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

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

Employee Handbooks and All That

Employee Handbook information and guidelines

Employee Handbooks for reading pleasure? 😵

I was asked to help write an employee handbook for Schulte and Schulte recently. And I yawned. Like, you know.

Employee handbook = boredom induced coma.

In that regard, it was in some ways an easy task.  A lot of “copy and paste” was involved. It was a very difficult task  in other ways.   What must be included and what is optional?

Therefore, there need be only three rules it seemed to me. My (tongue in cheek) suggestion:

  1. Don’t be an asshole
  2. Dress appropriately for the occasion
  3. Give back any digital or electronic devises provided to you for company business when you leave.

Who could ask for anything more? 😜

Tonya was correct when she laughed, I suppose. She then pointed out my first rule may need to be better defined. For example, I needed to include information about confidentiality and data protection.

Also, I wasn’t allowed to inject my “voice” in the document.  That would have meant (at the very least) I would have made fun of some of the legal sounding terms which were included. See what I mean? This was a difficult task.

Employee Handbooks for starters

As a result,  writing an employee handbook means you need an understanding of the company and its culture. Because . . . wait for it . . .  employees tend to do what they think is best. They do what they think is best according to what they THINK leaders want of them.

In other words, your initial chance to tell your employees what you want of them comes in the form of an employee handbook for your construction contracting business.  Of course, it isn’t your only chance. Yet, it is a good start.

So, if you’ve gotten this far, and you’re thinking it is time to build or update your Employee Handbook, read on.

What to include in your handbook

Some of the important ideas and concepts which should be included are:

  • purpose and values
  • policies
  • business model
  • employee benefits
  • company culture

And,  you may wish to consider using some or all of these sections:

  • Employment contract types
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Immigration Compliance
  • Equal Opportunity Employment
  • Confidentiality and Data Protection
  • Dress Code
  • Mentor Program
  • Workplace Harassment
  • Safety Requirements and Expectations
  • Cyber Security and Digital Devices
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Compensation Status
  • Timekeeping Reporting Procedures
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy
  • Holiday Schedule
  • Witness / Jury Duty
  • Voting Time
  • Employment Separation
  • Employee Acknowledgement and Agreement

Employee Handbooks aren’t rocket science

This article, from Workable is a good place to start if you want insight for revamping or building your own Employee Handbook. They even offer, “tips to flesh out your own employee manual matching your company’s requirements.”

However, before you begin building your employee handbook, understand this. Unless the text clearly indicates otherwise, an employee handbook can be considered a legally binding document between an employer and employees. And, in most cases, courts consider an employee handbook to be an extension of the employee contract.

So, I guess on further thought, making fun of the legalese within the employee handbook would probably not be a good idea. Unless, of course, you happen to find a judge with an overly ripe sense of humor.

Above all, I agree with Workable concerning the putting together of your Employee Handbook.

In addition, they say, “Keep in mind that our employee handbook examples and relevant advice are not legal documents and may not take into account all relevant local or national laws.”

They go on to say, “Please ask your attorney to review your finalized policy documents or Handbook.”

Similarly, I agree. Write it. Or have someone in your employ write it. Then, ask your attorney to approve or correct it. Pretty simple.

Employee Handbooks with pizzazz

In conclusion, if you would like some inspiration, you’re going to enjoy this. It is worth the time to look over a group of Employee Handbooks listed at i-Sight.  They list a dozen examples which are fun, different, or have interesting takes on Employee Handbooks.

 

It is our desire this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) is helpful in assisting commercial construction contractors build better building businesses. 

Providing Accounting, 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

Indirect Costs in Construction Contracting

Indirect Costs are important to the health of your construction company

Indirect Costs can cause hair loss

You know what I mean; trying to figure out what amount goes into which column can be a hair pulling adventure. And, making matters worse, indirect costs can mount in a hurry.

