From the Editor - March 2022

Focus your energy on what’s most important for your company. Hire help for the rest of it.

In so many of the contractor profiles we feature, it comes up again and again that the best part of working in this industry is solving customers’ problems.

You enjoy helping people. But that doesn’t always mean being in the trenches, or the basements or under sinks. Sometimes it means being in the office, doing everything you can to maximize the efficiency of your operation.

If you really enjoy the personal interactions with customers and your team, you might not be as excited to tackle the general business side of things. Accounting, marketing and financial planning may not be in your wheelhouse. Or, maybe you enjoy time in the field but really can’t wait to implement a new digital marketing strategy you read about, or spend time researching new pipe lining systems.

Even if you enjoy all aspects of running a business, you might not have the time to do all those things well. It’s important to build a good team around you and delegate when possible. Some of you are business people who started a drain and sewer company, and others are drain people who started their own business. Either version works out great if you know what you’re good at and have great help.

Kristy Black, owner of Black Hydrovac, featured in this month’s issue, is one of the former. She has a business management degree and a strong entrepreneurial drive, and started a hydroexcavation when she became enthralled with the technology. She learned in the field as she went along, hired a knowledgeable team, and is now leading her startup through its second year in business.

No matter what category you fall into, one important skill to cultivate is finding the right people to create a team. “I took from my previous professional experience the skill of hiring people who work together well and have other people skills, and that translates into success no matter what the industry,” she says.

Lawrence Snow of Valley Plumbing and Drain Cleaning, also featured this month, started out in plumbing, and after some years working as a vice president for Mr. Rooter and as a business coach, he decided he’d like to start a business with his son. While he’s paid his dues in the field and still enjoys going out on jobs, he knows that in order to helm a successful business he had to make company finances his priority. But while he’s knowledgeable about running a business, he hires out marketing work to a firm because he knows it’s not one of his strengths. “Most people suck at it,” he says. “They just throw money out the window and hope something works.”

He recommends other owners do the same: “Stick with what you’re good at and don’t dabble in the other crap.”

Whether you’re in the field or in the office, play to your strengths and seek help where you’re not as strong.

I hope you enjoy this month’s issue. 


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.