Sales, ownership, administration and production: four necessary categories in every restoration company. The smaller the company, the more likely it is that these four categories are being managed by the owner.

As the company grows in size, the owner will need help to assist them in the management of Herein lays the first of many opportunities of an owner to release control of something they have been doing. This is VERY difficult for owners to do. Owners need to know what is going on; they are worried if they let someone else take over a job that the job is going to be done incorrectly and unprofitably. 

Here is the key to understanding owner behavior and what they MUST have from you in order to feel that you are being accountable. They MUST get feedback from you on their time schedule as to how the job is coming along. Without this time frame being met, they will be in your face trying to figure out what is going on and you may not like the way they talk to you, much less how they may treat you!

So what should you do in order to get it right the first time? If the owner doesn’t tell you what they want from you, ask them. If you do not ask, they will assume that you know and they will expect you to get done what they want done and when they want it done. They will constantly want to know how things are going. That’s just the way they are and since they own the company. Owners are by their very nature concerned that the business is going to stay afloat since everything they own is tied up in their company. In other words, you are spending their money and they need you to be a good steward of it. They will constantly need to know how things are going. What I’ve seen work the best is when employees understand that owners act like this, they give them what they need and on the schedule that they need it.

So knowing how owners are wired, let’s talk about how they need and expect accountability from each of the four parts of the company team:

  1. Sales: they represent the company and sign the necessary business needed to run the company
  2. Owner(s): they manage the company
  3. Administration: they provide all needed paperwork necessary to operate the company
  4. Production: they complete all work contracted by the company

Sales: This team should meet and create a budget determining how much work they are expected to bring in. This meeting should occur every fall, to plan for the next calendar year. Sales now knows what is expected of them for the year. 

Sometimes this doesn’t get done in as timely a manner as this. So here’s the tip for sales: get a written budget to the owner ASAP. Without this, you will be judged from the owner’s frame of reference on an ongoing basis and it may not be good for your long term career objectives. The owner and the entire company are expecting you to do what the company needs. This is the accountability that is needed and expected from sales.

Owner(s): Your job and your accountability is to support your people and assist them in every way possible, so as to allow them to accomplish their job as it pertains to achieving the agreed upon goals. If the budget is achieved, then you have done the needed accountability.

Administration: In construction, the mantra has always been, “On Time and On Budget”. In order for this to happen, the company must have good record keeping. This is the major task of administration. It is difficult for you, especially when a lot of members of a company aren’t very diligent at turning in their paperwork. Even though they are not as diligent as they need to be, this is where administration has to persevere. Without accurate record keeping, it is difficult to make correct decisions as to where the company is and is not. Administration’s accountability is judged on achieving accurate record keeping on a timely basis.

Production: As mentioned before, the mantra in construction has always been “On Time and On Budget”. Production is responsible to bring in all of the jobs they do on time and on budget. This is achieved through working closely with estimators and adjusters, and creating an accurate scope and timeline. This directly affects how estimators will bid their future job opportunities, and impacts their job close rate. Assuming a 50% close rate, this means that two job estimates are going out for every job they sign. So the risk of bidding a wrong number falls back on what production is producing when it comes to estimate vs. actual job costs. It is critical that you get your paperwork in both accurately and timely. Production’s accountability is judged on bringing in their jobs on time and on budget.

Accountability is needed so a company can be as profitable as set up in the company budget. Not making a profit is a very unhealthy place for anyone to work. Take a look around your company, and do a little cleaning if necessary to be sure everyone is on the same page about the direction the company is heading, and accountable in their individual role.

Wishing you good business and good profits!