A lot of people talk about marketing their company, but not enough of them have actual data to back up what they say and think. Unfortunately, there is a belief in the industry that the company with the highest volume is the smartest company. There is also a belief that people are telling you the truth when they describe the processes that are occurring within their company. Sometimes owners don’t know they don’t know. I regularly get the opportunity to view the internal workings of a lot of companies. I see and hear that the owner and the employees are not working together as well as they think they are. When this is pointed out with specific examples, both sides tend to get very defensive. When it is clearly understood by all individuals, without shaming and blaming, it allows all individuals and the company to move forward in a more profitable direction. 

The word “marketing” means different things to different people, so that when individuals do marketing, they usually get different results that do not achieve what the company needs done. When the focus is changed to business development, it makes it much clearer that the goal is obtaining an individual’s business for the company to earn a profit for the individual’s company and a paycheck for the individual that secured the work for their company.   

I would like to have you consider making a list of all of the types of work the company did the years of 2019, 2020 and through the first six months of 2021. At the top of each list, place the most profitable work for the company continuing to the bottom of each list with the least profitable work the company did. I would guess that your book of business has changed between Jan. 1, 2019 and June 30, 2021. You know what types of work you are currently doing, but I’m guessing that a large amount of your past clients do not know what additional types of work you are doing. If this is the case, it would be worth your future economic wellbeing to communicate with them regarding your new capabilities. At the same time, it will be even more important to listen to what type of work they need done. 

For whatever reason, it appears that business owners like to know the owners of other businesses that they work with. This speaks to the owner spending 75% of their working hours being out and about looking for the right kind of work (most profitable) that your company is capable of doing. This also allows the owner to know what needs to be done and who on the business development team is doing what the company needs done. That being said, the owner can focus the business development team on securing enough of the most profitable work to fit the production team. If your development team cannot secure enough of your most profitable work to keep your production team working, then let them secure the second most profitable type of work to feed to your production team and so on, down your list of past jobs. This process will bring to light the idea that the company is a for-profit business. It will also bring to light who needs sales help to meet the company’s needs. 

Everyone in your company wants more of something. Your task as the owner is to find out what each person’s desired “more of something” is. It is not always money. It may be more time off, or it may be more education, or maybe more equipment to make their job easier. The list will go on and on depending on what everyone wants. The point is that without a profit to pay for what they desire, you will most likely be unable to meet their desires. This will cause them to seek what they want at another endeavor outside of your company. The cost of this turnover is one that most companies can ill afford. So what am I suggesting you do? Determine what work the individual person has to do in the company to generate the money to afford you the opportunity to fund their desired goals. Be aware that it may be that what they desire is not possible at your company. The two of you can then seek fame and fortune apart from each other at no additional expense to either of you. 

Do you know what your overhead cost is? If you don’t, you need to determine what it is. The reason is that as you go down your company list of profitable jobs, you are going to discover that you did jobs that cost you money to do the work. They were losers that you need to stop doing in the future and forever more, until you can figure out how to make the profit you need to continue in business. Gee whiz fact from the IRS is that two-thirds of all businesses go out of business in their first five years. If you get past five years, you either get the picture of what you need to do in the future, or you will continue to fail or you run out of money. 

So let’s go back to the list you made and add up how much money you spent getting each type of job. The amount should include all costs associated with getting the job. That list should include the cost of the individual’s compensation, vehicle expenses, expense account, bonuses paid and any other costs associated with the effort to obtain the job. You will also begin to see if an individual is worth their compensation for the jobs they are bringing in. 

Yes you have some work to do, but it will be worth it to you!