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.

5 Tips to Help You Streamline Your Construction Contracting Business

There are deadlines to meet, customers to satisfy, and (let’s face it) the important dollar to chase.  You work hard to build your contracting business. Finding ways to streamline the regular functioning is an ongoing process. Today, we present five “tools” for you to use in making your business run a little more smoothly.

 

Close the door!

Even if you decided to start your own construction contracting firm because you didn’t like your former boss’s real or implied closed door policy, you really need to close the door sometimes.

Both doors. Close the virtual door as well as the actual door – for a half hour or so. If you’re a morning person, close the door in the morning. If you function at your best later in the day, that is the time to close the door. Make this a regular part of your daily routine.

Use the private time you enjoy behind the closed door to plan, assess, gather your thoughts, refresh, breathe. A word of warning — it may be harder to teach yourself to take this time than it will be to teach those around you to honor this time. But, it is worth it!

 

Say “No” like you mean it!

Whether your contract is with your ideal client or that pesky frequent-change-order dude there are still times when you simply need to say, “No, I won’t be able to do that.” It isn’t because you don’t want to satisfy your customer, your colleagues, your staff, or whoever has made the latest request. It is because you are the one responsible for setting your healthy boundaries.

It’s not uncommon for the owners and managers of construction contracting firms to over-extend themselves. (Heck, even we bookkeepers can find ourselves in this quagmire on occasion.) Bad thing is, too many “yeses” leads to too many “stresses.” Learning to say no and avoiding the guilt trip that accompanies the response frees you to make the “Yes” call on the important matters.

 

Get, learn about, and use good Apps and Tech Tools!

You already know that using the right tool for the job is imperative. Don’t neglect the right tool for your office.

A couple of apps we use and recommend frequently are Hubdoc and Knowify.

Hubdoc is all about document automation, it lets you turn paperwork into data which is actual useful.

And, Knowify is a tool for managing your entire contracting business in one place.

Oh yeah, we ought to let you know, we have an entire series coming up all about these two apps as well as a few others. We’ll give you the “down low” and let you know how to put them to good use in your construction contracting business.

*Update* Check the first in this series about apps we recommend. It is all about Hubdoc.

*Update* Here is another article by our Technological Operations Leader, Steve Lewis, letting you know more about Knowify 

*Update* Find out all about Jobber and how it can work for you.

*Update* Look at what Steve tells us about CoConstruct — cool stuff!

*Update* Steve let’s us in on the story about 17hats.

Build the Team you can count on!

It is hard to get good help these days.

Especially in the construction industry.

Here are some ideas as well as links to some of the places you may want to search for that “good help” you’re in need of.

Field or shop employees

Whatever forces (and there are many) have brought about the difficulty of finding skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen in the construction industry these days, there are still some methods which may be worth trying to find that “just right” new hire.

This rather lengthy but quite informative article is worth perusing if you’re having difficulty finding and keeping excellent field and shop staff.

We noticed a couple of local sources for schools which you may wish to contact. One is at the high school level, and you can go to the website here and the other is college level, access it here.

Two sources found here and here are available if you’re willing to pay for staffing.

And, if you simply want to pay for ads you can check out Monster or go with one or more of the local newspapers.

Plus you can try one or more of these 5 no cost or low cost methods of advertising your need for skilled workers

  1. The tried and true, longstanding method of word of mouth is still viable and useful. Tell your present employees, your friends, your colleagues, your social contacts what type of person and skill you’re searching for.
  2. Hang a banner on your shop or office building.
  3. Place a Craig’s List ad.
  4. Put an ad on your website.
  5. Create a clever video ad to be used on all your social media sites.

Office staff 

While it may seem easier to find office staff there is still the need for caution and due diligence when you’re ready to hang out the “help wanted” sign. Some places or ways you may wish to try are the local newspapers and Craig’s List for simple ads, word of mouth, on your website, or through a staffing agency.

And, because we ourselves are an outsource firm we can’t pass up the opportunity to mention outsourcing as a viable alternative to in-house help. You may want to hire a virtual assistant for administrative tasks, or find a marketing guru, seek a social planner, or . . . well you get the picture. Whether you need someone long term or for a one-off there are plenty of outsource sources available.

Having the right people on your team will also allow you to delegate more easily.  Of course, building your team will take time, yet once they are in place, your shop and office will be better prepared and better qualified to get the job done!

 

And lastly, 5 Simple Tricks to Shrug off the procrastination monster!

  1. Think about what excites you. Decide why this task will help you reach your goal.
  2. Change your perspective. Who will benefit when you get this job done? Your client? Your family? Your employees? Envision their pleased reaction when you complete the task at hand.
  3. Make and use a to-do list. Whether electronic or on paper this list is vital. Checking off completed items not only gives you a moment of satisfaction, it also gives you the boost to carry on.
  4. Devote small increments of time to a big task. Avoid overwhelm by predetermining daily time or space limits regarding that one big thing that really must be completed.
  5. Be realistic. Set reasonable targets. Unrealistic targets feed procrastination – you’ll be tempted to think, “Why start on this, it’s impossible to get done.”

 

All streamlining is about is finding the right time to do the right thing. So now is the time to choose the next right action. When you find you have distractions or doubt, come back to this essay. You’ll find something to help get you back on track. Run with it!