Have You Been Infected by FOMO?
It is stressful, packed with anxiety, disruptive, puts one in a “funk”, and can cause stomach pain and a cold sweat. And no, it is not flu.
It is known as the dreaded contractor ailment: Fear of Missing Out, better known as FOMO.
Here is an example: A group of eight friendly HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contractors get together for coffee at 6:30 am the second Tuesday of every month. They solve the world’s problems. Then, they talk business specifically, their businesses.
Three of the companies discuss the power of a business plan producing results. Two of the companies chat about tracking KPI’s, Key Performance Indicators. One company raves about joining SNA, Service Nation Alliance, and going to Boot Camp and the positive impact that has made in profitability, organizational strength, and business value. One company talks about targeted marketing making a difference in business performance.
And, one company is quiet, says nothing, wonders why it is “stuck in the mud in the middle of the ditch”, and why nothing seems to work. Nothing moves the needle positively forward. Employees leave, making things even more difficult. This owner wonders: “What are these other guys doing that we are not? Why are they happy while my blood boils? And, what are KPI’s and SNA and why don’t they just speak English? And, more than anything else, where are we missing out?” Then it happens: the cold sweat, the confusion, the stomach pain, and the stress. Yes, it’s infection by FOMO!
This contractor is missing out big time and it is costing his business, his family, and his employees. He has done everything he knows to do. So, what is the solution? Why is this business stuff so difficult?
Now, it is time for a little NCIS investigative work. What is the business climate, the environment in which these businesses exist? Is the culture professional and team oriented? Is the operational efficiency orchestrated through process design? Are office staff and field staff people being developed for success, not just taught “nuts and bolts” to do a job? Is the company branded? Does the company give back to the community? Is the company managed by the numbers? Is there an organizational chart for three to five years forward with accompanying job descriptions? Is there an employee handbook, safety training schedule, safety manual, and appropriate labor information in a Compliance Zone?
The Stories of those Eight Companies at the Coffee Klatch
Three Companies and Business Plan
Sam, Chris, and Fred attended a seminar on Business Planning. They then learned that business planning is much more than a budget. It is a human resource plan, a training plan, a marketing plan, a compliance plan, and a risk management plan. It is a capital improvement plan. It is about flash reports and measurements for the company and every employee. The plan evaluates labor capacity and balances installation and service labor ratios. It is referenced at every company meeting and has color-codes for ahead, at, or behind plan. And these companies are following their business plans. They are immune to FOMO.
Two companies and KPI’s
Bill and Rudy use the same accounting firm. The accountant made suggestions about tracking the progress of the company by tracking metrics, KPIs. The accountant even provided examples of how to use the data. This really made a difference. The accountant participated in company business review meetings once a month to help out with operational interpretation of the numbers. The accountant’s advice, “Have a conversation with your company because every question has an answer in the numbers.” These companies are also immune to FOMO.
One company and SNA, Service Nation Alliance
Jack and Alice, husband and wife owners, attended the Success Day held at Service World Expo a year ago in Las Vegas. The content was right on target with their needs providing resources, guidance, software business tools, and process controls all supported by training. It also included HR backup and rebates from over 100 vendors. The focus was on the contractor and a profitable exit strategy. It was about branding and having a unique selling proposition. A business model that had real value that could justify a saleable interest. So they joined the Alliance. They were immediately placed on an Advisory Board with a mentor, a seasoned industry expert.
Jack and Alice quickly realized the weekly on-line meetings were more than social; they were about business issue solutions. The AB group was a support network, and it was also a challenge. It was like an ad hoc Board of Directors with built in accountabilities. Jack and Alice are immune to FOMO.
One Company and a Marketing Plan
Mark is convinced his role as an owner was to direct a hard-hitting marketing agenda that produced leads. His job was CEO of Lead Generation. He knows that leads create success: leads for installations, service, and maintenance agreements. And creating leads is a 24/7/365 effort. It includes a weekly blog, social media, and free downloads from the company website to educate consumers so they make better value based decisions. Neighborhood marketing was the responsibility of every employee. Outbound calling to the company’s active and inactive customer database happens regularly. And, billboards, direct mail, and some cable TV are on the agenda. Another company is immune to FOMO.
One Company Headed Nowhere
Then there was Abernaffey. He was unusually distant today. Why hadn’t someone told him, much earlier in his career, about business needs and requirements? All his training was technical, not business, not marketing, and certainly nothing about culture and leadership. He never got involved in community outreach, never joined Rotary or the Chamber of Commerce, never got involved in any type of networking like BNI, Business Networking International, and never attended any kind of industry event. There was never enough time for that. And so the FOMO infected him and his company.
The Take Away
Top performance companies put goals and controls in place and retool processes until the desired outcome is achieved. They manage processes, not people. They invest in the energy of employees and do not micromanage. Top performing owners seek out other high performers and learn from them; they do not try to do everything themselves. They take time to visit other top-notch companies and open their own doors to others. They recognize their businesses are retailers and the real competition is other home improvement companies going after the same household discretionary income. They focus on their value proposition.
So next time, the coffee klatch meets don’t walk away with FOMO. Instead be the one who fights the infection in others by sharing your best ideas.
Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potentia. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area and do not forget to register for International Roundtable in New Orleans on April 4 - 6!