Construction business growth
Construction, at its very heart, is exhilarating. Being part of an industry that manufactures the clients’ desired product on site is challenging, stimulating, and fulfilling.
Growing a construction business is hard work and requires more than wishful thinking or hoping things will fall in place. In part one of this three-part series we looked at one area, “dealing with changing regulations” which contractors must heed in order to succeed. If you haven’t read it yet, take a moment and jump over to see where this post originates.
In this second part we’ll be look at “managing project risk” and “dealing with new technology.”
Manage construction project risk
Many subcontractors find themselves dealing with insufficient management of project risk. This article from ConstructConnect, titled Identifying and Managing Construction Project Risks deals with identifying, managing, avoiding, mitigating, and accepting risks. It is well worth the time it takes to read.
There is more to scrutinize. Sometimes, the things which we don’t think of as a risk (such as paying your employees for each full day of work) can be rather a risky business after all. One of our fellow accountants shared a story about how one of her clients was very hesitant to purchase a recommended piece of software. He eventually did follow her recommendation.
The software she suggested is used for employee time tracking and scheduling. Within the first month of use, her client discovered (among other things) that he had one long-term, trusted employee who was checking into the jobsite in the morning, getting the crew set up, then leaving the site and spending most, if not all of the day on side jobs. Yeah, sometimes what you find out, stinks!
Other risks to consider
- Seasonal slowness
- Injuries to third parties
- Faulty work by the crew
- Missed deadlines
- Employees providing less than stellar customer service
- Not adopting tech soon enough to keep up with the competition
Using your own (hard won) experience and information from the above linked article, you can begin putting together your own list of possible risks then begin defining ways you can manage, avoid, mitigate, or accept them.
Plan for and adopt new technology
The list is long concerning the technology available to today’s construction subcontractor. So long, it can be dizzying. In one of our recent articles, Technology Isn’t the Focus, Business Is, we dealt with the “why” of choosing the right tech for your subcontracting business. In the end, just as with all your other business choices, the reason for choosing certain technological solutions is to better serve your clients.
Yet, there is more
Having the best tech in the world won’t mean anything if you’re unable to get buy-in from your employees and subs. This article from Forbes offers excellent information concerning how to get employees to really use new technology.
For your employees, understanding why the new technology is an improvement from what they had before is paramount. And, part of that understanding must rest in the portion of the brain that always asks, “what’s in it for me?” Plus, your workers and subs are likely to have a few follow-up questions, like “How does this affect me?” and “How will it change the way I work?”
Say you want to introduce GPS tracking to your crew. Some of the perks you can mention to your employees are:
- No “he said – she said” with clients. GPS provides employee proof of service.
- There will be a cut back on paper work giving your team more time to focus on serving the client.
- They will be paid for all hours actually worked.
Your job is laying out “a vision for the future” and providing an explanation for how the new technology will improve the business, thereby improving the lives of your people.
Improve the lives of your employees and subs
Technologies that require multi-day training programs and hefty user manuals are more likely to cause employee rebellion and perhaps even stalled adoption. You do well to remember that while functionality is critical user-friendliness is hyper-critical.
Customize training for individual users. For example, some may want a day long, in-house demonstration, while others would prefer online training to be done at their own pace. It is best to get influencers from your company onboard as quickly as possible. They will help others understand the how of using the new tech as well as the why for the sake of the company as well as the individuals involved.
There’s no time to waste
It is no longer a matter of waiting around to see if the new tech is “worth it.” The tech available today allows you to provide better organized projects, reduce onsite accidents, and stay competitive.
While you may think there is some risk involved in adding technology to your company, it is time to realize, there is even greater risk if you don’t.
Look for this next
Next week, we’ll take a look at preparing for financial needs in advance and creating documented, sustaining processes.
We’ve created a waiting list for those who are prepared to work with us in growing their construction contracting business. To get in on “the good stuff” call 480-442-4032 or get in touch here.