At first glance, it would seem differentiating a direct cost from an indirect cost would be somewhat intuitive. And, in one respect it is. Because, you can name the labor cost and the materials cost per job and you’ve got the foundation for your direct cost column.

Therefore, the rest should be easy, right? Anything on which money is spent and which isn’t a direct cost is quite obviously an indirect cost. Well . . . not so fast.

Indirect Costs accounting methods

There is more than one school of thought concerning how to handle job costing for indirect costs. They vary from “don’t do it” to “create several accounts depending on X factor,” and a few between. Of course, if you’re a commercial subcontractor and your bonding agent wants to see indirect costs on your job reports, and you say, “Oh we don’t mess with indirect costs,” you’re in for a rude awakening.

[In case you’re wondering which method we at Schulte and Schulte use, the answer is, “Which ever is the most appropriate for each individual client.” Yeah, we don’t believe in the one-size-fits-all method of dealing with our clients’ accounting needs.]

How it comes together

Dealing with indirect costs means determining things like fringe, general and administrative, and overhead then putting the numbers to use. It means you use appropriate tools strategically. And, it frequently means making your best estimate.

Indirect Costs can be a guessing game

So, if it is a guessing game – why bother? Right?

It is tempting to think the two words “accurate and estimates” could be counted as an oxymoron. Yet this article, Why Guessing Is Undervalued, suggests guessing is a huge part of our daily lives. And thoughtful guessing (estimating) is a skill worth developing.

Plus, think about this; guesstimates are the golden thread running through much of the construction contracting tapestry. From the beginning of the process, construction contractors take a unique set of variables, consider scope and feasibility, develop an “accurate estimate,” and call it a bid.

Taking into account we understand that close, just about, a little more (or less) than, and between are important and valuable words, it is also important to be able to determine a number which will satisfy several entities with whom you interact.

I’ve already mentioned that bonding agents want to see the numbers. So does your income tax preparer, the lending agency, the insurance provider, and the general contractors in your sphere.

Even more importantly, proper accounting for indirect costs allows you to receive appropriate tax deductions as well as make better business decisions.

How we can help

I’m just going to have to say it – the Schulte and Schulte team goal of helping our clients Run With the Big Dogs has a subheading titled “help them have peace of mind.”

Are you a construction contractor who needs help getting your indirect costs dilemma straightened out? Give us a call!

 

It is our desire this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) is helpful in assisting commercial construction contractors build better building businesses. 

Providing Accounting, 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 

Social and Accounting Socially Speaking

Social and accounting in the real world of accounting

Social and Accounting Socially Speaking

Social and accounting — really

Can you believe social and accounting does go together? If you think of the “accounting person” as the one who sits in the dark, back room pushing numbers around with frantic fingers and furrowed brow you probably missed the announcement.

Attention: Today’s leading scientists announce bean-counters have been found with beating hearts and funny bones. Scientists pointed out they knew the bean-counter they found would have a head for numbers, they were only surprised when they came upon the beating heart and funny bone. More info to follow.

OK, so there were no scientists involved in the taking of the accompanying photo or the story which follows. Yet, we’re pretty sure if they were around, they would be intrigued.

Further proof? Recently, we came across this older article from Money which is titled, “Our 15 Favorite Accountants from TV & the Movies” In their opening sentence they use the hyphenated word “numbers-cruncher” with nary a qualm. They go on to say, “. . .the accountants on screen aren’t the boring automatons they’re stereotyped as in real life:” Some of the movies and TV shows mentioned made us laugh, while others made us cringe.

Therefore, let’s face it, stereotypes often do have some basis in real life. And, we’ve seen a few who fit the stereotype to a T. Yet, there are others who are so far removed from the stereotype, outsiders looking in might think they’re in a different line of business altogether.

Social and accounting in real life

Let’s start with social in the traditional sense. We’ll get to social media in the next section.

