talking to teams that this is into this year and next year. And for two to four years. That's new normal. Right So you're going to communicate that you understand that they've got commitments on mortgages children health, whatever you understand that they've got that in their lives and that you know this and you care about this. Right So we're going through a tough time next year. But this is normal. Recessions come and go. And this is truly the way to get through recessions is always to improve the level of service to your customers. So this chart and every other chart, you have with your staff will forever. Now be on help they as a team can improve customer service to deliver customer outcomes right. And you say, I know you will look at this time. I'm aware that my role is both very seriously. There is no way I went through any of you put you guys under any stress in order to make sure the status quo keeps going. This is what I need from you. I need to ensure every customer is satisfied. And we will know this as we will ask every customer would you use this again. What would you reference to someone else. And so this is the core message you need to communicate to your team is that they are responsible for delivering such a great service and outcome to the customer. The customer will use you again. And they will refer you to someone else because word of mouth is still the cheapest, fastest way to get what that's the first thing to do The second thing that needs to do is say, hey, I need you guys to work nine hours a day. And charge eight right. That's what I need from you guys. And if you guys are giving that customer service. And this customer outcomes you will be busy. We would generate enough work to keep ourselves busy. But I need that work in order to keep the office staff fully busy and keep you guys engaged while they also need us to improve our efficiency with your delivery. So we're not wasting time getting materials right. So I'm not. So we're only buying just what we need. Just wasn't we need it. So there's not all the stock was going to. I can't afford it the full thing is from office people and from you guys as many to invoice more often. I'm going to start bringing prices. So we can invoice every day. And so what that means from you guys on the tools I need to go see the paperwork at the end of every job not the end of every day or every couple of days. It's not individually job for you. Sit-in the rain for 14 minutes and do the paperwork because it's part of the job. So I need you guys to change in one state and get paperwork and realize if I'm going to be late. I'm going to be late. Call the office or customer. It's that light. But you've got to do the paperwork before you leave the job because that means we can invoice you every day because we just kind of want to give people credit. I need to get the cash, and so I can pay you wages pay the suppliers right. That's what we need to do. So these next will be available at the end. If you want them for those sort of five things you ought to communicate to your team is that is going to be tough. But I've got a plan. And here's what you need to do because a tangible actions that evens got control over. So you have to show your team what they have control over and why that will lead to work because you know it's like talking about you never hear a customer say I had such a great service such a bad outcome. I'm never using them again. I'm going to give it to a guy. I'll go back to the trader who abuses me is rough and expensive. No one ever does that. So when you invest in achieving customer outcomes in customer service, it will always win. And it cost you nothing. Right and then you finish with a statement like this. And I'm being told this. And it was. It was along these lines like you taste like I can guarantee you the first week of work right. I'll guarantee you that right after this, you should get a tenure at your own work because people write about you. So if that's not happening. We need to work out what is happening. So people only want you back and do gripe about you. And so my attention for the next year will be focused on what is going on in the way that you're engaging with our customers. So that they are on writing about you. And we're going to work on improving that outcome with you. So that's how we're going to get through this recession and actually grow. And it keeps a job in everyone's busy right then. And you need to frame the speech up something that really positive. But also was a really solid plan of how to get through it. And it's a true plan. If you focus on customer outcomes you will always keep your team busy let it slide. Right chargeable hours right. This is another big thing I talk about a lot. So what we keep referring to the cash flow forecast. But it's a really big deal. There is it's a big deal is on page on the players page is a couple of figures that fill out and it's the hours worked versus the hours charged. Now the difference in gross profit between 75% and 92% is is it's actually dramatic. And until you have a play in the spreadsheet, you won't actually believe how much impact that has. And so there's the ability for you to play with the right charge and you can play increasing your hourly rate by $10 an hour and see how it has little impact compared to lifting your charge out rate from 75 to 90% And so the single biggest thing that if you're not making enough gross profits is you need to