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5 Stages of a Restoration Business System

Aug 08, 2023

5 Stages of Restoration Business Systems


From the desk of  Klark Brown (no AI used in creation of this article)

What are Restoration Business Systems?

A Restoration Business Operating System, simply put, is how a business operates. It represents everything from an organization’s structure to how it sets goals, hires people, runs meetings, and ensures that everyone is focused, aligned, and working toward building a thriving organization that has high-trust relationships with all its stakeholders. Every business has some kind of Business System (regardless of how small) from day one.

Some Restoration Business Systems are designed by external experts and decades of trial and error to address all major elements associated with building a great company: concepts, tools, and disciplines.

We’ll explore a few different profiles.

As you scale through the different profiles, you will seek more structured tools and resources to ensure that the information and concepts are aligned and focused.

This is a major component of R[OS]™
Restoration Operating System
A fully integrated framework on how best to create and build a profitable, impressive, and consistent company.

More about R[OS]™ as it is developed.

A company cannot effectively operate and grow without a Business System. But it does not have to be huge and intricate. Start simple and build/ improve as you grow.


Breaking down the 5 Stages of a Restoration Business System

  • Accidental

  • Intentional

  • Designed

  • Holistic

  • Integrated


We will do a high-level flyover of the general 5 stages. Do not despair about where you are. Just own it and focus on the steps to elevate. We all share the same path. No one jumps levels or is educated at birth on how to grow a business.

99.9% of companies learn and evolve from mistakes. This blog is simply created to help you accept where you are and give you clarity on where you can go.


This is commonly the launching point for most new owners and entrepreneurs. You do what you know and what has gotten you here. That’s natural. You would hard pressed to find anyone that cannot remember their early days.

Hustle is a common word for Accidental Profiles. Do what you MUST just to make it work.

You will of course lean into your problem-solving traits and live in the character of the technician or OPERATOR. This serves as a great and inspiring example to your team.

You set the tone of engagement and flexibility.


While this is a critical phase and self-awareness profile, you need to realize that this is not a resting place. Don’t allow the comfort of achievement firmly plant you in complacency here.

Lean into the scary idea of change and challenge everything.

Running your organization in this mode allows a culture of “everyone does anything”. Before you know it you have a growing TECH STACK. Multiple tools and applications that get the job done, but create an abundance of confusion and extra energy.

Accountability is difficult and almost non-existent. You spend more time making sure everyone is doing their jobs AND fixing what was done wrong, leaving little time to grow the business.

The Accidental System is mostly improvised, reactive, and disorganized. Survival is the goal.

This will continue to exhaust everyone as sales and delivery increase.

Action Points

  1. Learn. Educate. Digest Content and read. Set aside isolated time on your schedule to listen to Audible, read and subscribe to blogs or newsletters
  2. Create a Tribe. Meet others (locally and nationally). Attend industry conferences. This industry is full of people like you that want what you want. Find them and support one another.
  3. Look Forward. While keeping the ship going where you are, always have an eye on the next profile. What does that look like for you.
  4. Get organized. Find a simple system to organize yourself and others. If this is not a strength of yours, find someone who this is their strength.
  5. Join RBA (Restoration Business Academy). This is an affordable option for coaching when affording a coach might not be reasonable yet. This will partially solve numbers 1-4.


As a business stabilizes and gains customers and team members, it begins to use the learned experience to create a purposeful if preliminary, operating system.

You might form what we sometimes call a Senior Leadership Team (SLT). A group of trusted and tenured staff that show a willingness to adhere to a set of processes and deliver a consistent result.

You have identified and fine-tuned the tools and processes you do in most of your common areas.

An Intentional Profile company has become more clear on who they are and who gets to join the team, contributing to a better staffing culture.

Your system allows for better meetings and streamlined training and adaptability for new challenges.

You no longer adopt and create new systems daily or weekly to simply provide a bandaid for a bullet hole [Read our Blog on this topic].

You move away from habits around being reactive to more proactive approaches.

It is in this profile you begin to understand that while we serve customers dealing with varying levels of disasters, we are not required to run our businesses the same. Control the Chaos.


It can be common that this level creates more cash and a sense of growth that can make businesses spend more than they should to protect their financial stability.

Seasonal spikes and sudden relationships can present new profitable opportunities. While these are incredible, they can also be short live and not often repeated.

Not having a strong financial understanding of the business position can allow premature investments.

