I have had several reminders recently about the importance of good tools. Don’t you appreciate it when you have a tool that works really well? I received a Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas and amused my family by stroking it lovingly each time I passed it for the first few days because I appreciated the aesthetics as well as the efficiency of its performance.
I recently spoke at the Painting and Decorating Contractors of California annual convention. At the trade show afterward I had occasion to speak with some of the other service providers to the painting industry. While as a business coach, I work with many painting contractors to help them grow and manage their businesses, I am relatively unschooled in the tools of the trade: brushes, rollers, sprayers etc. At the convention, I fell into conversation with one vendor who offered such tools, and I was pleased that I actually recognized one of his products called Whizz, which I only knew about it from reading one of my clients’ blog posts. As we made our acquaintance, I mentioned that one of the areas I coach my clients about is productivity of their field crews. As we continued our discussion, the vendor noted that by using good tools rather than cheaper ones, a painter can be much more efficient and take less time to complete a project with high quality results. I don’t know how many painting contractors are losing productivity (and money) on projects because they don’t require that their painters use good quality tools, but it certainly raised an interesting question.
I know that I am personally much more productive when my tools fit my task, are easy to use and sophisticated enough to give me a quality result. My tools are more likely to be software and computer hardware and peripherals, but I know the difference it makes to choose well. When evaluating whether or not to try to cut costs with a less expensive version of a particular software I use frequently, I decided it was a no-brainer to stick with a product that I am so efficient at using and is one of the best on the market. Price is not the only indicator of how perfect a tool is for the job however. I use plenty of free or low cost software that work perfectly for me in certain applications. The main thing is to be aware of what works best for you to accomplish best what you need to do.
If you are looking for the tools you need to grow and manage your business, let me know. I can help you personally or I can point you in the right direction.