Create a Planning Rhythm for Your Construction Company
Do you have a strategic plan for your construction business? Some business owners in the construction industry resist the strategic planning process because they see it as a time-consuming project that returns little value. Most of us have heard stories of business owners spending a lot of time (and a lot of money) creating a business plan only to have it collect dust on a shelf. Others believe they only need a strategic business plan if they are going to borrow money from the bank.
If you view a business plan solely as a document, as another item on your to-do list that needs to be checked off because someone told you it was important, chances are you won't gain much value from the process. Plans are built upon assumptions and those factors underlying those assumptions are bound to change in a dynamic industry like construction.
Contruction companies that establish a regular strategic planning process, on the other hand, are better equipped to identify changes in their environment, understand how they affect their plan assumptions, and take advantage of new opportunities when they arise.
Part of establishing a planning process is meeting with your team on a regular basis to review the plan, set goals, recognize achievements, discuss opportunities and threats, etc. Depending on the size of your company you may have different types of meetings (attended by different levels of staff). For example, If your construction business has between 1 and 25 employees, your strategic plan may cover what you want to accomplish over the next 3 to 5 years. But in order to stay on track and adjust to new opportunities, you may set up a pattern of meetings that looks like this:
- Annual Planning Meeting: Working on your plan for two consecutive days.
- Quarterly Planning: One day.
- Monthly Meeting: Half a day.
- Weekly Meeting: Anywhere from 30-90 minutes, depending on your team size.
That is just one example of how you can establish a planning rythym - you'll need to find a rythm that fits your company. And don't worry about getting it exactly right the first time, you can always adjust.
When you conduct these meetings on a regular basis, you will begin to establish a rythym in your business. This rythym helps keep everyone on the same page and working together. They know what the plan is, why you may not be addressing an issue now (you've already planned to tackle it next month), and how their daily activities fit into the plan for the company.
Maintaining your rhythm is important. One thing you can do to maintain your planning rythym is to make the first item on your agenda the setting of the next meeting. Sharing meeting results with team members who didn't attend a particular meeting also helps keep everyone involved.
If you haven't adopted a strategic planning process, I highly recommend doing so. By doing so you will be creating a vision that enables every individual to see how their role fits into the big picture.