The 7 Habits of Effective Restorers

People often look for an easy solution or a quick fix when it comes to scaling their business.

Alex Duta

People often look for an easy solution or a quick fix when it comes to scaling their business. In reality, there is no quick solution, but there are some essential qualities that many successful restorers have that have proven to be fundamental to their company’s growth. Over the years, I’ve spoken to many entrepreneurs about how they run their businesses and their advice on building multi-billion dollar companies. In this article, I want to share with you some of the qualities many restorers share that helped them succeed. Implementing these habits in your day-to-day workflow can help you tremendously.

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1) Being Proactive Vs. Reactive

Yes, I understand our line of business as restorers mean our actions HAVE to be reactive. When we get a call, we send our crew chiefs, project managers, dispatchers, etc., out to the scene. It’s the typical actions restoration contractors make. However, looking at it from the other side, as a restoration entrepreneur, you need to step away from that reactive state and be proactive and intentional with your actions.

In the business I helped run, I took a proactive approach. No, I can’t predict the future. It certainly would be neat if I could, but I don’t. However, I was attentive when it came to our workflows. I determined that if our turn on receivables spiked up, we would have a cash problem four months from now. Some people in my position would say, “hey, this isn’t my problem NOW, so I’ll just worry about it later.”

WRONG, we were able to catch the problem early on, and instead of waiting till the last minute, we addressed it immediately. We took steps to coach our Accounts Receivable (AR) staff to collect faster, so we wouldn’t have that cash problem down the line.

2) Goal Setting & Results Driven Managing

There is a lack of strategic planning among restoration contractors regarding what they will do and how they will grow. I think it’s crucial if you want to have a very successful restoration business that you set GOALS. Set weekly goals, monthly goals, and yearly goals. You will present these goals to everyone within your company, so they know what everyone is working towards collectively.

3) Buying Back Your Time

One of my mentors, Dan Martell, wrote a book about buying back your time that’s coming out next year. But one of the biggest takeaways is that YOU, as a leader, should utilize your time wisely. Time is valuable, YOUR time is valuable, and that’s why certain tasks are not worth your time.

It’s essential to get the tasks done but use your staff to delegate which tasks they can do. If it’s tasks that someone else can do, like an executive assistant or an office admin, etc., make sure to give them those responsibilities to shift your focus on big projects or priorities. I am proof that this works, I’ve had an assistant for the past four years, and she has helped me tremendously. I consider this concept to be fundamental.

4) Empowering Others to Win

If you as a leader want to “win,” you must create an environment where it allows everyone to feel like they can win. Everyone should have a sense of empowerment when the company as a whole accomplishes something. If your employees get the sense of “owning a piece of the pie,” you can see the difference in their job performance.

Your employees will feel the urge to give it their all, not because you tell them to but because they want to. It would help if you looked into ways to incentivize other people to get into the “I want to win” mentality. One way of accomplishing this is showing them how they can grow within your business. The concept goes hand in hand; if they can grow within the company, the company grows as a whole.

5) Leveraging Your Differentiator

In the restoration industry, you might find that many of these businesses advertise and say the same things as others. You’ll see these companies advertise “IICRC Certified,” “Direct Insurance Billing,” or “24/7 Emergency Response.” 

So if that’s the case, what makes them different? YOU, as a leader, must take the time to answer that critical question. Once you know what your differentiator is, use it as your leverage. What makes you unique will make the key difference when it comes to someone choosing between you and your competitors.

This concept should trickle down to all aspects of your business. Define what particular value you can bring your customers and what value you can bring your employees. 

Labor shortages have impacted many industries. So what can your company do to retain and attract employees? You could include anything from offering a unique benefits plan or having an attractive company growth structure. These could be ways to attract top talent and prevent them from going to work for the other guys.

6) Focus!

I think this is something many of us are guilty of, working on one thing, and then something suddenly comes up, and then you work on something else. Before you know it, it turns into a vicious cycle of working on several tasks but completing none. There is no one-size-fits-all for getting your tasks done; find what works best for you. 

To achieve this, I use a variety of tools, including meditation. I’ve also made “Google Calendars” my best friend and use it as a guideline for what’s on my to-do list.

7) Running a Marathon, Not a Sprint!

View aspects of your business and life as a marathon, not a sprint! In a marathon, you’re still working towards that end goal, but you’re pacing yourself as you do it. Creating a balance between your health, business, relationships, and spirituality is vital, and you should not neglect them.

You must ensure you care for yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. It’s also very valuable that you check in on people on your team once you do that. Burnout is very real. It’s happened to me before, and it impacted my mental health. It can happen to anyone. I’ve spoken with other contractors who’ve told me it got to the point where they wanted to take their own lives. There is no simple shortcut to obtaining a successful company. Everything will come into place at its own pace.