“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.” General George Smith Patton, Jr. – (1885-1945) Senior Military Commander, US 7th and 3rd Armies, WWII.

 

For the coming year there may be several things you want to consider doing as a leader in preparation for your business growth.

REVIEW YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS:

Let’s start with the basics. Do you have a corporate attorney for your alarm or electrical business? If you do not, you are literally placing yourself and your company’s future in jeopardy. Do you have signed contracts in place with each of your customers for recurring services? Are they periodically reviewed for legal status and compliance? Are they designed for your ultimate exit strategy when you decide to head for the islands after your successful career? If you are sued what is your plan of action?

REVIEW YOUR FINANCIAL STATUS AND TAX OBLIGATIONS:

Congress just passed the most sweeping tax revisions for corporate and personal obligations in thirty years. How does this affect your business and most importantly your employees? You need to know; and if you do not, HIRE a tax attorney to make sure you are in good standing with the appropriate government agencies. This could be crucial again for your future financial dreams.

REVIEW YOUR EMPLOYEE POSITIONS:

Start by making sure your employee handbooks are up to date. You NEVER know what incident may befall one of your employees inside OR outside the company. When it happens and all of it hits the fan, make sure your handbook covers you and your government compliance as much as possible. Make doubly sure there are documented and signed annual performance reviews in the individual employee files.

REVIEW CUSTOMER STATUS ISSUES AND CONTRACTS:

We all know about those pesky customers that cause you problems. You won’t be surprised when you sit down with your accounts manager and realize invariably its just 10% of your customer population that is repeatedly causing you headaches each month with billing, payment and unwanted alarm issues. May be its time to consider jettisoning those problems and utilize your time more wisely with new non-threatening subscribers. Also, you will realize that there is a curious connection between those customers who either do not pay, or are repeatedly late payers and the worst false alarm dispatches. Seriously…

LASTLY, PREPARE A THOROUGH BUSINESS PLAN FOR THIS COMING YEAR:

Without that good plan going forward you will continue to wander aimlessly enjoying the residuals and signing that next customer. With that plan, and a specific target your can show consistent growth and productivity. But you MUST share that plan and those goals with your employees. TELL THEM what you expect and ask them to perform the necessary skills to make it happen. Educate and train them for this purpose. They will perform well if they are prepared and encouraged with leadership from the top.

Have a great year and may the best business times be ahead.

Bob Neely

Executive Director

Alarm Association of Florida