Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost-Benefit Analysis for commercial construction contractors

Cost-Benefit Analysis and numbers

The cost-benefit analysis allows commercial construction subcontractors to compare expected potential revenues to likely potential costs.

In effect, a cost-benefit analysis allows you to minimize risk and proceed only when there is more certainty than uncertainty.

While the essence of decision making in the construction industry often calls for quick reasoning and decisive action, an adept cost-benefit analysis takes time to gather information from trusted sources before a decision is made. Simply put, it is a technique used to bring greater objectivity into the decision-making process.

Keep in mind; this method works best when you consider the possibility of unforeseen events or circumstances.

Prioritizing through analysis

Whether the question concerns projects, new hires, or acquisitions, using the principals involved in the cost-benefit analysis also allows you to prioritize through added clarity.

Using a cost-benefit analysis helps make the implications and impact of potential decisions, something that can be visualized.

For example, you determine you need a new piece of construction equipment. Your choices are:

  • Purchase the big, shiny, new one
  • Buy the used, well maintained one
  • Lease or rent one

The purchase or rental price of the equipment is not the only cost to consider. For example, expected maintenance and upkeep costs, downtime, as well as potential resale value, need to be examined in the process.

Then throw this bit of difficult information into the mix – would your long-term equipment operator prefer something with all the new bells and whistles, or would he prefer equipment more in line with what he is used to using?

Or, if you don’t already have someone in your employ who operates equipment, will finding that new employee be easier because of the equipment offered?

Cost-Benefit Analysis and people

It is important to note that cost-benefit analysis may include intangible benefits and costs or effects. For instance, many decisions have the potential of affecting employee morale or customer satisfaction.

Is it worth it?

The principles concerning this process have been true since humans began making choices. In its purest form, the question being asked is, “Is it worth it?”

Using the data at your disposal and common sense concerning those parts which are more difficult to quantify (for instance, customer satisfaction) allows you to get to the bottom line and determine the values involved.

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. 

The Profit Constructors Provide Contract Document Management and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

The Whole Team

The whole team includes professional advisors and experts.

The whole team

When you run a commercial construction subcontracting business, it is vital to have people who know what you don’t know on your team.

It goes beyond the people on your payroll, to include your consultants, advisors, and other experts. These professionals step in to allow you to create a Whole Team. Some examples may include:

  • Accounting
  • Estimating and Takeoff
  • Compliance and Legal
  • Business Coach
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Virtual Assistant (VA)
  • Tax Preparation
  • Systems Development
  • Marketing and Social Media

The bottom line is a reliable and candid advisor who understands construction is a valuable business asset.

There is no reason to know the answer to everything. What you need to know is where to get the correct answers.

“Now, will you kindly tell me, WHY I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?” – Henry Ford

The team isn’t whole

Sometimes you have a lack of knowledge, and other times you have a lack of hours. Finding folks who can fill the gaps gives you peace of mind as well as a piece of time.

Frequently, the way you know you need help beyond those you have in your employ is when you run into a knowledge wall, a skills wall, or a time wall.

It isn’t a matter of not being smart enough. You’re plenty smart!

You’re intelligent, or you wouldn’t be in the position of owning a construction business that has grown large enough to necessitate additional professionals. For example, you know how to put geometry and calculus to work in the field, but you may be uncertain of how correctly interpreting financial reports makes sense in the back-office matters of sustainability and profitability.

Finding team members

But, where do you go to find the people who offer the whole team services and advice you need?

Joining and being active in your industry association gives you ample opportunity to mingle with people who can lead you to the specialized professionals you need.

Look through the ads in The Blue Book or other comparable services.

Peruse industry-specific magazines and websites for articles as well as advertisements concerning your needs.

Perhaps most importantly, seek recommendations from others. They may include:

  • Your other advisors and their networks
  • Fellow subcontractors
  • General contractors

Developing the whole team

Jumping into the area of whole team building takes time and isn’t always pretty. Finding just the right people with just the right expertise for your construction business doesn’t happen overnight. Yet, when done correctly, it is worth the time and effort.