put your fingers into the cash flow forecast and see just how many childhood hours you're actually doing to actually see where it's at. There's the report on the Ferguson show where your current chargeable hours. And you can compare it compare that to the model and then adjust the model to 90% ideally 90 to the seat. And when you start getting the money to the scene charge out right then you start to your business will start to come right. So you might have heard hopefully you hear the terms of labor utilization and labor recovery now labor utilization is actually not that applicable to the trade businesses because utilization means how much your team is actually working, how often are they actually busy. So if you think about people in the corporates the big office like a lot of time in meetings. And workshops not actually working right. But for trade businesses is not many times that guys are literally mucking around. The single most important metric for trade business is what's called recovery. So of the 40 hours you people are working how many hours of those hours actually being recovered. So I talk a lot about this because every hour you trace people mucking around on job sites who drive into the merchants or whatever. That's an owl that you can actually recover either in terms of hours on a quite big non-productive or billing to the customer. And so you've got to find ways of getting your staff to be 90% effective and he's another really, really big point to consider. So if you think about when you're working on the tools as a trading sardine of on average, the spike comes the spark is about the same. You should be sticking in about $100 an hour with materials per hour right on average still $100. Now, if you're making a 40% gross margin on materials you're making $40 an hour on the materials you stick in so every hour that you would tradespeople driving it the suppliers getting materials picking up tools whatever they're not actually sticking in materials you are not actually making gross margin. So even if you were charging all the time driving around getting materials or whatever you're still missing out on that material margin in $40 an hour actually is up to a lot of money ever chosen people over a week over a month. And so that's a big thing to consider. Your recovery is like, hey. So some of them the money are missing out on. I did a talk on materials in this shoot off a few weeks ago and there's a spreadsheet in there that shows the like the impact of this is quite dramatic on a film about taking over the ordering. So you have to think about your people as how can I keep them on site actually working as much as possible. And so orders into the is crucial for lifting recovery. It's crucial. It's also the biggest single biggest effect that you can do to improve your charge out right through efficiency. And so what it looks like, especially on quoted work right. Because if you're going to get more and more into deposits, which means you've quoted the work you've now got fixed hours. So that's the quickest way or the most efficient way to make sure your jobs come in on time. This would try to be able to be site for nine hours a day working nine hours a day. So you don't want to try spacing going to the suppliers at 7:15 730 getting materials stuck in traffic gives the site to equal to 9 maybe nine o'clock. You've just lost an hour and a half. Easy what you want is you at the train station on site at 7:30 and the debris turns up here 10 o'clock in the morning. Right So they've got the tools out digging trenches drilling holes whatever it is. But I've got going at Steven safety in materials come. And I never leave site and keep working. And that is how you bring your question jobs on site. They take it make some materials site and keep the customer happy. The job's finished on time. Customer pays the bills. And so it doesn't, you need to get a business in order because you won't be as busy. You should be focusing on diets process improvements to allow that to happen. Right So it's often seems like the example was given the bus bus is only making money when the wheels turning. Right So buses companies sole focus is to just keep those wheels turning on the bus as often as possible because that's when customers from the bus that's when they got tickets that said, I make money. It's the same for you. You make your money when the tradespeople are on site working and installing materials. So you should be thinking about everything you do is how can I maximize my price people's time on sites. So they can install materials and finished jobs on time that should be useful. Your sole focus is to improve that for the next couple of years. That's says chargeable hours. Oh good. This is great. This is I love this one. So 0.4. So what was the love structure the talkers like talking about where the economy is at quote talking about cash flow a financial position. So you know where you're at right. Can you afford it. You should be or you should be right, the next one is talking to your team about leadership on what's required to get through the recession, which is great customer outcomes right. The next one was talking that labor ought to improve your profitability and only maximize customer outcomes. So the next big one thing is talking about materials. Because if we think about a business. They should just trade businesses. This is lose-lose big money in two places. There's always other