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Management Tools for Parking Area Sweeping

The Systems You Need to Drive Your Company's Success

by Ron Roberts, 'The Contractors' Coach'
Posted in April, 2007.

The Contractors Coach

Ron Roberts You need to know why and how you do the things you do in your business. Then, you need to be able to replicate them -- even with personnel changes -- month by month and year by year. The following is a list of the systems most contractors need to develop in order to systematize their business.

As you look at each of the following, give thought to the impact having such a system in place could have on your company's growth and success. Note that a few of the systems shown are only applicable for contractors that offer more services than just parking area sweeping.

Most sweeping contractors need to address the following:

  • Marketing
  • Selling
  • Staffing
  • Planning
  • Tracking
  • Financial Control
You need to develop -- and then train your appropriate employees to carry out the activities needed for -- each of the following subsystems. Once they can perform the subsystems for you, you have maximized the value of your company, freed yourself from the daily grind of the company and positioned your business for explosive growth. Here's a look at each of the systems shown above, and the subsystems that make it up. Sweeper Parts Online


The purpose of your marketing system is to produce a flood of qualified sales leads. You need systems for:

  • Generating leads from new customers
  • Generating leads from existing customers
  • Prodding referrals from existing customers
  • Collecting testimonials
  • Staying in touch with your customers
  • Publicizing your business
  • Developing new advertising pieces


The purpose of your selling system (and you need to think of selling as a system) is to get commitments from buyers to hire you. The selling subsystems are a combination of sales tasks, motivation, and development. You need systems for:
  • Assigning and prioritizing leads
  • Qualifying leads
  • Following up with prospects
  • Creating proposals and presentations
  • Processing orders
  • Following up with customers after their project is finished
  • Motivating the pursuit and procurement of profitable sales
  • Improving salesmen's selling skills
  • Networking
  • Strengthening your customer relationships


The purpose of your staffing system is to get the right people in your company and get them placed in the right jobs so that they are successful individually and as a group. You need systems for:
  • Advertising job openings
  • Interviewing
  • Creating and updating job descriptions
  • Communicating performance expectations
  • Monitoring market wage rates
  • Dismissing non-performers
  • Developing employees' skills
  • Rewarding good performance
  • Selecting the right people for promotion


The purpose of your planning systems is to eliminate negative surprises by proactively addressing problems before they arise. You need systems for:
  • Determining which markets you are going to pursue
  • Creating your annual budget
  • Creating a cash flow budget
  • Increasing your bonding capacity
  • Planning project completion
  • Scheduling your work crews
  • Determining when to buy equipment


The purpose of tracking systems is to make sure your business is performing as you need it to. Your tracking system should be monitoring the following items:
  • Expenses vs budget (job and company)
  • Revenue vs budget
  • Gross profit vs budget (job and company)
  • Labor productivity (job and company)
  • Advertising effectiveness
  • Selling effectiveness
  • On-time completion
  • Employee performance
  • Equipment costs
  • Labor time by primary tasks
  • Receivables outstanding
  • Sales backlog
  • Safety efforts and lost time injuries
  • Estimating accuracy
  • Market-up success
  • Re-work


The purpose of financial control systems is to make sure that your business is on solid financial ground. You need systems for:
  • Developing relationships with bankers
  • Developing relationships with bond and insurance agents
  • Qualifying and evaluating your CPA
  • Getting the proper business licenses
  • Processing payroll
  • Making scheduled federal and state tax payments
  • Managing your cash
  • Verifying money is not being improperly removed from the company
  • Ensuring suppliers' bills are legitimate
  • Collecting late receivables
  • Paying bills are paid on time
  • Paying employees are paid appropriately
  • Filing liens and claims
  • Collecting employee information
  • Sending out 1099s
  • Getting the proper insurance coverage
  • Verifying lease terms and payments are proper
  • Building and managing your credit line
Quite a list, eh, even though I'm sure I've left a few out. Nobody ever said running a business was easy... The fact is, though, that you can't prevent problems if you don't have a system or process installed to prevent them. And, your business can't grow if you and your managers are all too busy running day-to-day operations to get systems in place that allow and encourage that growth.

If you have a problem in your business, check to see whether you have created the system that should be preventing it. If not, create the system, then test it to see whether it permanently resolves the problem. If it doesn't, you probably need to refine or improve your system.

To better develop a personalized action plan, I suggest you print this article. On the printout, first mark off the systems you already have in place. Then, prioritize the remainder (1 to 5) in terms of your perception of their importance you think they have in your particular business. You'll then have a 'blueprint' of your action plan in getting these systems in place.

More information about Ron Roberts' and his company may be found on his website We also have online an audio interview taped with Roberts at the 2007 National Pavement Expo. You'll also find a link to sign up to his informative e-newsletter on his site. You may also reach Ron via email sent to, or by calling (913) 961-1790.

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