Building a Better Roofing Business: A 6-Step Guide to Strategic Business Planning

By Satta Sarmah Hightower 11-04-2020
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Whether you want to grow your revenue, revamp your service offerings, or expand your marketing program, it all starts with a plan.

But creating a plan doesn't just involve jotting down a few ideas. You need a strategic business plan for your roofing business that breaks down your big goals into smaller components you can tackle over time. Here's a roadmap for how you can build a strategic business plan that could help you take your business to the next level.

Step 1: Set SMART Goals

Good strategic business planning starts with setting goals, or more specifically, SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, a specific goal for your roofing business could be to hit a certain amount in revenue or to hire two project managers by the end of the year.

Your goals also should be measurable, meaning you need to attach a metric to them to gauge your company's progress, noted Danny Kerr, director of assessment at Breakthrough Academy, during a recent GAF webinar, "How to Build Your Quarterly Strategic Plan" (register here to view on-demand and use Branch code: GAF).

"You need to have a number so you can see, 'Are you ahead?' or 'Are you behind?' and by how much? Then you can start to deduce why," Kerr said.

Attainable simply means your goals are realistic. It's normal for entrepreneurs to get excited about where they want to take their businesses, but if you're currently making $500,000 in annual sales, a goal to increase sales to $5 million in one year probably isn't attainable in that time frame.

"Make sure that when you're setting up a goal for a quarter or a year, that it's not your ego speaking and that it's very grounded," Kerr said.

Setting a relevant goal is important to remove distractions and focus on the key areas that are connected to your business's mission. Your goal also should be time-bound, meaning you have a set date for achieving your goal.

Step 2: Think about Your Company Values

Your company values are the principles that guide how you do business, from how and whom you hire to how you engage with customers and position your brand. Your company should rally around your values, and your goals should connect to these values.

By aligning your goals with your company values, you tie them to a larger mission and vision, whether that goal is to donate 1 percent of revenue to local causes or to be able to provide customers with better service in the form of a ten-year free service guarantee.

Step 3: Understand Your Purpose

It's crucial to understand your "why," which can motivate your team when it may take longer than you hope to achieve your goals.

Your purpose could be providing a healthy growth environment for your team while creating a culture where work-life balance is the rule rather than the exception. Every organization will have a different "why," but articulating your purpose is crucial to building a thriving company.

"People go through pretty real stuff as a business and if you don't have a core 'why' that connects to you as an owner, especially in your heart, it can be easy to just fold when things get too crazy," Kerr said.

Step 4: Identify Your Most Audacious Goal

With your company values and big-picture purpose in mind, it's beneficial to develop an audacious goal for your business.

"This is the dream-state image, where you want to be five years out. If you could have everything go your way, what would be the perfect situation for your company?" said Benji Carlson, assessment specialist at Breakthrough Academy, during the webinar.

For example, this goal could be for your company to hit $10 million in annual revenue with a 12-15 percent profit margin within five years, while you as an owner work less and have more time to spend with your family. This example illustrates that even though a major goal is more visionary and longer term, it can still be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Step 5: Create Yearly Goals and Initiatives, and Break Them Down into Smaller Parts

In the $10 million revenue example, this could mean setting a 2021 revenue goal of $4.25 million with a 12 percent profit margin while taking one full day off per week. To achieve these goals, you need to break them down into even smaller tasks or initiatives. Examples could include a key promotion to give an employee more responsibility or finding ways to improve your marketing.

"Initiatives are the how-to behind the goals," Carlson said. "These are actually activities, projects, or things we need to complete as a team that are going to allow us to achieve the goals that we've articulated."

It's important to break down these initiatives into smaller tasks to make them manageable. For example, if you want to hire three new sales reps by the end of the year, smaller tasks could include developing an ideal candidate profile and meeting with your current sales reps to gather input. Breaking down your goals in this manner can help make them feel more achievable and less like you have a huge mountain to climb.

Step 6: Track Your Progress

Once you map out a strategic business plan with your goals and initiatives, take the time to track your progress. Assess whether you're hitting the deadlines you set for your company and what bottlenecks or distractions you can remove to hit your goal in the timeframe you've allotted.

In some cases, it might be necessary to revisit your goals or certain initiatives and adjust the timeline. As an entrepreneur, you have to adapt as your business environment changes, but that doesn't make having a strategic plan any less critical. Creating a strategic plan can help you establish a clear vision and identify actionable steps for where you want to take your company—all of which may just lay the groundwork for a successful, thriving, and long-lasting business.

Ready to apply these steps to your 2021 planning? Register for our upcoming webinar on November 20th with guest Danny Kerr from Breakthrough Academy to take the principles above and learn a step-by-step approach for creating a simple, yet effective annual one-page strategic business plan. You'll be given the ready-to-go systems to break initiatives down into a weekly focused routine that keeps you on track for the year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Satta Sarmah Hightower is a freelance writer who covers business, healthcare and technology topics for a wide range of brands and publications. A former journalist, Satta holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School.
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