You can learn more about this area of your business in our Flagship E-Course here [60 Days to Build a Strong Restoration Company]

Action Points

  1. Build upon self-learning. Strengthen your weakness.
  2. Find measurable differentiators in your marketing and branding that suit your market and service offerings.
  3. Invest in your team and especially junior/ emerging leaders.
  4. Develop a habit of delegation and buy back the time to put yourself in a position to do more profitable and impactful work.
  5. Stay Humble


As the organization continues to scale, the SLT might adopt a Designed Business System that has been configured by an expert in the field based on their experience with tens or even hundreds of businesses. A coach or a mentor adds immense value to a business. If you look at the most successful companies, they have one to several mentors to help them speed up the growth cycle.

Selecting (or even deciding to bring in a coach or a mentor requires ALOT of trust and a clear vision of what it is you WANT. Once you have your personal lifestyle and business goals someone stated, then it's a research project to find someone that has experience and RESULTS in those areas.

A Designed Business System consists of interrelated concepts, tools, and disciplines that work best when used together.

You are never too far from this profile once you learn that GRIND is not enough and you have gained control over your vision and clarity.


Again, there will be times when complacency can sink in and you may feel everything is on cruise control.

Major changes in your SLT can be staggering and drag the leader back in, sometimes without a full vision of all the moving parts. People leave. For both unavoidable and intentional reasons.

Failure (learning lessons) are critical and should be welcomed. They are opportunities.

One huge issue that is seldom spoken about is the growing feeling of separation and anxiety around a founder who now feels that they are not “required”. This sounds ideal, but the little fear of the wheels falling off never leaves. This can be controlled by designing a very specific meeting pulse and dashboard creation. Having a sense of transparency and knowing you will see when you are needed provides comfort.

Action Points

  1. Challenge Systems. Look to expose failure and improve.
  2. Create future visions
  3. Adopt a COACH mindset. Your goal is to spend time supporting and mentoring everyone else.
  4. Allow team failure. Do not be too quick to jump in and prevent.


This is a powerful and pivotal system. You now have data that support time-tested processes and outcomes.

Your sales and marketing teams now have confidence in the deliverability of your product or services.


Honestly, this can be a calm profile and often focus is placed on sales and more opportunities.

Duplication often occurs (new locations or new service offerings) that can put a burden on the company financially and structurally. The feeling of fluidity can create a fountain of new ideas.

Remember that not all ideas are great. Some are simply dreams and should stay that way. Have a strong validation loop with your SLT.

When in a Holistic profile, it is important that you are looking for disruptions and changes in the future.

The Founder must also be VERY clear on how much is enough. Bigger and busier may stroke the ego, but does the additional work, stress and time suck match the goals you set out reaching for?

Action Points

  1. Work closely with a mentor or coach on strategy. Control growth and bounce ideas off walls and see what makes sense.
  2. Focus on the culture of the team.
  3. Watch your Human Resources division.
  4. Manage Cash Flow
  5. Schedule longer vacations or clarity breaks. Your time with a pen and paper can do far more than being in the office or field.


This profile is generally the final level, up from Holistic.

You now have a unified and generally autonomous business where all processes, data, and project actions are in a CRM and visible.

Automation has become a part of the business, without forsaking customer experience.

In the Integrated profile, it is not uncommon that the owner or founder has stepped away from almost all daily operations. This might have occurred in a previous profile, but here is it very realistic.

This new positioning allows for options of new business ideas, investing, passion projects or simply enjoying life with family and friends.

We build businesses because we are not made to be employees. Our vision and creativity yearn to build something OUR way to build a life we see as we day-dream.


If you, as the founder, have not considered this profile and envisioned yourself with freedom, this is a perfect time to consider that.

One symptom is letting go. Many entrepreneurs are natural builders and not comfortable without a full calendar. This will cause anxiety as well as thwart the growth of your team and make them feel they cannot be trusted.

Trust in others can be tested, especially as you are more hands-off.

Action Points

  1. Define and design your next passion
  2. Dig into the things (in industry or out) that light you up. Volunteer, join association committees, or become an instructor or a teacher.
  3. Continue to cast vision among your SLT and make sure everyone knows you are accessible.
  4. Assign Stewardship to your SLT and allow them roles in the vision position. This is how your brand stays relevant.


Assess and identify where you are currently, but do not dwell on it. Where you are now is likely a far distance from where you were when you started.

That pace will not only continue but start to expedite and the leaps will be larger.

Use the agility you have where you are now and spend 10-20% of your time working on getting yourself to the next profile level.

We continually find that our clients and especially the members of our Restoration Business Academy gain momentum and confidence on this sometimes daunting roller coaster.

Continue to drive towards your best and elevate yourself, your staff, the community, and the industry.

Rising Tides Raise All Ships.


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