Coming Up for Air

The death of the 70-hour work week
By Craig Patchin
May 9, 2018
THE TALK... | Management

The economy is hot, construction is healthier than it has been for many years, and window and door dealers are running faster than ever. This business activity is welcome—most of us remember the vacuum sound that started in 2007-2008 and continued for years. So yes—bring it! However, many of the dealer owners we work with are working 70-hour weeks to keep up.

If you fit in that demographic and have your head down in your business, there is a danger in running forward as fast as possible. Consider the old story about the difference between a leader and a manager moving through the jungle. The manager leads the troops, hacking away at the growth, and ensuring the team has sharp tools and is engaged in the mission. The team makes wonderful progress, and all seems well… until the leader shimmies up a tree, looks around and announces, “wrong direction!” 

With your eyes focused on the next task, you can run into things you didn’t see. Plus, you need to bring your eyes up to get a bird’s eye view, a different perspective, to know if you are still on course.
 
There are two considerations leaders should make, for their own sake. The first is what that 70-hour week costs in terms of your health, joy and family. If you don’t have enough resources that allow you to work a reasonable work week, something is suffering. The second is to consider ways that may allow your team to get their work done, your business to thrive, and for you to be able to have that work-life balance.
There are dealers that are growing right now, and even without owners working 70-hour weeks. The secret is investing in the right tools, an installed system that takes your current team and operations and puts them on steroids. Why don’t you come up for air and take a look at the tools available to help you run your business?
Craig Patchin is the owner of Window Design Center in Madison, Wisconsin. A 23-year veteran of the window and door industry, Patchin also serves as a principal of PATH|ERP, a software company devoted specifically to window and door dealers.