August, more than halfway through the year! It’s time to check your July sales and your production to be sure they matched up with your company goals. If your sales are lower than projected, it’s time to either increase sales or reduce expenses to keep the financial balance in your company. If sales are higher than projected, good on you! Make sure your profitability is also in line with your projections; material cost increases might throw your numbers out of kilter.

The holiday season begins in less than four months. Plan your holiday advertising now. Get your printing done, and arrange the advertising for fall work (October – November – December). Any promotions should all be on your website because that’s where potential clients will look first.

One way to gain publicity and do a good deed at the same time is to help some of the elderly folks in your area still living in their own homes. It can create goodwill in the neighborhoods you want to work in. A few years back, we suggested you create a drawing where folks submit their name, address and phone numbers and you draw 3-5 of those names out of the hat at some point in October. Those you draw get help for no charge (you’ll need parameters – over a certain age, income limitations, what you will do, time investment on your part, etc.) Figure out the details and let the local media know about it. You get the publicity for doing it and you get names to add to your mailing list. Now, I’m throwing a rough idea out there, see if you can make it work or improve on it. Give it some thought and see where it goes. You will never know if this approach will work until you give it a try.

There are things you can do to prevent any slow times during January, February and March of 2022. Start planning ahead for those months. Don’t wait until January when you have nothing to do to start thinking about advertising. You need to be getting in front of potential clients now if you want work on the books during the winter months. Get started now.

Have you checked your vehicles lately? Have you checked the oil, tire pressure, transmission and differential to be sure the oil is where it should be? Have you gotten in the vehicle and driven it a few miles to be sure it’s running right and the crew is taking care of your investment? Are vehicles being kept clean, inside and out?

Check that all your subcontractor’s license, bond and insurance information is up to date. Same song, same verse, get it done. If you don’t have a subcontractor manual, get started with ours.

Make sure your employee manual has been signed and read by all of your staff. I cover the whys and wherefores and the need for an employee manual in chapter 6 of Markup and Profit; A Contractor’s Guide Revisited. (now available as an audiobook as well). The problems an employee manual can prevent are worth many times the investment; if you don’t have an employee manual, this one can get you started.

Be sure and check the filters on the air-handling units in your office. Many times these plug up and can drastically reduce the AC’s ability to keep your space at a reasonable temperature. If you have any signs of dust on the return air grills, it’s time to clean your filters.

Have you checked your vehicles lately? Have you checked the oil, tire pressure, transmission and differential to be sure the oil is where it should be? Have you gotten in the vehicle and driven it a few miles to be sure it’s running right and the crew is taking care of your investment? Are vehicles being kept clean, inside and out?

Did you remember your spouse’s birthday this year? How about your kids? Don’t forget mom and dad. A nice gift certificate on an employee’s birthday always helps out. It doesn’t have to be big, $10 to a coffee shop or ice cream parlor. Just be there.

Take your wife/husband on a date. Take your shoes off and walk on the beach. Or find the highest spot in the area, hold hands and watch the sun go down. Don’t forget the ice cream. Make it your “first date” again.

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