Creating a Work-Life Balance at a Countertop Shop

Nov 27, 2023 | Business

We talk to many folks in the shops and offices of countertop businesses and unfortunately, it’s more common than not to be totally and utterly burnt out.

Mental exhaustion. Emotionally drained. Never-ending stress. The headaches!

It’s no way to live, but it’s the norm in our low-margin, high-speed industry. While it’s easier than not to be discouraged and keep your head down, it’s very possible to have an excellent quality of life with a little life-changing strategic thinking. I know what you are thinking…”tell me more, please, I can’t wait to read the rest of this blog!” Well, let’s get rid of those headaches, shall we?

Why are we so stressed out?

It’s relatively common in the countertop business to work long hours. And as we all know, this is especially true right before the holidays.

But often, owners and managers are so burnt out because there are too many bottlenecks in their processes.

Understanding your business and its bottlenecks is the first step toward making improvements that’ll give you back some of your time and lift the weight of stress. Everyone on the team…and your customers…will notice the difference. So where does a countertop fabricator start?!

💡Read more: Avoid Getting Burnt Out During the Holiday Rush

1. Where can you shave off some time in your processes

30 minutes out of an entire workday may seem inconsequential. But, it all adds up. If you look at the way you are currently doing things from the very start of a quote all the way to following up after installation, I bet you could find a lot of ways to shave off a few minutes here and there.

A good example I recently heard was when talking with Omar at GMD Surfaces. They had a bunch of engineering students come in from the local university to find ways to maximize their efficiency. After their research, one of their suggestions was to move the dumpsters closer so the walk from machine to dumpsters wasn’t so time-consuming. Little changes that cost no money can be a good place to start.

In fact, getting into the practice of looking over your processes is the very best place to start.

💡Read more: Fabricator Profile: GMD Surfaces

2. Build a workflow you can trust

Chaos is stressful. FACT. When no one knows what to do and when or is chasing down the one person with the answers, mistakes happen and stress is at an all time high. Sometimes the schedule is slammed and that’s when you really notice the disorganization. Once you catch your breath, it’s a good idea to find a solution.

So…what if you found a scheduling and job management software to help? We just happen to have one available and it comes with a whole dedicated team of folks to help you get organized!

Carina of Topline Counters says of Systemize, “It has improved not only my quality life but every one of my employee’s lives too! No more stress with scheduling and communications with customers. having everything in one spot, real time is amazing.”

How’s that for less stress?! Just imagine battling the holiday rush where you can be sure things are running as smoothly as possible and any hiccups are handled quickly.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate

It’s always important, but especially when it’s busy. Your team needs to know what they should be working on and your customers should know what to expect. By being upfront and transparent with your customers, you’ll avoid the stressful calls asking where their countertops are and the time that goes into answering questions like that.

Don’t know where to start? We suggest by reading this article about customer service.

4. Quit trying to do it all

There is nothing more stressful than the world on your shoulders. You’re part of a great team, so it’s time to set them up for success. Here’s how…

A great start is admitting you’re working in your business, not on your business. As yourself “What are the day-to-day tasks that are draining me of my time?”

Hiring the right people to fill in the gaps will free up your time for other things, such as other parts of the business, or dare I say… life outside of work?!

We really can’t say this enough…Adding software, machinery, and incentives to your countertop business enables your employees to take some of your tasks off your hands. 

  • No more running to you for answers
  • No more being the only one able to do quotes
  • No more confusion about who needs to be where at what time
  • No more tasks falling through the cracks

I’m sure you can think of a few more bullet points there. You are amazing at what you do. It’s time to pass on that knowledge and get rid of those stress headaches for good.

And the theme is…

You don’t have to handle everything yourself. By investing time into understanding the way your shop runs, empowering your employees, and securing the tools needed to keep everything on track, you’ll see that stress go way down.

Can we help? We offer free sales consultations where we talk about your business with you and how software would help you get to where you need to go.