Safety and Your Construction Crew

Help your construction crew understand safety is for them

Safety counts

The most important tool in your “safety toolbox” is found in the minds of your workforce. Therefore, the first hurdle to overcome is the mindset which incorrectly identifies safety and productivity as enemies of one another.

Consequently, it is your job to make certain your subs and employees understand that safety and productivity walk hand in hand.

From the human point of view, no one wants to see someone be injured or killed. That simple.

In addition, from the stats point of view, when safety measures go unheeded (and someone is injured or killed) productivity takes a hike. Also, that simple.

Safety now

Let’s take it down a level. Remember having this conversation with your children? “Stop that! Someone is going to get hurt!” Then, you hear back, “Nobody has gotten hurt so far.”

Similarly, there are times even adults tend to play the nothing-bad-has-happened-so-far card. You know what I mean, you’ve seen it:

  • Not using PPE
  • Disregarding proper procedure when using or repairing tools and equipment
  • Improperly placing ladders or temporary access apparatus
  • Neglecting to disconnect electrical power
  • Entering unprotected trenches or other spaces

Mark Twain, in Innocents Abroad said, “He cuts a corner so closely now and then . . . that I feel myself ‘scooching.’”

For instance, it’s likely you’ve been on a job site where you felt the need to “scooch.” Removing the scooch isn’t easy, yet it is worth it.

The bravado factor

 

A LiveScience article titled, Why Do People Take Risks, mentions that some “. . . desire to venture past the limits of safety in pursuit of a rewarding experience.” Likewise, in the construction industry, the rewarding experience may be as basic as a paycheck. Or, it could be a misguided attempt to fit in with the crowd or please the boss.

The second hurdle of the safety quandary is the bravado factor inherent in many of the people drawn to the construction industry. Certainly, it isn’t that they have a death wish or a desire to be injured. They often see the risk as less than others might perceive.

Safety is No Accident

Instilling a safety-first mentality in your subs and crews is imperative.

Make certain they understand you want them to stick with safety procedures. Help them see it will help keep everyone (including their fellow workers) safe.

Yeah, I know, safety training can be expensive and time-consuming. That’s because safety is so blasted valuable, in every respect.

Safety story

A rich man needed to hire a chauffeur to transport his dear wife to their beautiful new home. A mountain top home. Therefore, the driving job required great skill as the road to the home clung to the side of the mountain. This single-lane road had an edge with a deep drop to the driver’s left.

The rich man took all three candidates to the site and gave this instruction, “Show me your skill for driving on this treacherous road.”

The first candidate drove slowly, slowly up the hill with his tires only inches from the precipitous edge, in an attempt to prove his skill. He was told he would not be needed.

Subsequently, the second driver took the same route with his tires only inches from the drop. And, eager to prove his skill, drove at a higher rate of speed. He too was dismissed as a candidate.

However, it was the third driver who got the job. He was the only one who drove as far away from the edge as the car would allow.

You get it. Most importantly, be sure your employees get it too.

It is our desire this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) helps 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

 

Weathering Financial Storms in Your Construction Business

Preparing for financial storms in your construction business

Financial storms in varying sizes

Financial storms can be minor or they can be devastating. Think of  the way dust devils and tornados create different levels of damage. However, even a dust devil can grab and keep your attention when you’re in the heart of it.

Financial storms are real

Joe, Tonya, and I were having a chat. Consequently, this post was born. I mentioned  I had come across another wayward piece of information. In short, the owner of an accounting service declared he could make his clients audit proof. 

It would have been laughable, except . . .we weren’t laughing. We wondered how many people might think becoming audit proof is a possibility. To clarify, it is not.

In other words, it ain’t gonna happen, Baby.

When a tornado hits your town or business, there is likely to be damage.  That is why the wise folks who live in Tornado Alley have built storm shelters.

Consequently, they are tornado prepared.

Likewise, when the IRS comes your way, the best safeguard is to be audit prepared.

Financial storms to prepare for

However, the IRS isn’t the only possible storm on the horizon. Commercial construction subcontractors need to be prepared for other inevitable financial storms. Because, there is every likelihood one or more storms are just around the corner from your construction business it is wise to be prepared. Be on the lookout for these possible financial storms.

  • A downturn in the economy
  • Job shutdown due to weather (yeah, the real weather)
  • Natural disasters
  • Owner or general contractor bankruptcy
  • Pre-bid reviews by general contractors
  • Loaning institution reviews
  • Bonding and insurance requirements
  • Equipment failure

Some of the above items are more akin to dust devils which cause you to duck and protect your eyes.  However, others are more like tornados, and being in a safe place is called for.

3 financial storm preparedness measures

Controlled operational systems

You can set yourself apart as a savvy contractor by getting all your operational systems documented and in place.  You become a savvy contractor ready to make the best of the good times. Furthermore, you’re known as the wise contractor ready to hunker down in the stormy times.

Remember all those little signs posted on the wall which direct you to the nearest exit or safe place where you can take shelter? That is to say, documented systems tell you which path to take.

Construction contractors with a well-designed organizational structure are better prepared and more likely to complete work on schedule. Don’t think the GCs in your area won’t notice.

Financial documentation

My cliché bell is ringing. Yet, having “all your ducks in a row” concerning financial documents is imperative in both good weather and bad. They’re in place to serve you. Having your financial reports and documents ready and up to date means you can be better prepared for the future.

For instance, it is likely the general contractor considering your bid will want to assess:

  • income statement
  • balance sheet
  • statement of cash flow
  • backlog levels in relation to working capital
  • available bank funds or financing options
  • lien history
  • past credit problems

Having all your financial documentation ready and accessible gives you peace of mind for day to day operations. More importantly, those documents act as a buffer when a financial storm hits.

Dedicated save/spend accounts

A good start is to have a savings account for your commercial construction contracting business. However, there is more to it than having a savings slush fund.

Dedicated save/spend accounts put you ahead of the game. This method is similar to Dave Ramsey’s personal financial recommendations concerning envelopes. Using this system helps keep you from making spending mistakes. You know how much is available in each account.

More importantly, you know what it is for. As a result, you don’t buy equipment or perform tenant improvements with your personal tax liability funds.

Some categories which you should consider are:

  • Profit*
  • Owner’s Personal Tax Liability
  • Equipment (and/or Vehicle) Repair, Maintenance, Replacement
  • Customer Satisfaction Program
  • Real Estate or Tenant Improvements

For example, take a look at the equipment account.  You know that big shiny piece of equipment will need to be repaired, replaced, or removed at some point in the future. Setting aside a percentage of real income (real income = revenue – cost of doing business) puts the equipment-storm at bay.

* Your Profit account should be built up and not touched until it contains at least 6 months of operating expenses just in case. A fund of 12 months of those expenses is even better.

Closing thoughts

In conclusion, being audit prepared makes sense. What makes no sense at all is thinking you’re audit proof.

Being prepared to weather financial storms allows you to walk in confidence as well as gain peace of mind.

 

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.

We are dedicated to serving you rather than merely performing obligatory functions.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs. Call us! 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.

Counting the Cost in Construction Accounting

Counting the cost in construction accounting.

Counting the Cost in Construction Accounting

Counting the Cost in Flood Waters

There is an interesting law here in Arizona which is known by the name, “Stupid Motorist Law.” It says something to the effect of “any motorist who becomes stranded after driving around barricades to enter a flooded stretch of roadway may be charged for the cost of their rescue.” Apparently, the law can be found in Arizona Revised Statutes section 28-910. Also, just as apparently, the law isn’t regularly enforced.

So, for those of us who don’t drive around barricades when the summer rains create raging rivers where before there were only dry creek beds (or simply dips in the road) it doesn’t mean much one way or the other. For those who do, it only means they won’t be charged by the state for their stupidity. Yet, they will still likely be “taxed” because of their poor decision.

  • Towing
  • Repair
  • Beyond repair
  • Missed time at work
  • Lost opportunities

And, don’t forget all that schplainen’ they’ll have to do with rescue workers. Not to mention spouses, parents, children, friends, insurance companies, and so on.

Counting the Cost in Words

Yet, being wise to the way of words, I would replace “stupid” with the word, “ignorant.” Here’s why – being stupid means you don’t have the brain cells to get the job done. Being ignorant means you haven’t as yet learned.

See the difference?

This article will help you understand it better if you’re ignorant of how the two are different.

Counting the Cost of Ignorance

And, just like the wayward, water plunging drivers there are some who are guilty of breaking the “Accounting Ignorance Law.”

And, what that looks like is, they don’t yet understand how they can be aided in growing their construction contracting business through correct use of their financials – and it is going to cost them.

Here is the deal. Average Joe Contractor isn’t the competition they need to be concerned about. It is the up and moving commercial construction contractor who has gotten savvier and more sophisticated. It also means the General Contractors (who are also more savvy) expect their subs to bring a better level of efficiency and expertise not only in the field, but also in the office.

This has led to higher expectations which makes the cost of not knowing what you’re doing with the financials much higher these days.

And its not just the competition or the GCs.

Counting the Cost in Construction Accounting

It’s the complexity of software, SaaS, apps, construction bookkeeping nuances, and so on.

One of the huge benefits of QuickBooks and integrated apps is how much information you can obtain from having all the correct input in all the correct places. Its job costing, bidding, accounts receivable management (with or without AIA style billings,) estimating, invoicing, timesheet data, reconciliation of balance sheets, WIP reports and supporting documentation, making appropriate bill payments, certificate of insurance management, project close-out documents management, and on and on.

What that leaves us with is that understanding (and using) all the great benefits you can get from QuickBooks and the supporting apps is more complex these days, and even more so now that you’re ready to Run With the Big Dogs.

So, my advice?

Don’t drive around the barricades!

And don’t leave your construction business accounting needs to wishful thinking or chance. It will cost you.

You can get in touch with us here or give us a call Toll Free: 866-629-7735.

Employee or Independent Contractor? Recommendations for Compliance

The following is a guest post courtesy of Lynda McKay owner of HRextension.

The construction industry has been and continues to be under the microscope when it concerns how employers pay workers: as employees (W4) or as independent contractors (W9 or 1099ers).  The two governing entities that regulate and monitor this are the Department of Labor (DOL)/Wage & Labor/Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Both federal agencies only provide ‘guidance’ to employers in making this very important determination, leaving employers at risk for non-compliance and potential costly fees.

While an employee (EE) and independent contractor (IC) ‘look’ the same in the workplace or on the worksite, classification of each is very different.

Roles Defined

EMPLOYEE: An employer must be accountable for overtime pay, unemployment compensation, workers compensation, income tax, Medicare, Social Security deductions, eligibility verification to be employed in the US, minimum wage requirements, providing resources to do the job and potentially, paid time off, paid sick time and/or health care and retirement benefits.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR:  An employer is not accountable for any of the above listed under ‘Employee’.  Instead the employer processes payment via a W9 and a signed Independent Contractor Agreement.

Thus, there is no mystery, considering the numerous many reasons, why an employer might lean toward the independent classification.  And there are true benefits when utilizing an IC specifically when the work is truly a short-term project that could transition to current staff employees.

In April 2015, federal courts in Utah and Arizona approved consent judgments against 16 defendants operating construction businesses that misclassified employees as “member/owners.” These judgments awarded $600,000 in back pay and liquidated damages to affected construction workers, plus $100,000 in civil penalties.

Another issue in misclassifying construction workers, is recruitment and retention rates suffer. Top level candidates do not want to be cheated from all the employee status related benefits.

