How to Set Achievable Goals for Your Contractor Business - Simplifying Goal Setting

Written by Chris Scully
Published on September 12, 2023

Share This Post on :

The saying "a goal without a plan is just a wish" still holds true today. While our expertise is deeply rooted in remodeling and construction, the foundational principles of goal-setting and attainment are universal, bridging the gap between aspirations and reality for any company.

While the framework of SMART goals has proven beneficial since 1981, there are other paths to success. As business legends throughout history have demonstrated, sometimes raw determination and flexibility are the keys.

If your company has plateaued or seems directionless, it's time to revisit how you set and pursue your goals. Here's an approach that ties in logic, perspective, and actional steps.

1. A Historical Perspective

Did you know it took Thomas Edison 10,000 iterations to perfect the electric light bulb?

Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb displays perseverance in innovation. When he began research in 1878, gas lighting dominated but had major drawbacks. Edison believed electricity could power lighting in a safer, cleaner way.

Despite widespread skepticism, Edison assembled a team to create an effective electric bulb. After testing thousands of filament materials and designs, they produced a 13+ hour bulb in 1879. This milestone encouraged Edison to continue perfecting the design through over 10,000 more iterations.

By 1880, Edison had a commercially viable 1,000+ hour bulb. His willingness to learn from failure was crucial to success.

If Edison had restricted himself to the rigid SMART goals framework, he might've considered the task unachievable after the 1,000th trial. Edison's example reminds us that sometimes, tenacity overrides frameworks.

Action Item: Reflect on a moment where persistence in your construction business paid off. Use that as a reminder that not all goals fit into conventional boxes!

“I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” - Thomas Edison

historical - edison lightbulb 10,000 trials until goal met

2. Simplified Goal Setting

Decide what you want to accomplish, then take action to make it happen. Your goals could be completing a remodel on time, hitting a revenue target, or taking on a certain number of projects annually.

The key is to keep your goals clear and concise. Vague or overly complex goals can be confusing and make it hard to track progress. Determine the 2-3 most important objectives you want to achieve this year. Write them down in simple, straightforward language. For example, "Complete ten kitchen remodels" is more effective than "Try to take on more kitchen jobs this year."

Post your goals where you'll see them daily, like your office wall or computer desktop. This keeps them top of mind and serves as a visual reminder to stay focused. Share your goals with employees and project teams. Aligning the entire company around common objectives improves coordination and accountability.

Periodically revisiting your written goals will help maintain motivation as well. Reviewing what you set out to accomplish puts things in perspective when challenges arise. Simplifying your goal setting creates clarity of purpose and direction.

Action Item: Write down three primary goals for the upcoming year. Keep them clear, concise, and visible, and share them with your team.

3. Create a Flexible Plan

Your business plan is the roadmap from your current position to your goals. Start simple, then modify as needed. If your goal is a revenue target, determine how many projects you need to get there. Adjust based on market conditions and opportunities.

The key is creating an initial roadmap and then tweaking it as you go. Remodeling requires flexibility, so avoid rigid plans. Regularly reassessing keeps you on track in an ever-changing business. It’s also important to know how to pivot or abandon tactics that aren't working. 

Action Item: Use a visual tool, like a flowchart or a whiteboard, to outline your plan for meeting your goals. The visual representation can be motivating and helps in quick adjustments.

4. Tactical Actions for Immediate Results

A strategy is the big picture or overall plan for achieving a goal. Getting it done requires tactical planning (actionable tasks) that can be completed in a short time. If your goal is ten kitchen remodels this year, what tasks must be done? What is the correct sequence for those tasks? That’s what tactical planning is.

To make meaningful progress on your goals each week, focus on 2-3 high-impact tactical actions. Here are some examples:

  • Call five prospective clients about upcoming remodeling needs. Getting direct referrals kickstarts the sales process.
  • Send an email newsletter campaign showcasing recently completed projects. Include photos, testimonials, and call-to-actions to contact your company.
  • Meet with a kitchen design specialist to evaluate new trending styles, materials, and layouts to incorporate.
  • Build relationships with people in related fields who may have customers they can refer to you, such as realtors, attorneys, architects, and interior designers.
  • Interview and make offers to qualified candidates to build your remodeling team.
  • Contact your supply chain contacts about pricing and availability for upcoming projects.
  • Post on social media about a completed remodel, highlighting before/after photos and consumer benefits.