places. But the big ones that make all the papers all the labor and materials right material leakage is huge at which businesses would lose money. And say lose money on materials in three three core areas. One is either buying right. So you over buy for a job in economy gets charged who knows where it goes and stuff. Could you go and you'll get damaged scratched stuck in the garage workshop. Who knows. It never gets returned. And the third big one is shrinkage structures. Is that is the plot to end for theft. And so then is what's happening in your business all the time. I always talk about This example about a 40 hour workweek. Now I see the data at Fergus with thousands and thousands of businesses now. We know that most businesses have not tried it. But people have actually got staff and premises. Most of you are lucky, you making a 10% profit. Most young, even if you think of a business like this. So you don't. So 10% any profit you can achieve that new business, you actually do it quite OK for a service business with staff and offices, but in a 40 hour workweek making team the senior profit to you. That means that you're only making money from Friday last on the 44 PM those last few hours of the week. That's when this when you actually need to make your profit. So the first three 6 hours was to pay overheads and staff and all that. And so the last few of the week is yours. It's quite disheartening. But materials have a really, really big impact on making it the zero the and so on. This on the screen is really important. So just put PowerPoint in here up to the top right. Is this just protein is quite a job right. There's 23 PowerPoints right. But the big thing to talk to look at is it's in green total cost. So you quoted those that job help, which cost 207 to 20% margin to win the job saved a $60 gross profit on those companies. But the treaty went to the suppliers and he hates running at a gig as we all do on job site and the merchants sell stuff in boxes a team. So he buys 30 of them. And now look at total profit. You've now lost $3 20 on net job. Now you multiply that side by 60 skews 60 unique items over that whole job. I read more I believe that around 60 to 100 items. That job has lost money before you've even started. Now, I know what you're saying here. But got this stuff in the vein. I'm going to use this on another job. And that's just not going to happen. What happens is that stuff does get used on the job. And it doesn't get built out or it gets damaged or it sits in your basement or it gets taken and used on private jobs. But your margin was so tight on the job to win it that you can't afford to lose any materials and the funny thing is you've lost money on the materials because you need overbought but you've also lost money because that person went to a trade pitch and went to the suppliers to actually bill of materials. Right So you've lost money on your time and you've lost money on materials. Now, if you think about it, if you to the Trade Center site first thing in the morning say 730 and these were delivered on site you've now ordered exactly what you quoted which was 23 and the person is working on site maximizing air the actual efficiency and recovery of work on site to quit the job and on time, on budget. So when you use this example, the only choice you have to make a new business really the next couple years is how am I going to bring in a price. Yes a person or role or a time. So that we are ordering the materials the day before to get deliveries. It's the only way. And if you want to really start fixing the profitability in your business. This is one of the core disciplines that you must start bringing in. That's called Justin Thomas stock management that we've been on before. There's tons of books written about it. But it's called Justin time, which is all of the materials. Just wasn't you need them. And just the correct amount because if you order 23. That's exactly what they need to show you can order one or two more. But you get the point. How do you get the point to make in order just what you need that now means there's nothing to go back for to create it. That means there's nothing left over to be charged on another job that will get lost. And it means there's less to be stolen to used on combat jobs and you maximize your time. So it's just such a win. It's such a no brainer so if you think about this. I'm just thinking that. Why is it, you can actually implement this process in your business. It's just such a win. I did it. We've been our own stock control. This is whole lot more to talk about. But go through the figures lawbreaking if you want if you want to have an hour of me rambling on about stock control. This is just summarizing and it's a sheet about you around what happens when you give what you quote to come on time. This is what you got to do right. And it just explains what happens on the efficiency right. It just talks about letting sort of organized right inside this organized, which is mostly is and this is what happens right is that the organized team 100 hours nine hours on site every day. That being the job. 11 days disorganized 18 days. And that's what happens. So it's amazing how those small efficiencies add up over a long period of time to a huge amount of money. Now you could say you don't want to go. Allow all of this and likewise allow all this time and any frenzy in the workplace. Well, good luck to you. And I guarantee you you're