Here are some of the ways the members of our team are social. Each of us has different ways we make it to the list below. While all of us do some of these things, none of us does all these things. 😉 We:

  • Host and attend parties
  • Join organizations which mean something to our personal lives
  • Become members of associations or groups which have to do with our business
  • Attend accounting conferences
  • Speak at conventions having to do with accounting
  • Show up for family reunions as well as friend reunions
  • Sell Pampered Chef on the side
  • Take our grandchildren on outings
  • Go to concerts, the theater, amusement parks, and other fun events
  • Frequent food truck events
  • Visit “networking” events
  • Bob up at weddings, showers, baptisms, funerals, quinceañeras, and bat mitzvahs (Well, I checked, and none of us has ever been invited to a bat mitzvah but would attend if invited. Just sayen’)
  • Show up at sporting events
  • Have lengthy visits on the front porch with the neighbors
  • Take the kiddos to their extra-ciricular classes and practices (and chat with the other parents)
  • Do “girl’s night out”
  • Play poker at “guy’s night out” (but, we don’t call it “guy’s night out” because that would just be silly)
  • Invite friends over just to play board and card games
  • Attend church regularly
  • Go to homeschool group park days and field trips
  • Lead a monthly meet-up group of accounting and bookkeeping business owners

There’s probably more, but you get the picture.

Social and accounting online

Everything from our website to our social media channels and our business interactions are part of our social picture. And yes, if you’re wondering, that includes email, Zoom meetings, text messages, and phone calls.

Just like real life socializing, every encounter comes with varying expectations and a range of outcomes. For example, in our personal lives, we understand that if we attend a live theater production, we can’t expect to have meaningful conversation during the performance. And, if we’re at a family reunion we’re not likely to find a plethora of potential clients. (Of course, if Uncle George mentions his neighbor, the owner of a painting business, is looking for someone who offers advisory board level counsel and accounting expertise, we’re not going to ignore him. 😉)

The social media channels we use for Schulte and Schulte are noted at the bottom of this page. Some are put to better use than others, yet all figure in to some facet of what we’re presently doing or where we expect to improve in the near future.

Using Social for our Accounting business

It has taken us a while to get some basics sorted out concerning how and why we use the various aspects of “being social” online. Having said that, I hasten to add, we use some channels better than others and know we have room for improvement.

Our elemental foundation can be found in our “be” attitude. We’re determined to Be:

  • gracious and kind
  • knowledgeable
  • ourselves

Next, we put a lot of thought into what our audience (commercial construction contractors) might want to hear from us. It falls into three categories which many marketing gurus say are the only things clients and potential clients want to see and hear. They are the three “Es” of social.

Enlighten ‘em. This is where we provide tips, tricks, or historical info; include inspirational thoughts or quotes; give shout outs to other service providers; celebrate our firm’s milestones; tell about workshops, classes, webinars, podcasts our readers may wish to attend or listen to.

Educate ‘em. Here, we teach how to do a particular process; teach the “whys” of what we do; provide information about important individuals from our niche’s circle; teach about tools of the trade; answer FAQs; tell about conventions or workshops we attend; give bits of our firm’s story; correct common misconceptions about virtual accounting and back-office services.

Entertain ‘em. Then, we showcase the personality of our business; share info about a book, product, or service others offer; be funny; show pics of our workspaces; use customer spotlights or interviews; include seasonal pics or topics; provide quick facts or stats.

Oh yeah, none of our three “Es” must remain exclusive. In other words, they can stand alone, have only two show up, or include elements from all three.

Social and accounting – knowing where you are

In some channels we hang out more with our peers, in others we are more directly involved with our potential clients. For example, on Twitter, the “audience” is mostly made up of fellow accounting professionals. On Instagram the folks we follow and are followed by are more likely to be construction business owners. 

When you know “where you are” you can adjust your behavior accordingly. Just as you wouldn’t spend your time at a wedding trying to find potential clients you shouldn’t spend loads of marketing time in your “peer” channel. While it’s never wrong to allow your peers to know what it is you do, it is always wrong to expect your peers to buy (what they don’t need) from you.

