Why Your Construction Business Should Invest in Paper

Invest in paper, it is good for your construction business

A word to the wise. I don’t often say this, yet I am now. If you don’t have the time to read this article and follow the valuable links, bookmark this page and come back to it later.

Paper as investment

“Whaaaat?” you say. Here at Schulte and Schulte, our clients, our peers, and even our friends know us for being a paperless office. Heck, even our business cards rest peacefully on our phones, just waiting to be “handed out.”

Plus, we often strive hard to help our clients move into the paperless world.

Yet, here I am suggesting commercial construction subcontractors should invest in paper.

Yes paper.

Because its value is so immense.

Paper sets you apart

Brett and Kate McKay, owners of The Art of Manliness, wrote an article titled, The Myth of Scarcity: 12 Stupidly Easy Things That’ll Set You Apart from the Pack.

In the second of their “12 Stupidly Easy Things” they suggest using handwritten thank you notes. They say, “Thank you note writing has become such a lost art, and receiving snail mail is so delightful, that sending handwritten appreciation has become one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart from the pack.”

Likewise, Kyle Young, writing for Lifehack gives us, 10 Reasons You Should Write More Handwritten Letters.  

While all of his points are good, my favorite is the fifth. He says, “It helps you pause long enough to say things that matter. Texting and email are mostly reactionary. You need information, so you reach out. Writing letters is much more deliberate. You do it to give, not to receive. You write because there’s something you need to say, not something you need to know.”

Paper (plain paper) for the win

Len Markidan, writing at groove has the audacity to scoff at the craziness of “branded handwritten notes.” He says, “Too many businesses get hung up on the “branding” of handwritten notes . . . . . That’s crazy. Handwritten notes don’t have to be perfect. In fact, they’re not supposed to be! If you want something to look perfect, type it up, have a designer make it pretty, and spend a bunch of money getting it printed. But if you want something to be effective, then you don’t need to worry about any of that.”

Effective is the keyword in the last sentence. Powerful!

His article titled, 5 Free Scripts for Writing Handwritten Notes That Wow Your Customers is chock full of great information concerning the practice of handwritten notes. And of course, the 5 free scripts are right there available for your use.

Additionally, Markidan tells you why you can’t use “my handwriting stinks” as an excuse for not setting yourself apart.

Greeting cards too

None of the folks I’ve mentioned above talk about the power of adding store-bought greeting cards as another tool in your connection’s toolbox. Yet, I do see them as quite valuable.

Of course, there are the Thank You cards and the blank interior cards which should be among your tools.

And there are the spot-on greeting cards that can be added.

If you’re concerned about finding the right card in a sea of cards check out my “5 Doggone Good Card Picking Rules” below. Before you begin, think of the people you touch in your business. They are likely general contractors, employees, vendors, other contractors, service providers, referral partners, and subs.

And, you already know what types of cards to purchase for:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Death or other type of loss
  • Congratulations
  • Holidays

5 Doggone Good Card Picking Rules

  1. Put your CRM (or your brain) to use. Look for connections. Think about hobbies, collections, or interests.
  2. Plan to shop when you have time to browse. At first, you may have to make time. With practice you’ll get better. (If you have someone you trust who is good at this, send them.)
  3. Typically, humor is a good bet. Making someone laugh out loud, or at least smile is a great way to grab their attention.
  4. Pick up several different cards for various people in one shopping spree. Save the extras for the appropriate time.
  5. Hand delivery of cards is perfectly acceptable. Yet, if you’re planning to mail, don’t forget the stamps.

Write this down

Paper – for hand writing notes, cards, and letters is a valuable tool in your connection’s toolbox! It is worth the investment.

 

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. http://www.schulteandschulte.com/blog/

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

 

Being Patient in an Impatient Construction World

being patient pays off

Being Patient for the long-haul

Learning to be patient takes . . . well, it takes a modicum of patience. And, I’m among those who’ve had to learn the hard way how impatience is a sure-fire way to run smackdab into trouble – quickly.

As a matter of fact, you and I both know it is often the case that we should take time to wait prudently to make the best logical move. Yet, we live in a fast-paced world where opportunities, bids, safety mishaps, product shortages, and lack of skilled labor can make us feel as if the proverbial walls are closing in. Then you must make decisions. Which will it be?

  • Time to act!
  • Time to be patient.

Patience plays a part in our short and long-term business results.

Limited knowledge or skill sets may be challenges you face when you rush your construction business along hoping for fast results. Patience to learn more about the business of being in business is worth the time it takes.

Yet, be careful. Failing to act when necessary is one way of using the “patience card” when what you’re doing is procrastinating.

Being Patient through relationships

Patience gives you an added ability to treat other people with kindness, a sense of decency, and respectful regard. That in turn, increases the possibility they will respond back to you in the same way.

Cultivate patience to increase good relationships with:

  • Partners
  • GCs or owners
  • Employees or subs
  • Suppliers and service providers
  • Family and friends

 

Being Patient pays off

What you gain are:

  • Personal Grit
  • Fortitude to make decisions
  • Ability to wait for the RIGHT opportunities
  • Positive recognition among your peers
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Stronger profits

What others say about being patient

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” Saint Augustine

 

“Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.” Billy Graham

 

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” John Quincy Adams

 

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle

 

“Only those who have patience to do simple things perfectly ever acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.” James J. Corbett

 

“Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.” Elon Musk

 

“How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” William Shakespeare

 

“All men commend patience, although few are willing to practice it.” Thomas a Kempis

 

In the end, being patient IS a big deal!

Savvy construction contractors understand delay doesn’t equal denial. And they see that success begins with patience. It is then strengthened with commitment. And continues with the due diligence necessary for excellence.

Patience takes time and conscious effort to master and is often the factor which sets successful construction contractors apart from Joe Blow Contractor.

 

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