All of us have different goals, but the common denominator for every construction business is this: We want more (more money, more work, more time off – with pay, more leads, more bids, and more resume-building wins).
The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem
you had last year. -John Foster Dulles
Busywork: Chipping Away Construction Business Profits
If you want more construction business, first get yourself in a position to manage it. Many companies say they are busier than ever. Being busy can be a trap for construction business management.
It “keeps key people overworked…without time to plan, prepare, think, manage…” says George Hedley.
Being busy sometimes means issues aren’t documented properly and communications aren’t shared with necessary team members and stakeholders. When you’re too busy, you’re forced to make decisions without the necessary information.
“Busy” doesn’t make more money. In fact, it can erode profits. It’s time to leave putting out fires to the fire professionals and to make more profit.
Here are some tips:
- Admit you need more help – Overworked employees (and you) make mistakes. Get some support and stop asking everyone to do more. What’s not getting done? You can better balance your construction business by shuffling assignments and adding personnel, not subtracting.
- End overtime – It’s a money drain and working 50+ hours/week reduces productivity and morale.
- Stop bidding every job in the pipeline – Bid better. Carefully analyze and bid on the right kind of projects for the right customers against worthy competitors.
- Make pre-project planning standard – Once you’ve won the bid, hold a pre-project meeting with the estimator, project manager, superintendent/foreman, etc. Review the bid, project requirements, and:
Then allow time to prepare:
- Construction work plan
- Crew requirements
- Equipment needed
- Working budget
Never sacrifice quality and professionalism because you’re “busy.” Review meetings can examine your construction business performance. They allow you to make changes sooner when changes can still make a profit margin difference.