9 tips for getting the most from your best social marketing channel:

  1. Know your target market
  2. Address their needs
  3. Demonstrate your knowledge
  4. Keep ranting to a minimum (better yet, rant elsewhere)
  5. Engage (that means respond to your commenters and like and comment on other people’s posts)
  6. Share information about people, services, and products which is useful to your audience (be sure you know your audience – it isn’t your peers, remember this is your marketing channel)
  7. Give credit where credit is due (who helped, who was part of the team?)
  8. Show up (regularly)
  9. Toss in tidbits of random information now and then just for the fun of it

Yes, we’re number-crunchers and bean-counters. And, socially we’re more adept than our stereotype might predict. 😎

It is our desire this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) is helpful in assisting commercial construction contractors build better building businesses. 

Because we are a virtual “corporate accounting office” for commercial construction businesses we can assist you no matter in which of the 50 United States your business is located. Call to see how we can lighten your back-office and accounting burden. Toll Free: 866-629-7735

Be a Visionary Construction Subcontractor

Be a Visionary Construction Subcontractor

Be a Visionary Construction Subcontractor

Think like a Visionary Construction Contractor

You might think that because we’re construction accounting specialists that we would want you to frame your vision with numbers. And frankly, we often do. Yet, on this occasion we’re suggesting you take a step back from the numbers and look at what being visionary means in a different light.

Setting goals, planning out the numbers, determining profit or loss are all part of what it takes to run a successful commercial subcontracting business. And we don’t take that lightly. Yet, we’ve noticed that among construction business owners, those who are visionary beyond the numbers are those who tend to end up with the best numbers.

Yep, setting your vision, acting with your vision in mind, and spreading your vision is a potent way to strengthen and grow your business.

Put simply, it is a step you can take to set your construction business up for long-term success.

Envision the contribution your construction company makes

It doesn’t matter if your people are pulling wire, laying in pipe, installing the glass, or participating in any other piece of the commercial construction industry because they’re all contributing to the end product. And yes, construction is one industry which anyone can see is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is so easy to see, it is absurd to think about. Can you imagine a GC saying to the client, “Well you know, plumbers are expensive, what do you think about not including plumbing in the plans? That would save you thousands of dollars we could apply to having better electrical solutions.”

The faucets, the drains, the pipes are all items which provide value to the package well beyond the cost of parts and labor. Health, safety, nourishment, and cleanliness all come to mind.

Yet, it is even more than what happens on the jobsite. Leaving the absurd aside, let’s look at the contribution your contracting business makes.

Down and dirty, deep and basic, it provides for you and your family. Yet there is more.

  • The well-being of your employees and their families
  • Provision for your subcontractors
  • Support of your suppliers
  • Contribution to the business landlord or mortgage company
  • Success of your service providers (like us)
  • Adding backing of personal and business associations you’re a part of
  • An allowance for charities or organizations where you and/or your employees volunteer or support financially
  • The cash infused into your community through vehicle purchases, insurance, banking needs, utility providers, and on and on

And! Well, there is always the end of the job. And, there is always the completed project. Plus, there is always the way your construction business contributes to the outcome of the building venture. There is satisfaction in being able to say, “I helped build that.”

Act like a Visionary Construction Subcontractor

Before we go on, take a minute to check out the 8 most iconic Marine Corps recruiting slogans.  You can link over to see the story behind each slogan, and it’s worth the look. Yet, I’ll list them here so you can see what their message is to the world and to themselves.

“The Marines are looking for a few good men.”

“The Few. The Proud. The Marines.”

“Teufelhunden.”

“First to fight.”

“Tell that to the Marines!”

“We don’t promise you a rose garden.”

“If everybody could get in the Marines, it wouldn’t be the Marines.”

“The Marine Corps builds men.”

Now we’re getting to the heart of the matter. These are recruiting slogans which are internalized by the men and women who walk through the doors, sign on the dotted line, and put on that amazing uniform.

