Bright Sparks Podcast

What football coaching can teach you about running your electrical business.

May 19, 2022 David Thomson
Bright Sparks Podcast
What football coaching can teach you about running your electrical business.
Show Notes

One of the biggest things that ever happened to professional football was the introduction of the video camera. Because not only did these cameras mean that we could watch games in real time, it meant that coaches could record the players and see what worked and what didn’t. And when they knew what worked and didn’t, they could build strategies and training systems and end up with much better teams. And not only that, the players could watch themselves, which is something they had never been able to do before and they could see for themselves where they were going wrong and where they were going right.

Now, what's this got to do with your business? Well I'm not saying that you should walk around with a video camera all day and live stream yourself. What I am saying is that you should learn the lessons of the coaches and use the power of analysis to break through the roadblocks in your business and build yourself a winning team. 

So, how do you do this analysis? Well, there are a thousand different ways to do this sort of thing but I’m just going to focus on just one because it’s simple and effective and I know it works because I’ve done it many times myself.

Here’s what you do:

Get yourself a sample of a few recent sales invoices from jobs that you’ve done. It’s important that they’re recent so the details are still reasonably fresh in your mind. You don’t need a lot - five or six will do to start and make sure you have a variety of job types if that’s possible.

Now for each one of those jobs, ask yourself a series of simple questions and jot them down.

I’m not going to tell you all the quotations you need but they could include things like:

What was the gross profit margin on this job?

  • Did we budget for time and materials on this job before we started?
  • Was the job completed on time?
  • Were there any problems on the job and were any of these predictable?
  • What opportunities were there for winning extra work while we were on the job and were we successful at winning it.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, and you’ll find that the more questions you ask the more questions you’ll want to ask.

So do you see where I'm coming from? The point of the exercise is to look at the past to find patterns of where you went right and wrong.  Once you get to see those patterns clearly, it becomes much easier to build systems to change losses into wins.

This is basically the same system that top coaches use with their video cameras. And I’ll tell you something else that coaches do. They involve their teams in this whole process. So in addition to sitting in a room and looking at the footage, they sit down with the team and go through the whole thing with everyone involved.

There are two reasons they do this. Number one is that smart coaches realise that they don’t know everything. Doing this exercise with your team means that you're likely to get perspectives and ideas that you haven’t come up with yourself. More importantly though, the coaches realise that it’s the players that actually do the playing and they have to be the ones who understand the coaching strategy so they can make the changes that need to be made. Top coaches understand that most of the time, players don’t need to be told, they need to be persuaded.

So in your own business, get your team involved in this process. In particular, get them involved in the parts that affect them - like problems on site and customer satisfaction because that will get them engaged and all pointing in the same direction. 

Put aside some time to do this exercise. Do it in an afternoon and make it in the calendar during time when you won’t get interrupted. And if you’re getting your team involved - sometime beer can help - just sayin’

And one other thing - sometimes it can  help to get someone else involved to facilitate this proc