Danny Kerr, founder of Breakthrough Academy and METALCON presenter, kicked off the first of METALCON’s six-part Metal Building Academy (MBA) last week with usable tools and steps to help anyone in the trades business create a simple strategic plan and how to implement it. This MBA series is one of METALCON’s new initiatives aimed at providing ongoing educational opportunities and essential training for industry professionals. What would normally cost hundreds of training dollars, this series is available at NO CHARGE (keep reading to register).

Catherine Bruce, owner/CEO with Enviro-Cat and session participant, commented, “I didn’t realize that there were tools available to us small business owners. Danny explained them so well that it was easy for me to understand them. I look forward to receiving the templates and putting a Strategic Plan in place.” 

Danny emphasized, “Making a strategic plan is the best defense to distraction.” He explained, “Once a strategic plan is in place, implementing it needs to then be part of your weekly calendar.” To get started, Danny broke down the process in three easy-to-follow steps: 1) Define company core values and your “why” using the one page strategic plan template 2) Set your annual goal (think B.H.A.G) using the S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet and 3) Execute using the Implementation Checklist template.

“You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.” — Dr. Gail Matthews, Psychology Professor


Danny says, “Core values drive long term play.” Be sure you have your core values defined prior to setting your goal. He cited his own company core values as examples: “quality over quantity, embrace the journey, be real, integrity – your word is everything.” These company values also help to define the “why.” He added, “If the why is documented and understood, it can help you ride the wave of running a business.”

Next, Danny referred to the process known as “BHAG – Big. Hairy. Audacious. Goal” to start goal setting. He shared, “Big ideas, typically ones that are five years out, can help motivate and set a direction.” By using one of BTA’s available templates, goal setting can be done using the S.M.A.R.T. method: S – specific, M – Measurable – A – Attainable – R – Relevant – T- Time Bound.

He explained how to break the goal down into parts starting with the overall annual initiatives and then breaking these down into quarterly “rocks.” The “rocks” are the specific action steps to be done each quarter that ultimately tie back to the overall annual initiatives.


Once the S.M.A.R.T. plan is in place, how do you implement these “rocks?” Break down the “rocks” by listing the steps to get the items done, assigning a staff member to each item with an estimated timeframe and you now have a critical path that is both attainable and doable.

“Consistency over time is what makes real change.”

To help execute the plan, Danny suggested creating a company dashboard that everyone can view with the goal numbers versus current numbers. From that, create an organization structure that includes actual deliverables for each position versus just a job title to help make each member of the team accountable. Hold weekly staff meetings and quarterly reviews to review the plan as a team. And while Danny advised keeping the annual goal constant, he said the quarterly plan can be tweaked along the way.

Danny suggested, “Be the coach of your people, not just the boss.” This ties into recruiting and retaining staff (which will be covered in Session two of the MBA).

To conclude, Danny asked the group to name one thing that you could do from today’s session. The participants offered: write down the goals, block scheduling, boss to coach for managers, and listing deliverables with co-workers. All doable and attainable action steps from this one-hour session.


ARE YOU SORRY YOU MISSED THIS 1ST SESSION? DON’T BE! Click HERE to watch it ON DEMAND. Once you’ve watched the session, you will have access to download the free templates and get started on your strategic plan.



This “mini-business education” will benefit: Owners/GMs/Principals • Project Managers • Sales • Marketing • Residential Contractors • Commercial Contractors … really anyone on the business-side of the metal construction industry who is ready to become a more effective leader and/or increase performance, profitability, and productivity. 

A little more about Danny Kerr and Breakthrough Academy … Their firm’s goal is to help entrepreneurs in the trades grow company profitability, while taking back control of their time. Currently, Breakthrough Academy works with over 300 trades business owners, managing over $900 million worth of revenue, and was named Canada’s 106th fastest growing company in the Globe and Mail’s 2020 Report on Business; the third consecutive year on a top growth list for the brand. Click on the video to learn more: