Saturday, December 30, 2017

"Here's A New Year's Resolution That We're Going To Need"

The new year, 2018, is upon us. Many have made resolutions for the coming year - they could be personal or business. It could involve adopting new habits or eliminating some. It might revolve around a healthier lifestyle, It might have something to do with being better organized or prepared or getting more things done in a timely manner without facing a last-minute crisis.

There could be more, or maybe none at all. Many people don't feel the need to create new year's resolutions. Others know how easy it is to have good intentions and how easy it is to get off track also.

Regardless, there is one new year's resolution that can be a game changer for us. It's OK if we haven't acted on it yet, but we'll want to do so as soon as we can. There's still time to get it done before the new year arrives. Some people already have one, for those who don't this can make a big difference in the way we run our business in the coming year.

It's the business model. This is part of the business plan, but even for those who do not see the need to create a written business plan, a written business model is quite important and will save a lot of false starts, second-guessing, and confusing marketing messages.

Like any other type of model (such as a scale model car or airplane that many of us built as kids or purchased to put on our bookshelf), it represents the essence of what we do in a capsulized version that we can then share with people who want to help us so they can appreciate what we do. It has a great business decision component also.

The business model is so important and vital to our business success that we can think of it as an express business plan. It doesn't lay out how we are going to get something done, who we going to work with to get our projects completed successfully, how we are going to grow our business, or other important facets of business success - that's for the business plan to address.

What the business model does is express the essence of what we are about and our area of focus.

How many times have we met someone, and they tell us who they are or what they do with just their occupation or profession. Someone tells us that they sell real estate, or that they are an attorney, interior designer, occupational therapist, remodeler, builder, home stager, mortgage broker, or other similar responses. Unfortunately, these answers tell us nothing useful about how we might work with that person or what special qualities they have that we would find interesting or engaging.

It's nice to know that someone is a designer or builder, but then we know many people who are as well. We have no way of separating or differentiating this person from the other people we know that have the same profession or occupation.

If someone came up to us at a business function and asked us who a good referral was for us or said that they would like to help us generate business, what would we say? Too many people respond with a vague generality such as saying that they remodel homes for anyone looking to make a change, that they are an occupational therapist who helps people regain their normal activities, or they are an interior designer who helps people looking for assistance in choosing new colors and furnishings for their home.

Rather than say we do remodeling - essentially any size project, any price point, any type of client, any type of home, and in any location as long as it pays - we can be very specific. We can say that we do kitchen and bathroom remodels for homeowners who are retired or nearing that point who reside in the southwest part of town and need some safety and convenience improvements to allow them to function more easily in their homes and age in place, with a typical job in the $15-25,000 range and generally takes a week or so to complete.

Then, someone will know how they can help us. Also, we can easily determine if a potential project aligns with our business model and accept or reject it based on this simply overlay.

It's not the precise words that make the business model work. It's that we have thought it through to be able to give a specific answer.


Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging in place or universal design, visit or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.