There is vision in those recruiting slogans that is a part of the cycle that brings about the loyalty instilled in the Marines.

And, that is the kind of vision which will get potential new hires in the door and potential clients on the phone. It is also the type of vision which will help create loyalty from those new hires and new clients.

Internalizing your vision as well as passing on your vision is a powerful tool.

Tell Your Visionary Construction Story

Your vision must align with your core values and company culture. It should describe what your intentions are. Yet, when you first begin to structure your visionary construction story don’t fret about making it perfect. It could change.

Look at the visions these well-known and successful businesses had in their start-up phases.

Airbnb: “Connecting people who have space to share with those who are looking for a place to stay”

Facebook: “Creating an online directory for colleges that is kind of interactive”

Uber: “An app to request premium black cars in a few metropolitan areas”

Ooze Vision

Yes, there is some amount of future-thinking involved in creating the vision for your commercial subcontracting business. Yet, grounding your vision in the present, in the day-to-day operations makes it tangible and useful.

Here’s a personal example. My cousin, who lives in Oklahoma once wrote a visionary statement on the back window of her pickup camper shell. It turned heads. Then made people smile. And caused conversations. You see, she and her family were headed back to New Mexico to spend time with her parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins for the holidays. Her simple, poignant, and to the point vision read, “We’ll be home for Christmas!”

The beauty of this next example can be found in the punctuation. “Working for a safer tomorrow . . . ” Verona, Wisconsin fire department. Think about the options and promise in those three little periods suggesting there is more to the picture.

And, here is an example of Boring! “We are a family owned company, committed to becoming the contractor of choice, pursuing excellence through dedication, experience and disciplined employees with an ongoing passion to deliver quality, timely and profitable projects.”

Not only is it boring, you’d have a hard time getting your employees or your clients to find the heart of what that company does. Remember it? Not a chance!

Check out these visions to get an idea of what works.

“A world where everyone has a decent place to live.” Habitat for Humanity

“That people everywhere will share the power of a wish.” Make-A-Wish

“A world without Alzheimer’s.” Alzheimer’s Association

“To make people happy.” Disney

“To revolutionize the way people do financial work.” Intuit

Visionary ideas for reaching General Contractors

Want to be noticed by the GCs in your area? Here are a few succinct visions I thought of. Feel free to copy, reshape, or adjust any of these for use in your vision building exercises.

“Helping General Contractors look like heroes to their clients.”

“Making our clients plumb happy.”

“Partnering with General Contractors to be sure the lights are bright for their clients.”

“We dig deep to provide solid foundations for our clients.”

“Joining forces with General Contractors to exceed THEIR client’s expectations.”

These are designed with these things in mind:

  • Likely to get the attention of your target audience
  • Makes it easy for your employees to see the essence and capture the heart of your vision
  • Is bold enough to stand out from the crowd

Your vision should be big and bold. It should be engaging yet simple enough for your employees and your clients to remember – and live by. (Remember those Marines?)

If it is honest, turns heads, and gets people asking questions, then you’ve found a winner.

What do fiercely successful businesses have in common? They have a culture built on a succinct and memorable vision.

Visionary Construction service provider

So, what does the vision for an accounting firm whose clients are small to medium commercial construction subcontractors look like?

Helping our clients Run With the Big Dogs. [bold]

Want to know how we do it? Get in touch here or give us a call Toll Free: 866-629-7735.

Outsourcing Accounting – How to know when it is time

Outsourcing accounting is how savvy contractors grow their businesses.

Outsourcing Accounting – How to know when it is time

Outsourcing accounting too soon

If you:

  1. Are an average (non-construction related) small business owner who factors in the time needed for administrative and accounting tasks you can probably wait to outsource until such time as you become quite busy.
  • Can’t identify the business result you want to see (an actual benefit to you or your business) perhaps you should wait. You must be clear in your own head about what you’re paying for and what you expect as a result. If you think of an accounting specialist as a cost generator rather than a business and profitability advisor, it is likely you’re not yet ready.
  • Are hell-bent on having your fingers in every piece of the pie. If you’re an (as yet) unconverted micro-manager who has a low trust level, it is probably better that you wait.