How can you tell if a worker should be an employee or an independent contractor?  The DOL Fact Sheet 13  provides six (6) factors to consider when determining if a worker should be compensated as an employee:

“While the factors considered can vary, and while no one set of factors is exclusive, the following factors are generally considered when determining whether an employment relationship exists under the FLSA (i.e., whether a worker is an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor):

  1. The extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business.
  2. Whether the worker’s managerial skills affect his or her opportunity for profit and loss.
  3. The relative investments in facilities and equipment by the worker and the employer. 4) The worker’s skill and initiative.
  4. The permanency of the worker’s relationship with the employer.
  5. The nature and degree of control by the employer. “

What does all this mean?  Yes… it can be complicated.  The below table can serve as a ‘guide’ to assist.

If you have more Yes answers than No Answers, this is most likely an employee.  Not an independent contractor.

Additional resources can be located here.  

It is irrelevant if the worker wants to be an IC.  It is not an arbitrary decision for the worker to make.  Governing agencies do not care if employers have a signed contract where the IC agrees to be an independent contractor; even if the worker obtains a business licenses with a state or other local government entity.

The US DOL, IRS and courts do not care about ‘intentions’ of either the employer or the worker. Even despite a signed agreement, a worker who willfully and knowingly enters a working relationship as an independent contractor can claim misclassification later and collect damages from the employer.  

Potential Damages

If an employer is found guilty of misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor, the penalties can be steep.  Just some of the fines can contain any overtime worked, any unpaid wages if minimum wage rate was less than required, employment taxes.  Willful attempts to avoid minimum wage and overtime obligations, can be up to $10,000 per violation.  Do not forget the additional employment attorney costs

What Employers Can Do Now

    • Know the rules and document the firm’s relationship with an independent contractor.
    • Keep all documentation and review it annually to ensure that it is up-to-date.
    • Conduct internal audit of all employees and independent contractors with the help of qualified HR professionals.
    • Ask independent contractors to provide evidence of insurance, business location, business license and a list of other customers.

Help Needed?

The DOL and IRS are not slowing down on identifying misclassifications. Understanding the FLSA and IRS factors tests are not always clear.  If at any time you are unsure about your classification decisions, HRextension can provide the guidance and support you need.

Lynda’s expertise includes employment practices and policies administration,  job description review and development, employee performance development, compensation assessments and conflict resolution through mediation and training. Her ultimate goal is to assist her clients in maximizing their investment in the human capital component of their organizations.

You can get in touch with her here.

 

5 Simple Ways a Tradesman Makes the Mental Change to Become a Scaling Business Owner

 

Before we get to the 5 simple ways to work through the mental change let’s look at an example of how mental changes or growth require process.

Teaching your kids kindness

A friend of mine once commented she would like to be able to add “kindness” to a list of traits she could teach her young children. She would like to be able to jot “Teach Kindness” on the list, teach the kindness trait, then check it off.

If you have young children, or if you’ve simply been exposed to the darling little monsters, you probably already know teaching “kindness” is a long-term endeavor. Heck, sometimes as adults we find we must pick up where our parents left off, teaching ourselves to be kind, reminding ourselves of the merits of kindness. Somewhere along the way we find the teaching of kindness is a process.

Scaling your construction contracting or service business

Turns out, scaling your business is also a process – it isn’t something you can put on a checklist and then check off after it is completed. It isn’t a destination you can point to on a map.

Yet, scaling requires a purpose and a vision. As a matter of fact, in order to scale your construction contracting business, you must develop a scaling frame of mind. You’ll need to make the mental change from being a tradesman, to being a business owner, then to being a business owner whose business is profitably scaling.

5 simple things to practice through the process of becoming a scaling contractor.

  1. Set an example of trustworthiness for your employees and crew. Integrity – it goes a long way.
  2. Be flexible, very flexible – except when it comes to your core values.
  3. When new ideas, solutions, or concepts come your way practice thinking “maybe” rather than jumping directly to “no.”
  4. Begin instilling your “company culture” into your own thought processes as well as those of your employees. “Company culture” is how you pass on the “values” of your construction contracting business.
  5. Get in the habit of surrounding yourself with other successful and goal-oriented people. For example, join your trade association, hire great people, and select your service vendors well.