Three important factors:

  • Find people who know what you don’t know.
  • Look for folks who stay abreast of their industry expertise.
  • Seek specialists who want you as a person and as a business owner to succeed.

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. 

The Profit Constructors Provide Contract Document Management and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

The Game is Afoot

Construction contractors must be ready as the game is afoot.

Things aren’t what they used to be

The reaction to the Coronavirus pandemic has caused shifts in buying habits, consumer expectations, and even workplace practices.

Therefore, the construction industry has experienced and will continue to experience impacts on operations.

These impacts may include:

  • equipment, and supply chain disruptions
  • financing restrictions or cash flow shortages
  • permit delays or restrictions on new permits
  • schedule setbacks
  • workforce interruptions

And likely, reduced productivity. For example, on-site health and safety procedures will cause a change in processes and systems. Enhanced sanitary measures, a continuation of social distancing, and staggering of employee or subcontractor work schedules will probably be a part of the scene.

“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.” – Ernest Hemingway

I think I can, I think I can

Now, it is imperative to think about what you can do, not what you can’t do.

I’m not talking about modeling after The Little Engine That Could because Shel Silverstein pointed out quite successfully in his rebuttal poem, Little Blue Engine, that “THINKING you can just ain’t enough!”

But, having the right attitude and a good plan will make a difference in how you approach new situations and how you deliver your services.

“Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.” – Victor Kiam

And, the game is afoot

The folks over at Writing Explained, tell us what “The game is afoot” means. Their definition, “Something has started,” is a good start. But it is the sentence following the definition I find most helpful. “People usually say this when something exciting is happening.”

And you must admit, leaving time-out and moving into what lies ahead is exciting. Yes, the game is afoot.

Three imperatives for upcoming days are:

  1. Adapt and Adjust
  2. Coordinate and Cooperate
  3. Document and Communicate

None of these ideas are new to the construction contracting scene, but each takes on more importance as we move into a post COVID – 19 economy.

“Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden  

Stepping out

The recommendation from the folks here at The Profit Constructors is to think lean, think fast, and think tech-savvy.

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. 

The Profit Constructors Provide Contract Document Management and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

Crossing the Waters

The story of a water crossing and rising above

The tale of a water crossing

About thirty years ago, I drove an 18-wheeled truck from Farmington, New Mexico, to Page, Arizona. It was my job to deliver a load of gasoline to one of the convenience stores owned by the company I worked for. After I made the delivery and was headed back to home base, a rainstorm marched heavily across the high desert.

And, as is often the case during Arizona’s desert rainstorms, the arroyos crossing the road I was traveling began trickling with water. Some of the arroyos began to resemble small creeks. All we drivers went through them. We slowed and were cautious, yet we drove through.

The surging waters

Then, I arrived at one arroyo, which didn’t resemble a creek at all. Instead, it looked more like a raging river.

There were five vehicles ahead of mine, a police car straddling the two-lane road, and barricades set up. Two police officers serving the Navajo Nation were standing by their car waiting and watching.

Even though the rain had been reduced to a mist or at best a few sprinkles here and there, the arroyo river raged on. Many of the drivers gathered in small groups talking about – what else? – the chances we would be across that piece of the road any time soon.

Examining the water

Several of us strolled up to the police officers and visited with them for a while. Of course, we wanted to know what their police radios had told them concerning when we might be able to cross safely. They didn’t have any answers.

More vehicles piled up behind our little parade of stranded drivers. Lots of pickups, some cars, a van or two, and many 18-wheelers formed an orderly line awaiting the surrender of the hurling water.

Not yet

In less than an hour, the waters did begin to subside. Through my youthful bravado and my yeah-I’m-a-girl-driving-a-truck bluster, I suggested to the cops that my vehicle was larger than the others close to the front of the line. I felt I could drive across. They said, “No!”

After another ten minutes or so and after the waters calmed down even more, I once again told the nice policemen I thought I could cross the arroyo. Their second answer resembled the first. I think the only thing they left off was the exclamation mark. They said, “No.”

Do you want to cross the water?

Not much later, perhaps another five minutes, one of the officers came to me and said, “Do you want to try to drive across?”

You bet! I want to go home. My hubby will be worried about me. Let’s get this show on the road.

Let’s cross the water

After the policemen had the drivers ahead of me maneuver their vehicles to the other lane of the road, I climbed up into my truck with gusto. I pushed down the clutch, turned the key, pulled the stick into gear, let up on the clutch, pressed the accelerator, and began driving toward the arroyo – with my heart beating ninety miles a minute.

After all, I had spent many of my growing up years in the deserts of Arizona. I knew how many crazy drivers had faced disaster after driving into flooded city underpasses and flooded desert arroyos. Why hadn’t those silly cops done the sensible thing and waited until we could see the road before allowing anyone (much less me) to try that crazy passage? What were they thinking?

Had I mentioned to them that my truck was empty of its cargo now? Did they know that the tanks I was dragging behind were filled with only gas fumes? Had they considered how easy it would be for those waters to push my vehicle aside?

Pushing through the water

Because I’m here to tell this tale, you have to know that one way or another, I survived the crossing.

As it was, my trusty 10-speed big truck rolled through the undulating water without a pause. (Good thing too, perhaps a pause would have been my undoing.)

A look in my rearview mirror revealed that truck after truck was pulling from the stranded lane to work their way to the front of the line. They were coming through. I was ecstatic!

The moral of the story

If you’ve gotten this far, you may be wondering what the moral of this story is. Why is this blog post (written for commercial construction subcontractors) filled with a story about a lady truck driver crossing a water-filled arroyo?

Because, dear reader, I liken those creek-like crossings to the crossing of the COVID – 19 streams that we’re all taking slowed down and with caution.

That raging river-like crossing is the one we will face after the reaction to the pandemic comes to hit us full-face. That is the one which will stop us in our tracks. It is the one that will have us gathering and discussing the what’s next questions, and the is it safe questions.

That raging water-filled arroyo is the one that will have our hearts pounding and our thoughts racing. Some will be able to drive through. Others will wait. Those construction company owners who have the equipment, the skill, and the know-how will cross that arroyo and get back to the astounding task of building America one project at a time.

Are you ready?

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. http://www.schulteandschulte.com/blog/

The Profit Constructors Provide Contract Document Management and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

Choose Your Path

Choose your path for post COVID -19 profits and stability

Not choosing a path is the same as choosing a path

Let’s say you have a choice to cut your hair or to let it grow. If you say, “I don’t want to make a choice,” you’ve already made a choice. Your hair will continue to grow.

Here’s another example; each morning, you have a choice to get out of bed or to stay in bed. Yep, you guessed it. If you can’t make a choice, you’ve already chosen. You’re staying in bed.

Now, with the world’s reaction to Coronavirus, you’re faced with the choice of playing it safe or investing in growth. And, just as the hair and bed examples above, if you can’t make up your mind, you’ve already made up your mind. You’ve taken a wait-and-see attitude, which gives you no momentum for what lies ahead.

“A body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest, unless, acted upon by an outside force.” – Isaac Newton

This is no time for indecision

My mother, because of her fear of water, never learned how to swim. She decided it was imperative that my younger brother and I take swimming lessons at the Ouray, Colorado community pool near where we lived. After we had attended the classes for an entire summer, we moved to Tucson, Arizona – which meant there was a swimming pool just a walk away.

On day one of the new pool access, I ran and jumped in, swam around, and began figuring out who to splash first. My brother, on the other hand, ran and jumped in, then sank below the surface – for too long. Our mother leaped into the pool moments later.

She had not prepared for the crisis. She had never learned to swim, remember? But her quick decision saved my brother’s life and set her on the path to less fear of water.

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney.

Choose the balanced path

Construction company owners who master the balance of cutting costs today while investing for future growth will be those who not only survive but thrive.

On the one hand, it is a matter of reducing costs selectively rather than haphazardly. For instance, focusing on operational efficiency is no longer a back-burner item. If you haven’t taken time to build, document, and use operational systems, the time has now come when you must.

And in balance, investing wisely in marketing, R&D, and new assets puts you a few steps ahead in the game.

“You are free to make whatever choice you want, but you are not free from the consequences of the choice.” Anonymous

It’s about the numbers – and the people

Choosing a balanced path means you must know and understand both your numbers and your people. It is time to adapt and thrive. For instance, now may be the time to recruit and hire top talent.

Or it could mean you look for gaps in the market and adopt a new approach. Assessing your numbers and your assets (including the folks on your team) allows you to make more informed decisions.

It is time to get your attitude focused as well. Commit to action and to leading your construction business into a post-COVID – 19 stance of strength.

“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.” Sammy Davis, Jr.

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. 

The Profit Constructors Provide Contract Document Management and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

 

Did You Hear the One About

Coronavirus things to laugh about.

There I was, scrolling through a personal social media account when I saw what I was certain was just one more post telling me how to live my life during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Who needs another set of Coronavirus guidelines? Not me! And, probably not you.

But that word, “maybe” and that question mark in that first line made me pause.

I read.

So should you. It is time for a bit of mirth.

FOLLOW ALL OF THESE, maybe?

Here are the official Coronavirus guidelines:

  1. Basically, you can’t leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, then you can.

 

  1. Masks are useless, but maybe you have to wear one, it can save you, it is useless, but maybe it is mandatory as well.

 

 

  1. Stores are closed, except those that are open.

 

  1. You should not go to hospitals unless you have to go there. Same applies to doctors, you should only go there in case of emergency, provided you are not too sick.

 

 

  1. This virus is deadly but still not too scary, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster.

 

  1. Gloves won’t help, but they can still help.

 

 

  1. Everyone needs to stay HOME, but it’s important to GO OUT.

 

  1. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarket, but there are many things missing when you go there in the evening, but not in the morning. Sometimes.

 

 

  1. The virus has no effect on children except those it affects.

 

  1. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…

 

 

  1. You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you can also get sick without symptoms, have symptoms without being sick, or be contagious without having symptoms. Oh, my..

 

  1. In order not to get sick, you have to eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have on hand and it’s better not to go out, well, but no…

 

 

  1. It’s better to get some fresh air, but you get looked at very wrong when you get some fresh air, and most importantly, you don’t go to parks or walk. But don’t sit down, except that you can do that now if you are old, but not for too long or if you are pregnant (but not too old).

 

  1. You can’t go to retirement homes, but you have to take care of the elderly and bring food and medication.

 

 

  1. If you are sick, you can’t go out, but you can go to the pharmacy.

 

  1. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, which may have been prepared by people who didn’t wear masks or gloves. But you have to have your groceries decontaminated outside for 3 hours. Pizza too?

 

 

  1. Every disturbing article or disturbing interview starts with “I don’t want to trigger panic, but…”

 

  1. You can’t see your older mother or grandmother, but you can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver.

 

 

  1. You can walk around with a friend but not with your family if they don’t live under the same roof.

 

  1. You are safe if you maintain the appropriate social distance, but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance.

 

 

  1. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn’t say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Oh no, not necessarily.

 

  1. The virus stays in the air – well no, or yes, maybe, especially in a closed room, in one hour a sick person can infect ten, so if it falls, all our children were already infected at school before it was closed. But remember, if you stay at the recommended social distance, however in certain circumstances you should maintain a greater distance, which, studies show, the virus can travel further, maybe.

 

 

  1. We count the number of deaths but we don’t know how many people are infected as we have only tested so far those who were “almost dead” to find out if that’s what they will die of…

 

  1. We have no treatment, except that there may be one that apparently is not dangerous unless you take too much (which is the case with all medications).

