You may have read an ad slogan, “No job too big or too small.” This is an expensive way to operate. Does it sound to you as if the company’s management has a real plan? What it really sounds like is the company is willing to take any work it can get. It also sounds as if this company has not optimized its work flows, work force, or resources for particular types of jobs. It is casting a wide net instead of going to the right fishing hole with the right bait.
Not every job is the same, “only smaller or bigger.” One job may differ dramatically from another in terms of resource utilization, personnel development, building a client list for work that fits your core expertise, office overhead, callback risk, and many other factors.
Let’s say your firm has a Level II thermographer (smart of you, but only one?). You get enough thermography work to utilize this person’s qualifications an average of 20 hours a week. The balance of this person’s workload is basically wire-pulling jobs.
If your sales people are selling lots of wire-pulling jobs and you price those to make a profit, this does not mean you are optimizing your profit or your revenue. It means your sales people are underselling 20 hours (or more) of higher-profit thermography work every week.
Let’s say that last year, the company president wanted to increase the number of Master Electricians from two to six. A great investment. Now if a job requiring a license comes along, you’re covered; but is that the right way to look at it?
Your sales people should be seeking jobs that require a Master Electrician, so that all six licenses are being fully utilized to the extent possible.
It’s not about being able to handle any work that comes your way. It’s about deciding what specifically your company will offer (and can do well), then going after that work. You want to match, as completely as possible, your capabilities and your work.
If you have underutilized capability, you’ve left money on the table. So assess your capabilities and update your business model to the maximize use of what you’ve got.
A mismatch can work in the other direction, also. You have positioned and marketed your firm as X, but you see holes in your capabilities. What is the solution? Fill those holes via training, hiring, and test equipment acquisition.
It’s a mistake to seek work that merely keeps your people busy and jobs rolling in. That is an ineffective way to manage the business. Instead, focus on matching all aspects of your business to the work that best fits your business model, and go after that work. You will achieve higher profits on greater revenue.