quite right schooled on planet Earth. Now I like this one Which is getting on board with some remote paperwork and quoting and work like I mean. You know, I've been really surprised at the uptake and how quickly people have embraced video calling you should really jump on this as soon as possible. Because if you think about what's coming up right then the economy is going to be less work available. So this means you're going to get to do more quoting or hunting for work. I think when I think about the examples I like to use. We think about business. It's often like the jungle right is the line, trying to catch the right. Your business needs to work. Know food is money right. So the new business know the new jungle is you know as business you know you're the tiger that you need you need you need to eat you need the money. So if you look at nature the antelope never walks to the line and guys out here. Amy the lion must always go and try and catch the antelope always. It's the same for you and your business. If you want to get work. You have to go and hunt for it. You have to go and get it. Sure very occasionally, the intellect might stumble into your yard right. But you still it. You can't rely on that. That's just luck. And you don't want to be in a position lucky you want to be in a position to be in control with destiny which means you need to go on. You need to go and hunt and find a way. Can you make an effort, but you want to be as efficient as possible. And then maximize your time to get base results. So that means why would you drive around doing that during the course on site shaking hands. Once you could do a lot of the pre work while the video calls right and get the customer to walk around the job. Give you an idea of what's going on because what you were trying to do is actually a prize that is the customer really nice to work for they actually do they actually have the funds to pay for the work. Are they likely to pay me. Can we all sort of get on. So that fine because you're trying to seize this person's ability to pay. Is it. Good work. And is it all going to work out or is this customer just talk a little difficult. Are they obstinate like they just too much hard to work for. And so you want to maximize this many of these video quotes as you came before you go on select to do to the quoted work. Now I'm still always a believer of going on site to seal the deal and shaking someone's hand looking, you know. And building that rapport a conversation is still sort of the best ways to win the work. But you do what you want to maximize your ability to close and win those quite so therefore, that first video call is the Facebook big filter to try and get the best opportunity to assess the situation and your likelihood to win the work. But the other big thing I see that new zealanders are particularly bad at Australians and not are much better than them kiwis is Australians are really good at talking about money straight up into something that kiwis can really, really learn to improve upon. And it's really important to establish on the call with the customer, the timeframe like when they want done. They actually want it done in a few weeks or months. So they talk in the next year and just try to get a ballpark for a budget and just kind of talk it out. Actually they actually buying sing and the element is cost. What is the budget right. Because if you're doing a job long enough, you know something is going to cost two to three grand a switchboards you know two to four grand you know whatever. You know if it's for a grain what is it Jimmy speaking customers kind of have no idea. And so if you look at a job in a shack that's like an 8K job like when you got to high and you go, well, there's just no chance it's to be told, this is it's going to be OK. All day long we're going to say this. They are just kind of put it. Well, that's fine. But now means you didn't waste two hours and you know I'm driving out there heaven. How did you'd find the conversation and enjoy way behind it. So you've got to have that time, cost, and also quality right. What sort of level of quality. Are they after. But it's not as important as seizing the cost. But you've got to talk money upfront which in the money conversation then you say, OK. And we also charge 50% deposits upfront. Is that. OK And then we want payment on completion. Is that. OK because you have to work out the willingness to pay because you know if they're shocked by that. And don't want to pay deposits that was a big Warning sign they don't have the money available to do this, right. So that they you know I once again, you were never going get the job they just saved you all the time going to site. And so video calling is a really, really good way for you to hunt and be taught me effective and increase your rights. It's just such a win. The other place you can use it really, really well. You got a heard of standups two minute chicken Steinitz. We do it at Fergus institute for 50 of us now. I am surprised at the power of the stand up a quick 10 15 minute meeting two or three times a week. They're really, really great at building the rail keeping people connected and full and it means you haven't wasted people's time coming to office. Having a meeting having an hour. I mean, you can understand it. But not a clock that can be on the jobs like kind of charging to the job, but you still keeping connected. So they could stand out because you want