Your roadmap to creating the perfect business plan

For any KBB professionals putting together an action plan for the year, Keith Moore, Houzz’s director for product marketing, shares his checklist to help give your business a more competitive edge

A strategic plan is essentially a roadmap that outlines the vision for your business, what you want to achieve with it and how. If you don’t already have one in place, now is certainly the time to get it down on paper.

It doesn’t need to be complicated – even a concise one-pager will help clarify your goals and priorities, and get you thinking about a plan to achieve them. If you already have something created, take the time to revisit it and make sure it still works for you.

When putting it together, start by identifying a mission statement that includes your high-level vision for the business – what you offer, your ideal customers and what sets you apart from the competition. Next, include goals and add a section with the methods you’ll use to achieve each of them, identifying any additional resources needed. Lastly, finish up with a realistic time-frame to achieve your goals.

A new year is always a good time to take a step back and look at what is going on around you. The home improvement industry is notoriously fast moving, so take the time to research what your competitors are doing, see whether there is any new government legislation that might affect your business and look into any advancements in technology or software that could help you improve or redefine your current processes.

Embrace sustainability

One market trend that is likely to continue growing rapidly is the demand for sustainable practices and energy efficiency, with the latest Houzz & Home report showing a significant interest rise in improving energy-efficiency since 2020 (47% in 2022 compared with 35% in 2020). Now is the time to get ahead by showcasing your expertise.

Strengthen client relationships

Strong client relationships not only lead to increased client satisfaction, they also open the door to potential future projects or referrals. One of the keys for this is prioritising smooth and transparent communication. According to the Houzz Kitchen Trends survey, 40% of homeowners said it was the thing that would have most improved their experience working on a kitchen project.

Regularly check in to ensure your client feels informed and answer any questions or concerns promptly. Establishing these open lines of communication shows that you value their input and are committed to their satisfaction.

Focus on recruiting and retention

According to the Houzz 2023 State of the Industry report, one-in-10 businesses reported that hiring or being understaffed is a challenge. With labour shortages in construction fields widely reported, it’s more crucial than ever to attract and retain top talent. When trying to hire, consider whether there are alternative avenues or backgrounds that you might not have considered before. Many industry professionals tell us they’ve seen success from apprenticeship routes that allow them to train on the job, often with a subsidy from the Government. Retaining your current talent is also key. Whether it’s praising performance, introducing incentives or professional development programmes, consider how you can ensure your employees feel valued.

Maximise revenue

Strong businesses have robust revenue streams, so if you want to strengthen your business this year, taking a look at your revenue is a good place to start. While increasing the number of clients is one way to increase revenues, there are others too. Designers tell us they are considering charging more for their services, looking to add new revenue streams such as additional services and packages, or trying to reduce the financial drain on their businesses by improving systems and software. Regardless of which avenue you might choose, having clarity on your financial situation is vital —allowing you to identify areas that might not be profitable and other issues early on.

Use technology

Leveraging the right technology can help you drive major efficiency gains, and many homeowners now expect the transparency and speed that tech enables from the pros they hire. Whether you want to improve efficiency, reduce costs or deliver higher-quality projects, the right tech can make it easier to achieve your business goals, and implementing it into your existing workflow is more straightforward than you may think.

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