Outsourcing accounting when it is too late

If you:

See that your books and therefore your business is so messed up, so in debt, so unorganized, as to be on the brink of bankruptcy – it is probably too late.  

Outsourcing accounting just in time

If you:

  1. And your office staff are constantly feeling as if you have too much to do and not enough time to get it all done, it is a prime time to begin looking for an outsourced accounting provider.
  • Understand outsourcing your accounting duties can be a total game-changer for your construction contracting business, then finding a virtual accounting firm should be your next move.
  • Know you’re ready to delegate the accounting operational tasks so you can focus on tasks of a business owner designed to grow your business, it is time to pick up the phone.

Outsourcing accounting pays off

For example, you have time for networking, meeting with in-progress clients, selling your services, and developing more ways to serve both your clients and your employees.

As independent contractors, virtual accounting specialists are part of your team without the “headache” of extras. Extras such as benefits, taxes, sick pay, and so on. This article from Entrepreneur tells why outsourcing certain functions can mean better talent at lower costs.

Outsourcing accounting with the Schulte and Schulte team means:

You get the best of our extensive construction contracting accounting knowledge and acumen.

Here are a few things we are good at dealing with for you:

  • Job costing
  • Audit readiness for high-risk workman’s comp companies
  • Complicated sales tax issues
  • Payroll
  • Inventory tracking
  • Systems development and deployment
  • Financial planning

Quick checklist

This quick checklist will be of help when you’re trying to decide if you’re seeking an outsourced accounting firm just in time.

Your business is growing.

You or your staff find you’re spending more time learning than doing.

You’re drowning in administrative tasks.

Your office staff is fraught with overwhelm.

You’re running out of time to focus on what makes you money.

Your personal life is taking a toll.

 

Wondering if now is the time to outsource your accounting and back office needs? Get in touch here and we’ll talk.

Growing Your Construction Business in 2019

Growing your construction business take big dog perspective.

Growing Your Construction Business in 2019

Growing your construction business is much like planning to run with the big dogs. As a matter of fact, I wanted to title this piece, “How to Run with the Big Dogs.” I thought better of it. Yet, getting out and romping with the big dogs does have a great appeal, right?

Growing up

My cousin, (I’ll call him Andy) tells an “in my youth” story. Seems Andy had gotten his first full-time job soon after receiving his high school diploma. It was among the most menial of all menial jobs. He was in charge of making sure the cars on the sales lot of an automobile dealership were kept clean. Occasionally, he was also tasked with moving a car from the service bay to a holding area awaiting the customer’s return.

One morning he had been summoned by a salesman to move one of those cars. Andy didn’t get along with that salesman and felt the way he had been summoned was demeaning. Andy decided to show his distaste for the salesman by getting away from him as quickly as possible. What that meant was . . . well, what that meant was, he jumped in the car, stuck it in gear, then slammed his foot down on the accelerator. The next thing to happen was a bit of fishtailing and gravel throwing. What happened after that was a visit to the office of the car dealership’s owner and a one-week suspension from work.

Growing wasn’t part of Andy’s plan

Andy says he sat at home for a week fuming about how badly life in general and his boss in particular were treating him. His immature mindset was about to get the better of him – keep reading, you’ll see.

When the one-week suspension ended Andy went straight to the owner’s office, just as he had planned for a week. (Yeah, you can see trouble brewing here, can’t you?) Andy walked into the office to see both the owner and the dreaded salesman awaiting him. He walked straight to the front of the owner’s desk and quickly laid out all of his grievances (he admits it was quick, because they were few) then stepped back to the doorway. And, just as he had planned (remember he had a week to make this plan) he stuck his hand in his pocket, said, “You can’t treat me like this. I’m a grown-ass man,” then stepped back and threw the stink bomb into the office as he made a hasty retreat.