When you develop a scaling frame of mind you move beyond the bounds of your craft to the realm of successful business owner.

17hats: All-in-One Business Management Software

In this monthly post, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to one of the many apps that we at Schulte and Schulte endorse and recommend to our customers.

As a firm of construction accounting specialists, we love to help companies in the construction industry with their books and finances, part of that help is finding different apps or software that can help our clients out.  During this monthly feature, we take a look at several apps that we love at Schulte and Schulte, LLC, and dig a little deeper into our favorites.

This month, we would like to introduce you to 17hats.

As a business owner, there are multiple “hats” that you will wear as you go about running your business.  By hats, we are talking about the different roles you will play on any given day, from accounting, marketing, client communication, lead development, etc.  17hats is a brilliant piece of software that is designed to integrate each of these different hats into an easy to use business management tool.  We could go into detail talking about each of the different tools that are built into 17hats, but for the sake of time we will highlight a couple of the features that we appreciate the most; specifically the Overview Page, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Workflow Management.

Overview Page
This dashboard is what you will see whenever you log into your 17hats account.  It has been designed to incorporate a 3-day calendar view of all events and to-do’s that you have set up.  Underneath the calendar is a list of all action items from every ongoing project that you have, as well as a list of client email correspondence that is needing your attention.  This dashboard is customizable to include this above information, as well as other options available for you.  It is a really handy tool to get a bird’s eye view of what needs your attention on any given day.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A lot of effort has been put into developing this CRM tool to make it easy to use.  As the above video shows in its example of adding a new lead and the development of that lead into a client, 17hats utilizes its CRM to assist you in keeping your contact information and projects accessible. It also stores all email communication and documents sorted by client.  This means no more searching through your email account for that important message from a client’s project you are working on.

Workflow Management
The video above gives a snapshot of the process involved within 17hats’ Workflow Management.  You are able to create templates for almost everything you will end up passing onto a customer, from engagement/proposal questionnaires and feedback forms, quotes, invoices, and more.  It has e-signature technology built into the app to allow anything that needs a signature or feedback from a customer to be sent from the app, and also allows you to track what has been sent.  17hats has a one-way sync that will allow you to sync invoices into QuickBooks Online, which is music to our accounting ears.

We love 17hats, and would like the opportunity to share it with you.  If this sounds like an app that you would be interested in checking out, please let us know!

Job Close Out – Why it is important

What difference does it make?

Whether your job lasts a few hours, a few months, or a few years there is still always a Job Close Out to deal with before the final payout arrives. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to please a general contractor, a home owner, or a building inspector there is still the bottom line – is everything done, finished, complete?

I’m not talking about a punch list, although a punch list will sometimes be a part of the process. I’m talking about the moment when all parties involved in the construction contract or service agreement are satisfied with the finished work. Closing out the job means your work is complete and you get paid.

Both the negative experiences (change orders, nasty weather, supply delays, and the myriad of other things which pop up during the cycle of completing your project) as well as the positive experiences will fade in the memory of your customer. Yet, there is a psychological tool you can use to enhance your chances of leaving a favorable impression on them.

How does it work?

Here, let me explain. Have you ever been given a list of items to look at for a few moments, then been asked to remember all the items on the list? Chances are you’ll be able to remember the first few things as well as the last one or two items. All the words in the middle are often lost to your short term memory.

This article explains why that happens.

Understanding this psychological circumstance makes it easy to see why not only the first impression you make on your customer, but also the last impression you leave them with are both important for the well-being of your company. And, it is best to not leave Job Close Out to chance or even to a good memory.

Putting this information to use

Systemizing your procedure for closing out your projects augments your customer satisfaction rate as well as saves you time and hassle. Whether you’re a one-man-show or have a large number of employees, making a Job Close Out procedure a priority is a must for scaling your construction contracting business.

This is the first in a three-part series. In the next part we’ll look at the importance Job Close Out plays in mapping a superior customer journey, and in the final part discuss ways to make the process work for both you as well as your employees.  

