Remember to schedule the start date for your yearend review and planning for 2022. This process should run November 15 to December 31. Do the drill. You will get out of the exercise the problem solving, growth and profits based on the amount of effort you put into it. Good stuff in, good stuff out!
As always, the first order of business is to check October sales and production to be sure they match company goals. If your sales and production are off, you must reduce your overhead spending the same amount. If you do not, your profits will vanish by the end of this year.
Start a review of your employee handbook for changes (if you have one). Start writing your employee handbook if you don’t have one. Get a strong start with our manual. An employee manual protects both you and your employees. You can review ours here.
Also, be sure that you state in your employee manual somewhere that any injuries, no matter how small must be reported immediately. Some unscrupulous employees who are injured over a weekend will try to file a workman’s comp claim on Monday, claiming they got hurt on Friday. Protect yourself.
Schedule a yearly review for all employees. Schedule this individual meeting sometime during the month of December and your review(s) should be completed by the middle of January 2022 at the latest. When you’re done, have them read and sign the employee manual again. Every employee should be asked to sign it, every year. That will help reduce many if not most employee related problems for you over the coming year.
Continue your ads for winter work (January – February – March) you need to be advertising in 5 to 6 different mediums to attract the most leads. The best is a good website, we recommend contacting Brian Javeline at www.myonlinetoolbox to develop a website that generates leads. You might also consider sending out a newsletter or maybe even writing a Blog. Be careful if you decide to take on that chore. Newsletters and Blogs can gobble up a large amount of time and if you don’t keep them up with regular posts, you are wasting your time to even start one.
Start planning ads for spring work (April – May – June)
It is also time to get your ads out for your “Thanksgiving to Christmas Specials”. Send a postcard to old customers wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving. Let them know you are still interested in them and their homes and ask how you can help make their home a better place for them to live.
Get out ads announcing that you install and take down Christmas decorations (if you do). This is a one way to help cover your overhead expenses and keep employees busy if things get slow because you didn’t advertise one full job cycle back. There are several companies out there doing training on holiday lighting. Look them up and see what training and materials they have available.
Start or finish writing your Business Plan. It coincides very well with the planning you are already doing for 2022. Companies that have a good business plan always do far better than those that haven’t taken the time to write one. We talk about how to write a business plan in this article on our website.
Start a review of your company contract. If you have had any problem jobs this year, develop language for your contract to plug any holes that caused problems in 2021.
Check that all your subcontractor licenses, bond and insurance paperwork are up to date. Yes, there are still people out there trying to work without those docs. We continue to see problems with subs not having insurance or too little coverage. Many smaller companies have simply let their insurance drop. Be careful getting involved with them. Be diligent. If an unlicensed or uninsured contractor gets hurt on your job, guess who gets to pay? Get started with our Subcontractor Manual.
Check the maintenance schedule for your office building. Make sure you are ready for winter. Get your pipes wrapped and your vents blocked. Install your heat tapes on pipes that are exposed to the wind and cold. Winter is on its way. Get your vehicles ready for winter as well.
Schedule a time now to take your wife/husband out to see the holiday lights, look at store windows, and wander through the shopping malls or whatever. It’s a great way to spend time together and chat. Have you ever eaten a roasted chestnut? Give it a try.
November Comment From Michael
Once again, I want to remind you to be careful with bonuses. Thanksgiving bonus, Christmas bonus, year-end bonus. If you give bonuses, don’t label them, or they could be considered part of your pay package whether that’s your intent or not. It only takes one employee or former employee to complain to the state about a Christmas bonus that wasn’t received this year, and you could end up having to pay said bonus whether your company made a profit or not.
Bonuses should only be paid at the discretion of the company owner. The company owner should decide how much, when and what for. Put the terms of how any bonus can be earned and paid in your employee manual and make sure all employees read and sign it.