The issue Terrell had was that the majority of contracts start in the busy spring/summer months. Come October when the growing season stops, some clients want to cancel their service. Since A Cut Above has already done the “heavy lifting” on a property by this point in the year, it’s important that they keep the contract going until the 12-month period has ended. “The late fall and early winter is when we’re really harvesting our profits,” Terrell points out.
Do your employees understand their mission?
This slower off-season is also when Terrell and his management team spend more time on business planning and training. “We’re still having meetings and conducting safety training throughout the busy season, but the fall is when we really focus on process improvements and strategic planning,” Terrell clarifies.
This past year, Terrell decided to conduct an exercise he’d heard about for years but never deemed a priority: develop a company mission statement, vision, and set of core values. After attending a sales seminar by industry consultant Marty Grunder earlier this year, Terrell was compelled to finally do it.
“For the past few years, I’d visit jobsites and often find that what was being done was not what we wanted,” Terrell says. “I’d see lack of efficiency, quality and safety. I finally came to the conclusion that there was a disconnect somewhere; I wasn’t going to simply blame the crews.”
Terrell remembered something he’d heard at a business conference he’d once attended. When companies are growing, there’s little time to think about things like mission statements and core values. But a growth spurt is precisely when mission statements and core values become so valuable to a company.
So Terrell wrote a company vision. He then asked his three-person management team to use that vision to create a succinct mission statement. Then, another nine employees were involved in the process of creating a set of company core values.
“We print these out and hang them all over our office and shop,” Terrell says. “We’ve even created pocket cards for employees to take with them. Now employees can make better decisions throughout the day.”