The key is choosing quick, tangible steps that create momentum. Momentum compounds when you complete smaller tasks that take you closer to the goal. When you’re growing your remodeling business, those small steps add up.

Action Tip: Every Sunday or Monday, jot down three tactical actions aligned with your broader goals. By week's end, check your progress.

writing down goals - tactical actions to take

5. Embrace Adjustments, Not Failures

If something isn't working, see it as feedback, not failure. Tweak your strategy, but stay committed to the goal. You won’t fail unless you give up.

Feeling disappointed or frustrated when projects hit roadblocks or metrics fall short is natural. However, the most successful construction companies view these moments as opportunities for learning and growth.

If a project goes over budget due to unexpected issues, reflect on what you could do differently next time to plan for contingencies. If your quarterly revenue is below target, re-evaluate your sales and marketing channels.

Setbacks happen to every business. Maintain perspective by focusing on progress made rather than perfection. Avoid reacting emotionally or giving up entirely. Stay open-minded, ask questions, and process lessons learned.

Action Tip: Block off time every month to review your progress on goals. Make any needed changes to your plan or timeline based on the evaluation. But also recommit to the overall objectives and vision.

6. Persistence & Perspective Pays Off

The construction niche frequently faces unexpected challenges like weather delays, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions. Your ability to persist through difficulties and adapt will set your company apart.

When you encounter setbacks, try to maintain perspective. View them as temporary obstacles rather than fatal flaws. Remind your team that while challenges come and go, your goals are enduring. 

It’s common to fixate on breakdowns and forget the bigger picture. But most failures are localized issues, not signs your business is doomed. If one remodel goes over budget or marketing engagement drops, diagnose the specific roadblocks. Then, implement targeted solutions rather than scrapping major initiatives.

You can address most setbacks while keeping sight of your broader vision. Remain focused on the macro goals while refining the micro tactics. Persistence and adaptability will set you apart from the competition.

Action Tip: Celebrate small victories along the way. They fuel motivation and remind you and your team of your capabilities.

telling team about goals met for the quarter


As you redefine your strategies, remember that while structures are built with bricks and mortar, businesses are built with goals and grit. Modern frameworks, like SMART goals, have their merits, but they're just one tool in an expansive toolbox. Edison didn’t need it, and neither do you.

Actionable Steps to Take Toward Your Goals Today

  1. Remember that not all goals have to fit within a standard framework. Think outside the box.
  2. Write down clear, concise, visible goals to share with your team for the year ahead.
  3. Use a visual tool like a flowchart to outline your plan for meeting goals. It helps motivate and enables quick adjustments.
  4. At the beginning of each week, jot down three tactical actions aligned with broader goals. Check progress by week's end.
  5. Block off monthly time to review goal progress. Make any needed plan/timeline changes and recommit to the overall vision.
  6. Celebrate the small wins to ignite motivation and remind you and your team of your capabilities.

We Can Help You Create Your Strategic Business Plan

As a remodeling company owner, stepping back and getting the big-picture perspective you need to set a clear strategic direction can be challenging. You handle day-to-day demands, put out fires, and work to grow your business. But finding time to craft a thoughtful long-term strategic plan can fall by the wayside.

That's where the team at Action Management Pros LLC can help. We specialize in guiding construction business owners through the strategic planning process. If your business needs clarity, direction, and a fresh perspective, contact our team today. Bring your challenges, aspirations, and vision. Together, through business coaching, we'll chart a path forward.

Ready for a transformation in your construction business strategy? Book a free consultation call with Action Management Pros LLC now.

Share This Post on :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready to transform your construction business?
Let's meet to discuss skyrocketing your business. 
Schedule a free consultation now!
Schedule a consultation →
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram