Are Loyal Employees a Thing of the Past?

Are Loyal Employees a Thing of the Past?

Loyal to what?

In the construction industry, in 2018, the idea of loyal employees has taken a beating. Loyalty has gotten into the workforce ring and taken a severe beating – then been kicked in the ribs just for good measure.

Lest you be tempted to lay this no-loyalty scenario at the doorstep of any particular generation — stop. Look back at the late 1950s when the seeds were already being planted. The seeds of distrust which began unraveling the employer and employee social contract. The fear of being given nothing more than a gold watch and a fare-thee-well from an employer was real. Years of service may not even be considered in the final goodbye.

Move up a couple of decades into the 1970s and notice the employees who are being “let go” before retirement age in some kind of down-sizing maneuver. A maneuver which may have been made to cut the cost of labor by bringing in a younger (and cheaper) butt to fill the seat. Or, a maneuver which answered more to profit than to relationships.

Loyal to the trade?

Now, let’s jump ahead to 2007. Yep. You know what happened here. The following economic downward spiral caused a lot of construction workers to jump ship. It wasn’t at all about whether or not one would remain loyal to an employer. Many construction industry employers became former employers and were themselves out looking for a job – in other industries.

Therefore, only a decade later the construction workforce (in the vernacular) “just ain’t what it used to be.”

Which is only one of the many reasons why finding people willing to put on the boots and pick up the tools of the construction trades is a daunting task. Asking these people to also be loyal to a specific employer is . . . well, difficult at best.

Loyal to the employer?

Still, there is the hope for employee loyalty. There is the desire to find a great crew, train them to be even better, and grow a dynamic construction contracting business which will serve your clients well.

Expecting loyalty from your crew comes at a high price – your loyalty to them. And we’re seeing a resurgence of this very tactic at work in construction companies across the nation. From large, long-lived firms to small, start-up construction businesses there are bosses in-the-know. Bosses who are rising to the occasion and learning more about their employees as well as more about how to be loyal to them. We’ve touched on the idea ourselves in this post and in a three-part series found here, here, and here.

The folks over at Forbes have more to say on the subject of Where Have All The Loyal Employees Gone?

This article from Entrepreneur, Change Is Good. Now, How to Get Employees to Buy In, is another good source for learning more about how to achieve a level of loyalty from employees.

Loyalty in the end

In conclusion, it seems there is truly an opportunity for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to create a working team of loyal employees. It won’t happen over night. It can happen with well planned small steps leading to loyalty that is mutual.

Help your people see your vision on a daily basis.

Give your team reason to believe in you as well as in your company.

Allow as much autonomy as possible as soon as possible. (Trust is a two-way street.)

 

The goal at Schulte and Schulte has always been to provide the best service and most up-to-date information as possible to our clients. We know we’ve hung our hats on an industry which is cyclical. Therefore, we’re determined to do everything in our power to see to it that our clients stay the course.

We hope this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) is helpful in assisting our clients to build better building businesses. Want to know more about us? Get in touch here.  

5 Strategies to Retain Your Best Employees – Part 2

Training your employees helps retain your team.

 

This is the second in a 5-part series about specific strategies you can use in order to retain your best construction employees. You can find the first installment, concerning passing on your vision here.

Train your team

Construction company owners who receive passion as well as performance from their employees are the ones who hire teachable people, train them well, and then give them the autonomy to make decisions.

In order to engage your people there must be ongoing training and education. The different areas which you should address include:

 

 

  • Teaching practical skills which keep up with the newest tools and best practices in your particular piece of the construction pie.
  • Instruction concerning up-to-date supplies for your industry.
  • Guidance concerning the use of computers as well as the systems and apps your company uses.
  • Training for building leadership and supervisory skills.
  • Coaching about the newest safety guidelines and paraphernalia.

Additionally, you may wish to consider developing a program concerning team building.

For your sake

Brad Humphrey, writing at For Construction Pros has a well thought out message concerning why you must take or make time to train your people. He gives plenty of examples concerning sources for obtaining training materials or classes, as well as suggestions about the various people who can provide the hands-on training.

Typically, people will comply with rules, policies, and requests when they understand the reasons as well as the expected outcomes.

For their sake

Showing your employees that you care about their personal as well as professional growth, giving them a roadmap to advancement and success will cultivate an atmosphere of trust and confidence. Training provides career pathways. You are giving them tools to improve themselves. Training that helps employees grow their skills and knowledge to better perform their current job is appreciated as a benefit. It is seen as a gesture that the company cares about their employees. Employee training creates a full-blown, all-out environment of support from your company. It empowers your employees to deliver more and be more confident. Employees who are valued feel more satisfaction concerning their jobs.

Coming full circle

Better trained employees leads to increased rates of success on projects.

Success breeds general satisfaction at work.

Satisfaction leads to more commitment.

A committed employee will be willing to do his or her work when adversity strikes, when there is a last-minute push, when searching for a better way to accomplish a task, when someone needs to step to the plate, when there is an opportunity for more responsibility.

Your turn

Develop a plan which includes the various areas in which your employees need further training, a way to accomplish each type of needed training, and a way to follow-up to be sure the training has been effective.

You Know You Want Excellent Employees

Great employees for your construction contracting business.

Great employees for your construction contracting business.

Chances are, you as a construction contractor, look for people who show up on time, whose appearance cleans up well, who protect their work environment, and who manage themselves in a professional manner. You want people who can see your company vision, who understand where the bread and butter come from (your customers,) and who take pride in their work.

Do you know what excellent employees want?

Knowing what your people want will take you far in building that team of excellent employees.

In short, your team will be built because they are able to see . . .

What is in it for them in the short term.

What is in it for them in the long haul.

Yes, an excellent employee will want you to be successful in as much as that success is also pouring into their own success container. Most people want to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. Being able to say, “I work for such-n-such construction company!” with enthusiasm and pride is a value-added part of the picture.

What is in it for them in the short term

A paycheck. From the newest laborer to your right-hand-man, everyone who is in your employ wants and needs to be paid.

Yet, that doesn’t necessarily translate into they want to get paid the highest amount available for their sector of the industry. There are lots of factors at play. For instance, your benefit package may trump contractor Joe Schmoe’s higher hourly wage. Or, it could be your fleet of well cared for and well stocked service trucks will give your service staff a feeling of wellbeing and company pride.

Beyond the paycheck, there are other minimum requirements your team will see as necessary to keep coming back day after day. As a matter of fact, even if you do have the highest pay package in your industry, if you have supervisors who are ill equipped for managing people you’re likely to lose good hands.

Good employees want to know they have a “good fit” with a growing company.

Everyone wants genuine pats-on-the-back in whatever form that takes place, from actual physical pats to other ways of being recognized for their contribution.

In the short term, employees want to know it is a fun place to work, with fellow employees as well as management in good relationships with one another.

What is in it for them in the long haul

The best employees will be looking at what being employed with your construction firm offers them in the long haul. While you may not yet be able to offer all the following items, this is a good list of benefits to be building toward as you grow your company. As soon as you’re financially able, consider adding more attractive benefits for your employees. Here are a few items for you to consider:

  • Merit based awards or bonuses
  • Life insurance
  • Insurance covering medical, dental, and vision needs
  • Vacation time
  • Paternity leave
  • Bereavement time
  • Personal days off
  • Vehicle or vehicle allowance
  • Ongoing on-the-job and off-site training
  • Family and corporate retreats
  • Community stewardship

What good employees look like

Usually the guys and gals in the field like working with their hands, and being able to work outdoors. The folks in the office enjoy being indoors and often enjoy solving the latest “puzzle” of the day. All of them likely want to know where their boundaries are, they like working to a schedule (even when they sometimes fuss about it.)

Some will enjoy working with computer applications. Others will be glad when they’re allowed to take initiative, to be included in problem solving, are allowed to manage information, or are allowed to manage others. Most prefer to work in organized spaces (even those who must be taught how that comes about.) The best employees will take the time to keep up to date on industry trends and developments.

And, your very best employees will come with the character trait that always take pride in work well done.

Need more excellent employees?

Are you in need of good employees? Consider using what you’ve learned here when writing your next ad. Oh, and one more thing – forget about using the term “competitive salary” in your ads. Here’s why – from someone who (delightfully) calls herself The Evil HR Lady.

 

Part 2 – Let Middle Managers Manage

 

 

This is part 2 of a 2-part discussion about growing your business through growing your middle managers. If you missed part 1 which concerns what you as an owner should be doing in your construction contracting business you can go here.

Have you ever gotten a chuckle out of the scene when a three-year-old announces, “I do it myself,” over a task which he may or may not be able to accomplish? What we usually do is allow the child time and space to prove he can or prove he can’t. Either way, the child has learned something. You may have to use the same approach when training the folks on your middle management team. Let them try. They may succeed, they may fail. Either way they (and you) have learned something.

That being said, it is imperative to remember, “I tie my own shoes,” is different from “I boil my own water,” and you’ll, of course, need to be discerning when handing off assignments which are age (or skill-level) appropriate.

Grow middle managers for your construction contracting or service business

You may have any number of different titles for your middle managers. Some which come to mind are:

  • superintendent
  • operations manager
  • project coordinator
  • foreman
  • project director
  • safety manager

Whatever they are called, the people who make up your team of middle managers are important to the lifeblood of your company.

3 important components used to build your middle management team

Communicate with them

Listen to them. Listen to them. Listen to them. Yes, you’ll have essential information to pass on to them, yet it is important to engage them in collaborative conversations. Listen to their concerns, hear their feedback, discern their needs. Think about where they’re coming from, what their perspective is and be prepared to ask questions to define the conversation. When you’re aiding them in understanding they’re a middle manager who is important to the function and goals of the company, they’re more likely to align themselves with the mission and purpose of your construction contracting or service business.

Train them

Develop their leadership skills. It is important to model good leadership skills in your interactions with middle managers. You should also consider providing scheduled training in various areas. The training may take place in a class room, online, at a boot camp, at a conference, or “on the job,” yet is best not left to chance. This article written by Brad Humphrey from For Construction Pros offers valuable information concerning training superintendents. The information found there is good across the board for your various middle managers.

Sharpen them

Maintain a set of questions to use when conversing with them. While the questions shouldn’t be considered ice-breakers, there is a component of “getting to know your people” that will come with asking good questions. Try questions like this:

  • What have you learned this week?
  • When was the last time your routine changed?
  • What are your bottlenecks?
  • Where is the most friction on this job?
  • What isn’t working?
  • How would you fix it?
  • What decisions can I help you make?
  • How is everything going?
  • Which task did you most recently delegate and to whom?
  • What great thing happened to you professionally or personally this week?

Provide strategic input to your middle managers and then allow them the freedom to implement those strategies. Micromanaging them is a waste of your time as well as theirs. Instead, make sure they know and understand their tasks and responsibilities. Finally, give them the power to make decisions instead of bothering you.

Your call to action

The first step you can take is to make a list of everything you can delegate to your current middle managers. Then using the three steps outlined above, begin growing your middle managers in ways that will in turn aid you in growing your construction contracting or service business. Delegate the proper tasks to the right people and be ready to lead them going forward.

Part 1 – Let Middle Managers Manage

This is part 1 of a 2-part discussion concerning growing your construction contracting or service business through growing your middle managers. In this section the discussion will center on what you as an owner should be doing in your business while allowing your middle managers to manage other aspects.  

You’re the boss – own it

You have better things to do than being on job sites all day long. Put your time and effort towards critical, big-picture decisions concerning your construction contracting business. The areas you should consider are:

Operations

reducing cycle times

eliminating waste

increasing on-time delivery

Financial

preparing budgets

reducing outstanding debt

growing profit techniques

Analysis

improving customer satisfaction

discerning inventory turns

identifying repeated bottle necks

Leading

communicating the vision

holding others accountable

gaining new industry insights

instructing or providing instruction for employees

It is your job to clearly visualize the end result of each job and how that job affects your overall goal of company growth and profit building. Therefore, you do well to assign responsibilities and accountabilities to the correct people — the middle managers, thus assuring you get there.

In part 2 we’ll look at what it takes to have an excellent team of middle managers doing their jobs well, making it possible for you to do your job well. You can see part 2 by going here

Owning then Scaling a Construction Contracting or Service Business

In the beginning you had to:

  • Figure out the legal, financial, and operational aspects of your business
  • Understand how to communicate and negotiate
  • Learn how to promote your business, yourself, and your products or services
  • Comprehend how to keep the accounts, stay organized, and run the office
  • Grasp the responsibilities of entrepreneurship

Now, you’re ready to scale

Not simply running with the big dogs – being a big dog. You’ve mastered so much already and the time has come to master even more. In fact, you’ll need to hone the above-mentioned aspects of starting a construction contracting or service business to a greater degree.

While it doesn’t hurt to know how to pick up the tools of your trade and apply them to good use what matters more is understanding the tools inherent to being a successful business owner.

Consider this

Which is more important?

  • Knowing how to cut a short board or knowing how to cut a meeting short
  • Knowing how to paint a room or knowing how to paint the picture which your potential customers need in order to purchase a painted room from you
  • Knowing how to twist the wrench or knowing how to twist out all the information necessary so you’ll be able to go above your clients’ expectations
  • Knowing how to celebrate your personal achievements or knowing how to celebrate the accomplishments of your crew
  • Knowing how to build then install a cabinet or knowing how to build then scale your construction contracting business

Mindset matters

It is perfectly acceptable to be proud of the skills you have and your ability to accomplish the various tasks associated with your particular trade. Those skills have likely played a great part in getting you where you are now.

And, if you’re going to scale your construction contracting business now is the time to build on the additional skills you’ve been learning all along. Not every carpenter, electrician, plumber, painter, or other tradesman has the where-with-all to become the owner of a business within their discipline. But, you do! Congratulations!

Because you’ve already accomplished much, it is only a small degree of difference to begin your journey of scaling your construction contracting or service business.

Let’s put it this way, we at Schulte and Schulte don’t believe in mumbo-jumbo about wishing or thinking your way to success. We do believe it takes hard work and the proper mindset. We further believe that, while “thinking you can” doesn’t always accomplish the task, “thinking you can’t” will always achieve its goal.

There is more to learn

In an earlier article, I talked about some things you should be doing when working ON rather than IN your business.

  • Planning
  • Hiring
  • Training
  • Leading the management team
  • Delegating
  • Presenting
  • Selling
  • Negotiating
  • Tracking results

If you’re not proficient at any of these skills, begin learning and practicing. Being the leader of an enterprise which is scaling is not an easy job, but it is certainly a rewarding one and one worth putting your best efforts into.

We at Schulte and Schulte are happy to stand beside you and work with you to aid you in scaling your construction contracting or service business.

10 Qualities Needed for Scaling Your Construction Contracting or Service Business

10 Qualities Needed for Scaling Your Construction Contracting or Service Business part 1

Being an entrepreneur in the construction field comes with a few challenges other entrepreneurs don’t face.

There are a lot of ideas concerning what it takes to be an entrepreneur. For example, you’ll hear things like:

  • You need to be motivated by challenges
  • You’ll have to be tenacious
  • You’ll need the support of your family and friends
  • You will be one who loves new ideas
  • You must see and fulfill needs
  • You should notice how things can be improved

And, those are all good ideas about entrepreneurship, (you’ll do well to heed them) yet there are 10 very specific qualities it takes to be an entrepreneur in the construction field, to be a construction contractor who is ready to scale.

  1. You need to get “shower ideas” – and act on them

Even if it means you need to bolt from the shower to call your superintendent to tell him the solution you’ve discovered concerning the nagging problem you been having with [you fill in the blank.]

Perhaps you need to keep one of those gizmos in the shower meant for writing on in wet conditions – although you’re more likely to make a few drawings then add a note to get true measurements.

Or, it could be you create a mantra in your head as you’re driving down the freeway, so you’ll still remember your great idea when you reach home. Therefore, you’ll have the basics of the good idea, and you can put it into action.

The main point is, no matter when (in the shower or not) you get ideas you’re willing to put the idea into action in order to make your construction contracting or service business better tomorrow than it was yesterday.

  1. You’ll have to love growth – in oh so many ways

The unique position in which you as a construction contractor find yourself is one in which growth; your own, your businesses, your employees, your community all meld together into one cohesive unit that turns out to be rather stunning.

As you and your employees work together to grow your business while being a part of the growth of your community there comes a moment when you can stand back and say, “I did that!”

It can start at the level of being able to say, “Because I and my team had the right system in place in my construction business, I took Joe Right from apprentice, to craftsman, to master craftsman, to supervisor.”

It might take the shape of understanding that because you and your employees showed up there are more families across your city who need not worry about how to stay cool or warm or protected.

Or, it could be you drive past the latest of your builds and see the finished project knowing you had an integral part of making sure that location houses a family, or provides a place of employment for many, or allows a space for medical personnel to care for patients, or improves the infrastructure of your city or state.

Growing your business is important to you, partly because you know you’re growing more than “just” a construction contracting or service business. You’re growing, your people are growing, your community is growing. Stunning!

  1. You need to understand you’re a leader – and lead the way

Whether or not you awaken in the morning thinking, “I’m a leader,” you really must possess the qualities of a leader if you’re going to pull this off. If you own a construction contracting or service business you’ve already taken a lot of steps in the leadership role.

Being THE leader means you’re the one with the vision of how your construction contracting business fits in the industry now, how it will look a year from now, and what it will look like in the long term.

You also have to be able to communicate the vision in ways that enlighten your potential customers, enable your employees, and empower you as well as your team to each next level.

You are the one who is creating the work culture for your employees, delegating, making decisions, encouraging your team, and (bottom line) working on your business, not in it.

It doesn’t matter if you know how to pick up and use the tools necessary to build for or provide a service your customers. You can and should get someone else to do that. It does matter that you know how to be an entrepreneur, how to use your financial reports to lead into the future, how to see the big picture and take the necessary next steps to scale your business.

You may wish to join a structured entrepreneur group where other members will be available as mentors or advisors concerning the specific issues you face as a business owner.

  1. You need to network with your colleagues – for their sake as well as your own

Let’s face it, people like doing business with people they like. Beyond that, when can you ever have too many contacts in your chosen field?

Join your trade association

Most trade associations host various conferences, events, and meetings on a regular basis. By getting involved you have an excellent place to make new connections. It takes more than just paying the membership fees, it takes becoming a recognized and trusted face. When you become known as the “go-to person” it just makes sense that when business opportunities do arise, so will your name.

Yet, if you live in a location where regularly attending meetings of your trade association (think – more than a 2 hour drive) requires too much time and travel you may want to consider the next option.

Join or develop a private group

I recently read about a fellow who had formed a private group which he said included eight to nine other subcontractors, developers, and a land broker. They call their group The Meeting of the Geniuses, and they get together every six weeks at a favorite (in his words) “watering hole to discuss what is going on and what we are working on at the time, and football, and cars, and…….”

The crucial aspect is they can support one another, discuss their problems or issues then talk about possible solutions.

Attend networking events sponsored by large contracting firms

When you’re invited to attend an event sponsored by a contractor for whom you’ve worked GO! It is a great opportunity to spend time getting to know other subs, suppliers, and vendors. Besides, there is usually food and drink on hand at these events.

Network on the job site

Don’t overlook the construction industry’s unique ecosystem of enmeshed, intertwined, and overlapping network of professional connections. Take time when you’re on the job site to check around for other subs. Who knows when a brief chat on a job site may lead to another job or a relationship which adds value to your construction company.

Maintain contacts

Having good relationships with former employers, coworkers, and subcontractors with whom you’ve worked in the past is a networking tactic worth the time and effort.

And, because most people do genuinely appreciate it when you seek them out with questions you have concerning their area of expertise you’re likely to get a good response when approaching them with your needs. BUT, more important than seeking them to solve your problem you may approach them when you have a connection you think they may be interested in or you’ve come across a solution you know they would appreciate seeing.

Your main networking goal

Your main goal when thinking about networking should be finding ways to help your new contact! Miss this important aspect of networking and the truth is you miss it all.  Don’t become the guy who interrupts conversations, thrusts business cards on everyone, talks incessantly about himself, and annoys the heck out of everyone.

Instead, be the guy who focuses on how he can help those he meets. The simple equation is when someone needs a contractor in your field and you’re the one he thinks of because he has been helped by you, and has seen what you’ve done for others he is most likely going to give you the call.

  1. You’ll have to surround yourself with advisors – who mean business

Getting the right business advisors in place as soon as possible helps any business grow. Getting the right advisors in place for your construction contracting business can make the difference concerning whether you live in the paycheck to paycheck lane, of if you move into the lane where the big dogs are running.

Some of the advisors you’ll need to consider are:

  • Attorney
  • Banker
  • Accounting Advisor
  • Information Technologist
  • Insurance Agent
  • Marketing Guru
  • Tax Preparer

Surround yourself with good people who offer good solutions to your bad problems.

Surround yourself with good people who are honest and have integrity.

Surround yourself with good people who aren’t afraid to stand up to you and let you know when you’re missing an important part of the picture.

There is more to come

Part 2 coming soon. We’ll present 5 more Qualities Needed for Scaling Your Construction Contracting or Service Business.

Build standardized processes – Prepare now for the future

This is the fifth in a five-part series concerning Steps to Scaling Your Construction Contracting Business. You can see the introduction to the series (with links to each article) by clicking here.

In his article for Forbes magazine, Eric T. Wagner, shares some insight gleaned from Kelsey Ramsden who is the president of Belvedere Place Contracting Ltd.  In 2012 and in 2013 Kelsey Ramsden, was awarded Canada’s #1 Top Woman Entrepreneur by Profit Magazine – a very prestigious award for a young, entrepreneurial, woman in the Construction Industry.

While Wagner’s entire article is worth reading, today we’ll focus on the fifth of eight tips on successful entrepreneurship shared by Ramsden — Establish Systems To Mesh With Your Goals.Smart entrepreneurs not only set goals — they build systems to support those goals. Ramsden admitted she started out doing it ‘totally wrong.’ Most of us determine what we want to accomplish, establish the time frame to get it done, and then work backwards to spread out the workload. But what’s missing is our system (a defined set of time set aside with the necessary tools to work toward the goal). It’s like wanting to lose 30 pounds (goal) by summer (time frame) and signing up for the gym membership (a tool); but not scheduling the one-hour daily appointment (your system) to do the workouts.

This is how (insert your company name here) gets it done

In its most basic form, establishing systems, building standardized processes means you’re saying, “This is how (insert your company name here) gets it done,” to your crew, to your staff, to your customers, and to your potential customers.

Think about it, flexibility can be the enemy of growth. Using an extreme example, suppose you hired a new guy to help in your painting business and he refused to use the spraying equipment which makes your painting jobs run more effectively and efficiently. What if he told you he is only willing to paint with a brush? If he was truly handy with a brush he could probably get the job done, but at what cost?

Standardized and repeatable

If you’re going to scale, you need to implement standardized and repeatable processes, with proper delegation. Yet, doing so is awkward, time consuming . . . and oh so worth it. We, at Schulte and Schulte, LLC are blessed to have an app which helps us build our growing library of standardized and repeatable systems for our accounting business. We use Aero which is a process building tool as well as a repository for each of the written systems we’ve created, are in the process of creating, and will create in the future.

But what about you, the general contractor, subcontractor, service and supply contractor, install specialist, or construction related entrepreneur?

There is an app for you too!

Knowify is what you need. It is a SaaS program for small to medium contractors to use to systemize their over-all processes.

Want to know more? Our Knowify Certified Advisors will work with you to garner the best benefits associated with using Knowify to aid in scaling your construction business through the use of standardized processes.

