This article originally appeared on www.plumbermag.com.
Running a plumbing business can be hard and thankless work. It’s not easy. Sometimes, business owners can get stuck in the rut of the job and stop growing as a person. Sometimes they become over-burdened from the challenges they face day after day after day.
Burnout is real. Combating it requires the ability to delegate and to prioritize your time. This can be especially difficult if you’re still running a “man in the van” company and are tied to the business 24/7. Having to take service calls at all hours of day and night leaves you little time to build the business infrastructure needed to grow.
The importance of business systems
Adopting good back-office systems can help prevent burnout and keep you enthusiastic and focused on the task of growing your company.
A pilot can fly a multi-million-dollar airplane by the instruments. With strong back-office systems, a business owner can do the same for his company. There is no need to create them from scratch, though. A successful franchise, such as bluefrog, can provide access to important back-office systems that work right out of the box.
Being able to run that company by the numbers and not by the seat of your pants can reduce burnout because you’re able to fix problems as they occur. To do that, it’s important to have back-office systems in place that feed you accurate real-time information: How many times did the phone ring? How many calls resulted in a knock on the door? How many jobs did we complete?
Those are all different numbers, but when you combine them together and get a ratio, it becomes a metric. That’s the way we create benchmarks and when you’re not in alignment with them, we can make adjustments to get you there.
Celebrate your successes
Having something you’re trying to achieve will reduce burnout because you’re working towards a goal. You don’t really celebrate your successes as much if you’re not paying attention to the numbers. If you have the systems in place to understand that information, you’re able to lift the team up when they hit their targets.
Build a team
A business owner needs to be able to build a team and raise people to a responsibility level to take over tasks the owner doesn’t like to do. Figure out what tasks you excel at and enjoy doing. Then you can focus on those tasks while allowing other people to take over some of the mundane or tedious tasks you don’t enjoy.
Use management training to cultivate employees who have potential and ability. Create an environment where they want to excel and grow. Having that culture that rewards people for learning creates an environment where people are willing to learn.
Friends to lean on …
Being able to reevaluate and rejuvenate yourself on a regular basis is important. It’s important to be part of a network where you have other business owners to visit with and access to a team of people with a strong desire to help you reach your goals.
Know when to get out
When burnout truly can’t be overcome, it’s time to sell your company. You will need to have put a strategy in place to maximize the value of your business long before that moment, though. You’ll also want to have solid back-office systems to provide accurate information to show a potential buyer what your company is worth. This is where joining a franchise, that offers both brand recognition and strong administrative support, can pay off.
Jeff Moody is president of bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, one of the fasting growing plumbing franchises in the U.S.