 

 

  1. We should stay locked up until the virus disappears, but it will only disappear if we achieve collective immunity, so when it circulates… but we must no longer be locked up for that?

 

I do not know the original author. But thank you!

How to take this

My wish for you, dear reader, is that you have enjoyed this jaunt into the comedic side of the unrelenting onslaught of information as well as misinformation concerning COVID – 19.

Now, wash your hands (the proper way) and get back to work. 😉

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. 

The Profit Constructors Provide Accounting Guidance, Contract Document Management, and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

Order Generosity Stability

Order Generosity and Stability during a crisis

Being a construction contractor has never been an easy job. Being a construction contractor in mid-April of the year 2020 – well, that’s another level of difficulty.

You’ve probably thought of a variety of outcomes concerning the end of the madness surrounding the current pandemic. You may even have a “best case” in mind as well as a “worst case.” The truth is this is not the time for false optimism, nor will fatalistic despair be of any use. As with many things in life, clear thinking must step to the fore.

The virtual noise surrounding Coronavirus can be deafening. It seems the “common people” are stepping up with opinions, suggestions, and diatribes; while politicians and scientists alike are shooting from the hip.

We presently find ourselves living in the “new normal” brought upon us by COVID – 19. And, even if you don’t have Coronavirus, my bet is you’re sick of it.

The principles of order, generosity, and stability are three things you can still maintain in your construction business. They are three means you can use to focus on clear thinking.

Order

It is up to you to bring a voice of reason to your employees and subs. You have the responsibility to provide reassurance as well as expectation. Finding new ways and new rhythms of accomplishing essential tasks helps keep order for you as well as your staff.

Although you may feel like Henry Kissinger, who, while Secretary of State, said, “Next week there can’t be any crisis. My schedule is already full,” you, like he, must carry on.

You may want to follow Warren Buffett’s advice when asked how to address one’s employees or other constituents during a crisis. “First,” he said, “state clearly that you do not know all the facts. Then promptly state the facts you do know. One’s objective should be to get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over.”

Your honesty and integrity will help those around you find order in the chaos.

Generosity

Now is not the time to become stingy. It isn’t only a matter of giving to others; it also a matter of not taking from others. For example, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why some people felt it necessary to hoard toilet paper during a pandemic. Yet there are those who have done just that. To what end (pun probably intended), I don’t know.

Being generous has always been a way to remove negative thinking. Being generous allows you to get more out of life. This article, The 8 Biggest Benefits of Being Generous is worth the time to link over and read.

Being generous with those in your employ as well as others around you is a significant factor in maintaining and growing your construction business.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” – Mother Teresa

Stability

Ask yourself, “What are my choices now?” By doing that, you refocus on the one thing you can control – your choices.

Think about knowledge sources.

One) Who do you know and trust who has the knowledge you can use? Call or text them. Learn what you can. Bring that information to those who can use it.

Here’s an example: I wondered if giving blood would be a good way to contribute. So, I sent a quick text to my cousin, who works in a management position for the American Red Cross.

My question: Is there a blood shortage?

His answer: There was a shortage about 3 weeks ago. However, through national appeal that gap was closed. Additionally, blood utilization as a whole is Significantly down. This is due to elective surgery being down. Also, since people are at home there are fewer car accidents and other major injuries. So at present there is not really a blood shortage.

Two) When seeking online information, be aware of spoken as well as unspoken agendas. You can breakdown the critical part and share it with your team.

Three) Bring the conversation (even the one that is only in your mind) to ways of providing value and serving others. Your attitude and enthusiasm are contagious. And, you know what that means!

“Genuine hope is not blind optimism. It is hope with open eyes, which sees the suffering and yet believes in the future.” – Jurgen Moltmann

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. 

The Profit Constructors Provide Contract Document Management and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

Being Profitable

Being profitable even during COVID - 19

Every Monday morning, The Profit Constructors’ social media posts are routinely filled with something akin to an Irish blessing. They vary slightly week to week, but typically they look like this, “May your coffee be strong, your influence be ever-growing, and your week be profitable.”

It is that last portion of the “blessing” we’re discussing today. That part about being profitable – because it never varies. Those are the same words week after week.

Even during the Coronavirus pandemic, we wish profitability on our clients and social media followers. And we mean it! We’re not just sticking with the old words. We haven’t lost our minds.

Profitability wears many hats

One way most look at profitability can be measured in dollars and cents. You know that making more than you spend is how profits come into existence. But there are other ways to measure profitability.

For example, a genuinely profitable week would include personal growth. A week spent in strategic planning could prove to be very beneficial. Adapting to changing conditions while maintaining core values gives you the opportunity to show your customers, your employees, and the community at large your grit – and that is very profitable.

And of course, helping others without thought of gain gives an immeasurable profit.

Following is a six-point list of ways you can work toward profitable endeavors during and after the mayhem surrounding COVID – 19.

Remove “woe is me” thinking

Look around – see the big picture. Yours is not the only construction contracting company affected by the circumstances in which you now find yourself. It isn’t as if you’ve been singled out.

Plus, you may find it useful to look at history. Here is a list of some well-known construction companies that are in existence today that made it through the ten years known as the Great Depression (1929 – 1939) as well as other ups and downs in the economy.

  • Sundt Construction, Inc. founded in 1890
  • Bechtel founded in 1898
  • Fluor Corporation founded in 1912
  • The Turner Corporation founded in 1902
  • Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc. founded in 1884

And, check out this list from Mental Floss about other Great Depression success stories.  

Use time wisely

Whether your pace has increased or slowed, maximizing the use of your time to accomplish much is imperative. (We know different states have taken different stands on whether or not construction workers are essential.) That means, for some, it may be making sure the crews have the correct PPE and are practicing proper safety measures. For others, it may be taking advantage of your time to create better-documented systems. For still others, it may be time to take an online class or to teach one.

You get the picture. Take the time to determine the best use of your time. Now do it!

Forget about safety – be daring!

Wait! Don’t think for a minute I’m talking about on-site safety. Keeping those guys and gals safe has never been more critical.

I’m talking about stepping out of the norm, being daring in ways you may not have thought of in the past. Things like:

  • Set up an appointment with a general contractor you may have formerly thought was out of your league.
  • Pivot – do something differently.
  • Create a new division that will take on the new opportunities afforded when the crisis is over.
  • Buy that piece of equipment you know will be necessary for your construction company’s growth in the future – especially when you find a good deal.

Note: I’m not saying that doing any of the daring things in the above list will make you more profitable. I am saying these are the types of things you should consider.

Write a book

Yes really. Do it. Hire a ghostwriter if you need to but write a book about how you not only survived COVID – 19 but how you flourished during and after the crisis. There is nothing wrong with a secondary income stream. And, even if you never see it in print, at least you will have thought of ways to accomplish it.

Advertise

Get serious about your mailing list. Call your past and present customers. Let them know what you’re doing and how you can help them. Use your social channels to help others. Let everyone (including the general public) know you’re here now and will be in the future.

Work together and help others

There is possibly no better way to create channels of profitability than to help others. Sharing the load, working through a dilemma, and resurging afterward are hallmarks of great business leaders who survive the test of time.

One last thing

May your week be profitable!

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. http://www.schulteandschulte.com/blog/

The Profit Constructors Provide Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

A Lean Mean Communicating Machine

Communicate well to keep your construction company in top shape even during COVID - 19.

Turning your construction contracting company into a Lean Mean Communicating Machine is imperative. In the best of times, communicating well quenches fires, builds trust, and improves your bottom line.

In this COVID – 19 time, communicating well allows you and your construction business to stay in the game, maintain traction, and grow in ways you may not have thought of before.

Five communication basics

Keep everyone informed.

Be honest with all involved.

Encourage communication from others.

Use as many communication channels as necessary

Make sure people know you care about them

Keep everyone informed

Communicate often. If necessary, create a short checklist of those with whom you need to communicate on a daily or weekly basis. It can include individuals or groups.

  • Employees
  • Subs
  • General contractors
  • Building owners
  • Suppliers
  • Service providers
  • Association members
  • Fellow contractors
  • Others with whom you do business

Letting others know where you are, what you’re doing to help them, how you intend to proceed can ease their minds and make the path ahead smoother.

Keep in mind the TL;DR syndrome. Too Long; Didn’t Read is real. You’ve probably experienced it. Keep your messages readable. The same goes for your spoken words. Brief and to the point wins the day.

Be honest with all involved

Tell them what you know, what you don’t know, and where you’re getting your information.

You’re going to be faced with questions for which you don’t have a ready answer. That is fine. Say you don’t know. You can also suggest other places the information may be found. Or, say you’ll try to find out and get back with them.

Encourage communication from others

Be sure everyone with whom you’re communicating understands you’re willing to listen to them and will do your best to address their concerns. Now, more than ever, listen to what they have to say. Try to see things from the perspective of those with whom you’re communicating. What are their fears? What immediate problems are they dealing with? As much as possible, have and show your empathy for them.

And, remember to look for their nuggets of wisdom. You don’t know who will give you information that will help you understand an issue in a new and improved way.

Use as many communication channels as necessary

You already know the usual channels. Phone calls, texts, emails, and your company’s intranet are among them. And there are other tools available to you. The apps Slack, and Zoom are two that readily come to mind. There are others. For example, consider creating a hidden Facebook group just for the use of your employees.

Don’t think all the communication must begin on your end. When you’re invited to attend webinars, online conferences, or other virtual events take advantage of the offer.

Make sure people know you care about them

Simply put, communicate well and often with “your people.” And remember you’re not communicating if you’re not listening. As you write or speak, anticipate the “what does this really mean to me?” questions.

Information is essential, but people also need encouragement and inspiration. Give it to them. For example, send a quick message to a group or individual telling them how well they are doing. Provide motivation and reassurance.

Keeping it light

Lastly, here is something you may want to remember.

Question: What does a dolphin say when he’s confused?

Answer: Can you please be more Pacific? 😊

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. http://www.schulteandschulte.com/blog/

The Profit Constructors Provide Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

Solutions for Homebound Employees with Children

So, you’ve sent the office staff home. And, the schools have sent their children home. How do they (and your construction contracting business) cope?

As a professional business owner as well as a second-generation homeschooling family, we offer some ideas that have worked for us.

Perfect solutions

Remind yourself and your employees there are not likely to be any perfect solutions. Things will happen. Plans will go awry. Interruptions will . . . well, you know, interruptions will interrupt.

Now is the time to show mercy on your staff, other business professionals, your children, and yourself.

Find a workable solution

We know of a gal who works in the office of a casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her job typically has her going to work at an early morning hour. Therefore, she goes to bed early. She missed the decree concerning the closing of all Las Vegas casinos because she was asleep. The first thing the next morning, she got up, dressed for work, and hurried off to spend her day at her desk.

Surprise!

Yeah, that didn’t happen. This lady now knows she still has her job, but her duties will be carried out at home. She is trying to make the best of this unexpected happenstance. Her solution is to continue working the same hours she usually does (including the one-hour break for lunch) while using a different desk. She still dresses as if headed to the office, still takes her regular breaks, and is trying to figure out what to do during that scheduled lunch break.

If she had children, she would have other, more pressing issues to resolve than what to do during one mid-day hour.

Solutions through boundaries

Determining boundaries and ways to enforce them is crucial. Just as the children are flung into a situation for which they’re likely ill-prepared, so are the adults who depend on a certain schedule and familiar routines.

Communication is essential. Gathering the family and having a “this is where we are” discussion is an excellent way to start. How much information is shared depends on the age and maturity level of each child. Here are a few boundary setting tactics to consider.

