(If you’re not a football fan or if you don’t like the Seahawks and you just want to skip to the business ideas, click here.)
Football is a lot like business. In football, your goal is to win. You make a game plan. And then it’s a struggle against the opposition. In the end, you either win or you lose — you reach your goal or you don’t.
No matter what you thought about the Super Bowl — even if you wanted Denver to win or if you don’t like football at all — there are some big ideas you can take away from the winning team.
Here are three techniques you can borrow from the Seahawks:
1. Re-name the days of the week
(For you football fans: Carroll has his team practice getting turnovers every week! The Seahawks scrimmage until the defense gets one out of the offense.)
This is a perfect example of: you get what you emphasize.
How can you put this winning technique in your own business? Set up specific times during the week to work on the important areas of your business. Schedule this time — and then execute it week after week.
At Roof Chief, we talk about five big areas of our business. If you’re doing well in these areas, then you’re doing well in your business:
- Customer Service
Which of those areas do you need to work on? (Think about it — you already know the answer to that question.)
So do the work each week. Here are some ideas, inspired by Coach Carroll’s winning Seahawks:
Finance Fridays. The end of the week is a great time to sit down and review the numbers. Where are you at for the week, the month, and the year? What is the average profit margin on your jobs? Are you hitting your goals? What does your backlog look like?
Schedule half an hour on Friday to sit down and look at your numbers. Then you can set your priorities for the week to come.
Word-Of-Mouth Wednesdays. Word-of-mouth can be huge for a business. Talk about it with your team. How are your current customers’ feeling about the jobs? Are they happy or are they frustrated? Check in with them. Stay on top of customer service, deliver great results, and reap the rewards of positive word-of-mouth from your happy customers. That’s your job on Wednesday.
On this day, you can circle back to some previous satisfied customers and ask for referrals.
You can use this day, too, to check in on your other forms of marketing. How are your truck or yard signs looking? Those things — and the impressions they give people — are part of your word-of-mouth, too.
If you want more ideas about what to work on each day of the week, get in touch with us.
Does renaming the days of the week sound corny to you? Well, it wasn’t too goofy for this year’s Super Bowl champions. Or the rest of the NFL, for that matter, who want copy what works in order to be game winners.
2. All team members should know what to do — and then they should work on doing it consistently, day after day, week after week.
The Seahawks practiced the same way every week. They worked on the same tasks every week. And every week, they acted as if they were about to play a championship game.
When it came time to prepare for the Super Bowl, the team didn’t change things up. They practiced the same way as always.
A routine works. It gives people time to learn what to do in their roles.
Make sure your employees know what to do. In roofing, you don’t see oddball, crazy situations very often. Instead, you see pretty similar projects and problems time after time. You shouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel with every job.
Instead, your team should know what is expected of them. They should know what to do — and they should work on doing it well every day.
3. Be positive and — along with the rest of your staff — put the team first
Coach Carroll is different from most football coaches. He is noticeably very positive and encouraging. You never see him having a tantrum on the sidelines.
Being positive about the work will naturally inspire your employees. So will the feeling that “we are all in this together as a team, doing great work so that everyone wins.”
Show up each day like you’re happy and lucky to be doing the work. That feeling will spread to your employees . . . and to your customers. Possibly even to your potential customers.
Richard Sherman is a pretty famous member of the Seahawks. He is very talented, but he also had a very public lapse of good manners. That moment aside, have a look at what Sherman recently said about Pete Carroll’s coaching style:
“All he asks is that we be ourselves and protect the team’s reputation by not saying anything controversial.
I haven’t exactly earned straight A’s in the latter department lately, but he sees it as a learning experience, just like the games. He finds the positives when we lose, in addition to the things we can improve on. I’ve never been on a team where the coaching staff was so positive. There isn’t a lot of yelling and cursing at players. There’s no talking down to players. It’s about conversations, not aggression.”
There’s a lot of cool lessons in that comment — and a lot that apply to roofing contractors and their businesses:
Protect the team’s reputation
Isn’t that important for your employees to do? To protect your company’s reputation?
We all know that positive reviews from previous customers help bring in more business — either from referrals or from Yelp and Angie’s List.
We want our employees protecting our company’s reputation. We want our employees doing the best job they can — and we want them treating our customers right.
Don’t do anything to mess up my company’s reputation! Protect it!
The coach sees a problem as a learning experience
If you’ve got good employees who are committed to you and your company, when they mess up, it can be a learning experience.
That means learning so the problem doesn’t happen again.
(Of course, to be fair, if your employee is not good — or not committed — then their problems are not learning experiences. Bottom line, you don’t want those type of employees on your team.)
There isn’t a lot of yelling and cursing at players. It’s about conversations, not aggression.
That’s a work environment that inspires employees to go out and do great work.
If you find yourself yelling and cursing at your employees, you’ve got the wrong employees. Or . . . they’ve got the wrong leader.
To win the Super Bowl, the Seahawks had to be very, very good. Take what worked for them and use it in your business. Get even better so you can win big, too.