people standing up, especially sitting at the desk having a big, big one hour meeting is just a 10 or 15 minute chicken to see where everyone is at to see what's happening. How's the job going. With this customer. Good What we need to get the job done on time. And for people to sort of Shia. Just where they're at with the jobs. What's going on. What needs to be done. And it just allows you as is the boss to reinforce the culture of customer outcomes right. What's the experience what's going on. What can I do as the boss. What can other team members do. What needs to happen for you on your job. So you can finish it on time and have a great customer experience. And as soon as by fully free and you honestly standups just a game changer just to reinforce culture keep connection. But also keeps it efficient and means you don't have to have a staff meeting to be taking charge or allies on your jobs. So that's a really big deal. And then you can reinforce what they need to be done that day. That night 45 would say, hey, guys just remind put your descriptions and check let us. Do you get 60 eligible suits materials. Hey Johnny what's happening with watering here. What's going on here. And just keeps you more engaged to keep getting oh Yeah. This is the deal. Remember the saying what's inspected is respected. So if you talk about it. You need it. This does getting reinforced as does became part of the culture. It's kind of how you start getting voluntary compliance. And I mean, they didn't come into sight right. So it was efficient. It was on site working and Iran struck construction on. So I just thought it would be my sort of five top tips to sort of get through this sort of next decision I had finished earlier, which is good. Any sort of a question from Jamie. We do loads a small amount in the shops up until they stand at each guy you with just a couple of times a week. Now a definite too. She does call a groupthink so so and jumps on the corporate box. So everyone together, and you should do zone meetings twice a week more than it can get a bit much. But twice a week is normally enough to keep you very engaged. But Yeah, so stand standups is in court. Yep Yeah zone. These GoToMeeting these. Oh my goodness. So many that Google makes these so many of them. I don't I'm I don't have any particular boards to watch when you use haha. And is having Eric, thanks. Thanks later Andy lost a trace. Having a waiter at the same time. Lol that's funny. It's good to know. I was just going to say. You can email Elise and please, please just that choose some options on this on this poll. Because I just want to be able to get through these reservations right now. I've been through some tough ones and being business a long time. So you can always reach out. Reach out to me. Dan at Fergus and I'll call you back and never mind having a phone call with specific questions. I'm also happy to run maybe like a half day or full day training at all offices in Oakland's so I think we can hold about 10 people in a room comfortably. And I'm happy to hold half day or a full day training no charge, no charge at all that you want to come for that advice in a great form of all the things you need to do to really grow your business and keep it maintaining. I'm happy to do that. So just fill it out. Feel free to reach out to me directly. I'm always happy to talk to you guys. There's a lot of information in the figures straight up. Now So there's a lot of videos on how to use figures but a lot of my webinars are there. I really would hope that all you would take the time to look at the cash flow forecast and fill it out. It really is. It really is game changing for those of you who do it and go, oh my goodness, I don't know what's going on in my business. And I've got lots there on labor materials business. All of this because there's the phrase I love, which is operational excellence leads to financial excellence. You are never going to make good profit if you operations aren't just awesome. And it's always that way, you're going to get your operations really tight and in the money returns will come consistently. And so we've tried business often rightly tight. That means chargeable hours and limiting what you buy materials, like the cool pillows you get right. And then you can you can expand on it quite quickly. And it's quite easy once you've got it. Once you got that concept of labors and what you do to pull those leaders in you. I spent a little time talking about that. So this is short, but strong to keep it short and sharp. This week. So to check out the trade. If you got time. Although we have training every year. If we take a couple or two, three times a week. Now How do you square this. I've also written a book kind of about 10 bucks on Amazon and its system the Kindle format. It's got all the lessons that I always talk about in a written format. Yep it's life changing for most people who read it. That's why I get so many people keep it as a Bible they refer to all the time to do that, take your questions or email us on and we'll get back to them. That is the end. And I hope you all have a good rest of weekend. We'll see you all in a couple of weeks. All right. Thanks, guys.
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Watch Fergus founder, Dan Pollard, share his story of how his 19 person plumbing business got through the 2011 recession by developing new...
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