JOBBER: Business Management Solution for Field Service Companies

 

At Schulte and Schulte, our passion is in working with any company that fits under the construction umbrella.  This includes construction service businesses like plumbers, HVAC techs, roofers, landscape techs, etc.  Some of the apps that have been, and will be, featured in this blog series are feature filed and do have elements that would be beneficial to construction service businesses.  However, we feel strongly about finding an app or software solution for each of our clients, and this month’s featured app, Jobber, is a great solution for anyone in the construction service industry.

 

 

 

Jobber is geared toward any company that focuses on construction field service. It is a comprehensive business management solution that will aid any small to medium-sized construction service company. There are three main areas that we’d like to focus on as we dig into this app: Client Features, Team Features, and Business Features.

Client Features
Jobber has some features that will impress your clients and help keep your client information organized. It has an excellent customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep your client’s information and communication organized. As you communicate with your different clients, whether by sending a quote, getting an e-signature, or reminders to follow up with clients, Jobber keeps track of all communication and saves it in each specific client’s file to help keep you as a construction service business owner more organized.

Team Features
These Team Features integrate both the Jobber computer software as well as their mobile app, which is available for both tablet and phone on iOS and Android. Included are various tools like Scheduling that allows you as the construction service business owner to easily create new jobs for clients and assign them to your team with only a few clicks; Map View Routing that will automatically send notice to your team as they are out in the field giving them the information that they need to get to and work the next job; and GPS Tracking so that you get a clear picture of where your team is at throughout the day as well as tracking employee hours and labor costs.

Business Features
Jobber gives you the ability to send out customized invoices so that you are in control of what your clients see on their invoices. It also has the option included of accepting payment for service right at the jobsite. Also included are Reports that provide a bird’s eye view of how your construction service business is doing, Time Tracking that makes it easy to review and complete payroll, and Accounting Sync that seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks Online to assist with your monthly bookkeeping.

We love Jobber, and would love the opportunity to share it with you. If this sounds like an app that you would be interested in checking out, please let us know!

Construction Contractor, Got a Problem with Your Financial Reports?

Do your financial reports measure up?

Because your financial reports should tell you much more than what you’ve already done. Because your financial reports are more than numbers for the tax-man or the banker. Because your financial reports are all about guiding you to scale your business. We’re glad you stopped in.

Check Us Out!

Since Schulte and Schulte, LLC came into being we’ve been construction-accounting-centric.

We have knowledge and understanding concerning what construction contractors need when it comes to financial reports. With almost two decades of “being in the trenches” of construction bookkeeping and accounting, Tonya, the co-founder of our firm, has deep knowledge about what contractors need. She and her team all work diligently staying ahead of the curve concerning all the latest and helpful contractor accounting technology systems and support apps.

We know what you want and need

We have no desire to send our clients a mound of reports they don’t understand and won’t bother reading. Our intention is to instead work with each of our clients by providing reports which are meaningful, reports which answer the kinds of essential questions contractors have about managing their individual companies.

The well qualified “regular” bookkeeper has no experience with the specific requirements of contractors, they therefore aren’t able to make suggestions themselves. At the same time, many contractors are not familiar with the capabilities of the robust bookkeeping software or SaaS systems available and therefore aren’t aware of what to ask for.

This “two ships passing in the night” scenario leads to a communication gap that can be devastating to both parties.

Our services are designed to allow you to scale your business

Tonya, recently said, “I take great pride in my work. I love getting each piece of the accounting puzzle to fit in the right place. But, even more fun for me is seeing the lightbulb go off over a client’s head. I get excited when I can hear in their voice that moment of recognition when understanding dawns. I like it when they ‘get it’ about another important aspect of their financial documents. I love my job!”

If you’ve had it with the status quo, if you’re looking for the right bookkeeping and accounting firm to aid you in scaling your construction contracting or subcontracting business . . .well, let’s just say, now is the time. Call 480-442-4032 today. Or Toll Free: 866-629-7735