Create a sellable, profitable, scalable contracting business

4 Level Coach
Jan 7, 2020 · 6 min read
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One often-overlooked method of growing a trade business is mergers and acquisitions. Jim Kaloutas from Kaloutas Painters, a successful commercial painting and industrial flooring contractor in Boston, implemented this concept with great success. Will get back to Jim and what happened for him in a moment, but first…let’s answer a big question.

Aren’t mergers and acquisitions just for national BIG brands?

Do things differently, sooner

Recommendations on what to do differently can include:

2. Get good at getting more of the great customers and fewer of the not-so-great customers.

3. Raise your prices. Review your prices in comparison with market trends.

4. Employ talented and skilled staff sooner, and invest in their training.

5. Educate yourself.

6. Train your closest team members as soon as possible so that you’re not the only person knowing everything that’s going on.

7. Go into commercial contracting sooner, but with the right infrastructure, information and employees in place.

8. Challenge your limiting beliefs, and prepare for real growth.

Growth brings complexity and struggle

The book Mindset by Carol Dweck discusses the difference between having a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. If you have a fixed mindset, there’s no room for change, growth or excitement. Struggles seem like failures and can take you down. But if you have a growth mindset, you can thrive off challenges that come with growth.

How to see better and further — expand your view

Other benefits include:

· Helpful suggestions that you wouldn’t have thought of, like going to visit your customers, introducing yourself and building relationships

· Accountability in setting SMART and scary goals to push you forward

· Helping you figure out what your business values are

· Recommending helpful books and information tailored to your industry goals

· Developing yourself so that you can provide more value for your customers and your employees.

Think of it this way — no professional athletes compete without a coach to help them.

Marketing systems, processes, and efficient sales

Next, look at your sales process. The buyer wants to get the best value for the money spent, and they will be looking at your sales system. Is the owner doing the sales or is there a sales team? How effective is the sales team? What do the metrics look like — monthly numbers and leads closed? Do you have an efficient process for marketing, generating good leads, selling and closing deals? Without this, you have nothing worth selling.

Avoid the shiny appeal of diversification

How long does it take to make a business sellable?

Here’s the 5-year (or 10-year) plan to making your business sellable:

2. Have high potential employees strategically placed.

3. Create the ability to get the right customers consistently.

4. Set the business up to run without you.

5. Have 3 years of excellent financials to prove the business is solid and steady.

The truth is, we all will get older and eventually become unable to keep doing everything we’re doing now. Moreover, you don’t want to watch someone else take over your business (that you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into for years) at a low rate. They may employ you in working to make its potential explode after it’s no longer yours. You deserve to get what your work and leadership is worth. Once the business can run on its own, you can set up additional avenues that add even more value. Whatever your approach, if you consider selling, be prepared five years in advance.

Consider the future of contracting today

Are you an entrepreneur, manager or skilled worker?

You need someone to ask the important questions: What will we do differently one year from now? What services/products will we add and/or remove? What will our numbers look like?

If it’s not you, that’s okay. A personality test can help you figure out who and what you are and work with it to get support for the tasks you’re not good at.

What to do if you don’t want to sell

Benefits of creating a sellable business

2. It doesn’t need the owner to be hands-on all the time to be efficient, profitable and growing.

3. Multiple opportunities open up because value creates appeal.

4. You have the time to explore ways to add more value.

5. Financially, you could avoid liquidation when the industry changes or when a crisis hits because you’re prepared.

You’ll remember we started this article talking about Jim Kaloutas and I want to give you an idea of how mergers and acquisitions can work to build your business. Jim started the company doing residential contracting with his father, and it wasn’t until they switched to serving commercial customers that growth exploded.

A few years later, after investing in a coach and gaining more wisdom and experience, they set a goal of reaching 10 million dollars and did much of that through “takeovers.” Once they hit that, the next goal has been much more audacious — become a 100 million dollar company. And guess what, they’re a quarter of the way there now!

Would you like even more helpful input on creating a sellable business? Click here to listen to the full podcast episode featuring Randy Stanbury, CIO, and Founder of 4 Level Coach and Jim Kaloutas of Kaloutas Painters for even more great tips and examples.

4 Level Coach

Taking control of businesses to help them with freedom

4 Level Coach

Written by

Are you stuck on the hamster wheel of your business? Take back control and grow your business to earn that freedom you always dreamed of.

4 Level Coach

Taking control of businesses to help them with freedom

4 Level Coach

Written by

Are you stuck on the hamster wheel of your business? Take back control and grow your business to earn that freedom you always dreamed of.

4 Level Coach

Taking control of businesses to help them with freedom

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