Tell children they can interrupt you – if and only if the house is burning down! Of course, they probably won’t remember, so being diligent in enforcing the rule will take stamina.

Lock your “office” door during critical meetings or other important times.

Reassure the kiddos you will be available at specific times. A few times to consider are:

  • Lunch breaks
  • The last ten minutes of every hour
  • Thirty minutes at such and such time
  • Whatever timeslots work best for each household

Assign new chores and tasks. Some things to consider are:

  • Cleansing indoor and outdoor handles as well as the button for the doorbell
  • Doing their own or all the laundry
  • Watering indoor plants
  • Loading and unloading the dishwasher
  • Taking care of the floors
  • Dusting (including ceiling fan blades)
  • Helping or taking charge of preparing some meals

Use limited “screen time” or other desired pastime as a reward for adhering to the new rules and boundaries. A word of warning! Don’t allow the screens to become de facto babysitters.

Stop working when the workday is done! Turn it off. Walk away. Be present with your family.

The adventure solution

Many adults and most children welcome the chance for an adventure. Treating this change in “the norm” as an adventure will ease tension. Just as when you travel to a foreign land, things are different now. And that is exciting!

Get the entire family involved in the planning for this adventure. When people, including kids, get a say in the preparation stage, they’re more likely to own it and take part in it.

The point is to have an attitude of adventure. If the perspective of the adults in the home is fear or anger, that is the reflection that will be seen in the children. And, that is a pot that boils easily.

Depending on the age of the children involved, the types of adventures can range from a “Little House on the Prairie” snowed in-type of exploit to reading and discussing such books as “Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert.”

The point is to show your children there is an adventure in the new setting. If you behave with fear or some other negative attitude, so will your children.

Daily solutions

One adventure solution which works well with children of all ages is role play days. Here are some types to consider:

  • Spy
  • Hero
  • French (or any other foreign language and land)
  • Space
  • Cartoon character
  • Historical character
  • Fairytale character

Encourage children to dress up in costumes found in the drawers and closets of your home. Remember the props. Hats, magnifying glasses, capes, binoculars, backpacks, wands, and Mickey Mouse ears all come to mind.

Set the stage and send them on their way.

An example of how we’ve used the Spy Adventure is to assign the kiddos the task of “spying out” all the cruddy things the “evil crud monster” has left in all the common areas and their rooms. They take pictures of the “sneaky crud piles.” Then, with their master spying compatriots, they do away with the crud piles, take new photos, and report to “home base” how they’ve thwarted the evil crud monster. (Yes, we unabashedly get the kiddos to clean the house by making it a fun adventure.)

Other solutions

Set up a card table with a jigsaw puzzle for family members to work on at their leisure.

Have family contests. For example, who can read the most books in a week?

If the schools have assigned schoolwork, make it part of the daily routine.

Consider assigning schoolwork yourself. Let each child choose a topic he or she is interested in and let them explore. Older siblings can help. Some tools they can use are books you have on hand, specific TV programs, or a computer with proper childproofed connections.

Use Zoom or some other face-to-face program to allow your children to meet with their family or friends at set dates and times.

Encourage the kids to learn to play an instrument. One of our kiddos got her ukulele basics with this online instructor, The Ukulele Teacher.

Bonus tip: One tactic we learned early on is to stop play or other activities before the children are ready to stop. It sounds weird, but it works. If the kiddos are allowed to play until they’re bored with an activity, it will be hard to get them to return at another time. But, if they remember an activity was fun, they’ll be eager to get back to it when they get another chance.

Keep working on it

We hope these ideas will be of help to you and your construction business employees. While we haven’t covered every option for parents trying to make the best of the situation, we believe this will be a good start. The two main points we wish to convey are, 1) maintain an upbeat attitude and 2) take time to plan with and for the kiddos.

And remember, your children may scribble on your walls, but they paint masterpieces on your heart.

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers. 

The Profit Constructors Provide Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735