Lesson learned: Don’t call yourself a grown-ass man, especially when you don’t behave like one.

Growing the right mindset

When you’re ready to grow your commercial construction business it takes having a business mindset. This article from Entrepreneur lays out 5 important ways having a proper mindset will help you achieve.

By the way, if you truly are a grown-ass man, you’ll find no need to tell others you’ve reached that status. Ask Andy, he’ll tell you I speak truth.

Here are 3 things you should be doing:

  • Surrounding yourself with people who are good at what they do
  • Watching for opportunities to learn more about being in business
  • Practicing the mindset of true business ownership

Growing in unusual ways

Another cousin (who is 5 feet 2 inches tall, and I’ll call Sam) likes to tell the story which took place in his younger days. Seems he was at a bar one evening when another fellow seated nearby was loudly saying things Sam didn’t like. So, Sam gets up and walks to the loud fellow’s table, stands in front of him, and confronts him.

When the loud fellow noticed Sam, he stood up. As Sam tells it, he took a long time in the standing process because he was so tall. Sam, thinking fast, pulled out a nearby chair and stood on it so he could be face-to-face with the loud fellow.

Lesson learned: When you’re the little guy, sometimes you need to grab a chair . . . or the right tool.

Growing takes understanding your tools

Just like starting your own commercial construction business took some hutzpah, growing your business will take the same determination. And, knowing which tools you have at hand will be useful. Like these:

The asset tools of the present

  • Because you’re still small enough you can make quick adjustments
  • Your layers of customer service are leaner and better able to accommodate
  • You’re likely better able to innovate and problem-solve on the spot

The opportunity tools of growth

  • The ability to grow a small team to a larger team with your vision in mind
  • Your heightened sense for productivity enhancement for you and your team
  • You have an added incentive to plan for different scenarios

Growing a big dog perspective

What began as a marketing discussion – how do we get the word out? – quickly turned to an examination of what we really do for our clients. While there are many items on the service-menu we offer our clients, what it comes down to is we do everything in our power to “Make sure our clients are equipped to Run With The Big Dogs!”

Yes, we are the virtual “Corporate Accounting Department” for small to medium commercial construction contracting businesses across the US. And yes, we take that role seriously.

Yet.

Yet, you’ve got to admit, there is a certain fun aspect in realizing that the big dog romp can be joined when the little dog (in some cases the underdog) learns to think like a big dog. And, we’re there every step of the way, helping them gain the acumen of big dog thinking.

Now that you’re ready to know more, give us a call Toll Free: 866-629-7735. Or get in touch here.

3 Reasons You Should NOT Work with Schulte and Schulte

Reasons for working with Schulte and Schulte lead to excellence

3 Reasons You Should NOT Work with Schulte and Schulte

Reason 1 – you have it under control

You have your accounting under control. Your contract management goes off without a hitch. And, your company systems are top notch.

It’s understandable, you run a tight ship. You stay up to date with the latest strategies and available tech support in all accounting functions. Plus, you attend accounting conferences, take systemization classes, and understand all the features of your office tech devices.

You have several hours a day to devote to data entry, preparing and understanding financial reports, and dealing with the nuances of contract management.

And, to top it all off, all your company systems and processes are documented, stored, and easily accessed.

Best of all, your spouse, or your neighbor, or your second cousin’s ex-wife’s mother-in-law just finished a course in QuickBooks and he or she now knows exactly what job costing, quarterly taxes, payroll, change order, progress billing, and WIP reports are all about. Not to mention, he or she produces the financial reports your lending officer is likely to ask for – or the “tax man” demands.

Reason 2 – you like things the way they are

You don’t want no dumb girl telling ya “You can do this and that to make your commercial construction company more profitable and easier to run.”