Your call to action:

Give us a call. We will help get you set up for a phone appointment, so you can get in the Know about Knowify. Toll Free: 866-629-7735

Build a broad management skillset – Work on your business, not in it

This is part four in a five-part series concerning Steps to Scaling Your Construction Contracting Business. You can see the introduction to the series by clicking here.

Have you ever arrived in your office and thought, “Help! What should I do first?” The problem may arise from the fact you’re working IN your construction contracting business rather than ON it. So how do you tell the difference? Well . . .

Working IN = way to slow

Working IN your business will have you getting caught up in the day to day. You’ll find yourself working on tasks that aren’t essential to the growth of your business. You’ll be dealing with duties which can easily be delegated to your superintendent, foremen, office manager, or other employee; or you might be trying to take care of details which would be better handled by outside services.

If you’re doing some or all of the service or construction hands-on work yourself, doing estimates, running the errands, ordering the materials and supplies, overseeing each crew, correcting errors caused by employees, and on and on, you’re being swept along by the current of working IN your business.

Working ON = way to grow

Working ON your business has to do with building a game plan, creating a strategic future, learning about business best practices, recruiting and training supervisory personnel, leading your team both in the office and in the field to understanding company strategy, personality, and character. It means focusing your energy toward the main priorities having to do with building your business.

You want to work ON the business?

Then here is a brief list of things you should be doing:

  • Planning
  • Hiring
  • Training
  • Leading the management team
  • Delegating
  • Presenting
  • Selling
  • Negotiating
  • Tracking results

In the early stages of broadening your skill set you will be getting better at determining the next best move, looking for opportunities to be innovative, becoming more proficient at motivating your team, acquiring better skills for tracking performance, and learning how to develop standardized systems. (More on that in the next article in this series.)

Your call to action:

Take a look at your daily to-do list and think of ways you can delegate at least half of the things you consider your current responsibilities. Set a goal date for handing off the various responsibilities. Be prepared to take time explaining what will be required for each task and teaching your standardized processes to those taking over.

Build A Bigger Business – Think big; act bold

This is part two in a five-part series concerning Steps to Scaling Your Construction Contracting Business. You can see the introduction to the series by clicking here.

Are you among those who’ve figured out the simple way to deal with a puzzle maze is to begin at the end? The misguided and errant paths become much less of a problem to be dealt with when working a maze backwards. Same thing holds true when trying to figure out the puzzle which is all the moving parts of your construction contracting business.

When you start preparing to grow your business begin with the end in mind. Decide what matters to you in the long-term and formulate a big vision. Another term for this step is deciding on an exit strategy. Here are four typical scenarios:

  1. You determine your business will only exist until you retire or die.
  2. You plan to sell your business assets including the name.
  3. You choose to create a legacy firm which your children and later generations will own and run.
  4. You decide to develop a construction contracting firm designed to scale into and beyond the long-term, and which others (not your family) will manage.

Get ready to take “next steps”

Acting Bold becomes easier when you know which outcome you’re working toward. It allows you to focus on today’s steps, the ones which are getting you and your team to the end.

Some suggested next steps:

  • Be proactive.
  • Step back and look at the bigger picture.
  • Develop plans with concrete actions concerning how growth will be achieved.
  • Create realistic growth targets.
  • Decide to think big now hiring out as much of the daily work as possible.
  • Work to surround yourself with the right team members, various mentors, and good connections.
  • Create a model that doesn’t solely depend on you.
  • Think about autonomy for those working for you in order to test weaknesses and holes concerning moving toward your big vision.
  • Learn how to separate your ego from the big vision – trust the vision to do the heavy lifting.

Get ready to step aside

In case you missed it – all four of the above options will have you stepping aside – not being “boss” anymore. In his article in The Harvard Business Review, Noam Wasserman discusses The Founder’s Dilemma in which he states you can choose to be rich or you can choose to be king. He goes on to say it is rare indeed for a business founder to be both.

Whichever route you choose to take (whichever ending you’re working toward) you’ll find it easier to know which “next step” you need to take depending on where you intend to end up.

Your call to action:

Determine your exit strategy. Now begin taking steps to achieve it.