Reason 3 – you can’t afford us

While the first two reasons were written tongue-in-cheek, this is indeed a real reason some must consider. We aren’t cheap. And, the reason we aren’t cheap is we are quite valuable!

Our clients remind us all the time of how glad they are that we work with them. We straighten up long miss-managed books as well as answer small questions concerning software nuances.  And, we work out the data entry solutions and develop entire systems to manage their construction business processes. Plus, we can take over the contract management duties as well as find one-on-one solutions to accounting dilemmas. We are the go-to partners for all things accounting and many things back office related.

“Thank you so much! Our CPA told us he had never seen a more complete and nicer set of books from any of his construction customers.” – a client who had been with us only 4 months when he told us this

“When we first decided to go with you, I told the other gals in the office, ‘This girl knows what she is talking about, she is good.’ I was right!” – a client who has been with us almost from the time we first opened our doors

“Having you be on our team has already gotten us through a lot of issues I wouldn’t have known how to deal with. Thanks for getting this one straightened out too.” – a client who has been with us for about 6 months

The reason to outsource

Schulte and Schulte is the “corporate accounting department” for small to medium commercial construction contractors. We are their outsourced partner.

An article from the archives of the New York Times is enlightening concerning the benefits of outsourcing.

And, this article from Inc. says outsourcing certain tasks can be cost-effective for businesses of all sizes.

3 Reasons you Should work with Schulte and Schulte

  1. We understand well the junction between Construction Contracting Street and Accounting Avenue.
  2. Our company culture means we work hard to see to it that our clients run with the big dogs.
  3. We’re not cheap – because we’re worth it.

 

Now that you’re ready to see how we can add value to your commercial construction business give us a call Toll Free: 866-629-7735 or get in touch here.  

Our Clients Are Savvy Contractors – Take a Peek

Our clients are construction subcontractors.

Who our clients are

Our clients are construction subcontractors. Yet there is more to the picture. They’re ambitious, smart, determined, enthusiastic, resourceful, industrious go-getters.

We understand the position many of our clients are in when they come to us. They’re splitting their time between:

  • returning phone calls
  • developing new products or services
  • going on sales calls
  • hiring or firing employees
  • managing social media
  • doing the bookkeeping
  • answering email
  • checking the jobsites
  • invoicing
  • dealing with payroll
  • marketing
  • keeping employees motivated and happy
  • networking
  • and . . . well, simply putting out fires which are often left still smoldering.

This list from OSHA describes Construction Special Trade Contractors. And, it does a fair job of identifying the types of businesses our clients own.

How our clients are served

At Schulte and Schulte, we are advisers and consultants, not just bookkeepers or accounting specialists.

Why do we consider the difference important?

Bookkeeping is a component of a construction company’s financial health. Yet that is not the only component. We provide counsel and advice on financial and business issues. Advice that goes beyond the scope of entering the right numbers in the right place. It is our intention that this approach provides value to our clients in both visionary and in-the-moment ways.

It is important to us to help our clients get meaningful metrics and systems in place so they’re no longer flying blind.

We work with established construction subcontractors who have invested time and money into finding ways to grow their businesses. Subcontractors who are ready to take the next step. Subcontractors who must get familiar with and in charge of their numbers in order to grow their business and be profitable.

We partner with our clients on a long-term basis to ensure they get results from the work we do together.

Peek at our ideal client

Our ideal client is a construction subcontractor – but not “any old” subcontractor.

Here are the other things our ideal client is:

  1. Accountable and responsive
  2. Willing to listen to and act upon our advice
  3. Tech savvy or willing to learn
  4. Determined to scale their business
  5. Inclined to offer referrals

Peek at us

We provide accountability (beyond simple accounting) and hold our clients’ feet to the fire. The fire of staying on task, putting the right systems in place, and of understanding the metrics.

Are you ready to take the next step in growing your construction business? You can take your place on our waiting list by calling 866-629-7735 or get in touch here.