Choose Your Path

Choose your path for post COVID -19 profits and stability

Not choosing a path is the same as choosing a path

Let’s say you have a choice to cut your hair or to let it grow. If you say, “I don’t want to make a choice,” you’ve already made a choice. Your hair will continue to grow.

Here’s another example; each morning, you have a choice to get out of bed or to stay in bed. Yep, you guessed it. If you can’t make a choice, you’ve already chosen. You’re staying in bed.

Now, with the world’s reaction to Coronavirus, you’re faced with the choice of playing it safe or investing in growth. And, just as the hair and bed examples above, if you can’t make up your mind, you’ve already made up your mind. You’ve taken a wait-and-see attitude, which gives you no momentum for what lies ahead.

“A body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest, unless, acted upon by an outside force.” – Isaac Newton

This is no time for indecision

My mother, because of her fear of water, never learned how to swim. She decided it was imperative that my younger brother and I take swimming lessons at the Ouray, Colorado community pool near where we lived. After we had attended the classes for an entire summer, we moved to Tucson, Arizona – which meant there was a swimming pool just a walk away.

On day one of the new pool access, I ran and jumped in, swam around, and began figuring out who to splash first. My brother, on the other hand, ran and jumped in, then sank below the surface – for too long. Our mother leaped into the pool moments later.

She had not prepared for the crisis. She had never learned to swim, remember? But her quick decision saved my brother’s life and set her on the path to less fear of water.

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney.

Choose the balanced path

Construction company owners who master the balance of cutting costs today while investing for future growth will be those who not only survive but thrive.

On the one hand, it is a matter of reducing costs selectively rather than haphazardly. For instance, focusing on operational efficiency is no longer a back-burner item. If you haven’t taken time to build, document, and use operational systems, the time has now come when you must.

And in balance, investing wisely in marketing, R&D, and new assets puts you a few steps ahead in the game.

“You are free to make whatever choice you want, but you are not free from the consequences of the choice.” Anonymous

It’s about the numbers – and the people

Choosing a balanced path means you must know and understand both your numbers and your people. It is time to adapt and thrive. For instance, now may be the time to recruit and hire top talent.

Or it could mean you look for gaps in the market and adopt a new approach. Assessing your numbers and your assets (including the folks on your team) allows you to make more informed decisions.

It is time to get your attitude focused as well. Commit to action and to leading your construction business into a post-COVID – 19 stance of strength.

“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.” Sammy Davis, Jr.

 

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

 

Respect in Your Construction Company

Showing respect and dignity in your construction business is worth the effort

Respect

While researching the topic of respect and dignity at work, I came across many statements like this, “A Dignity and Respect at Work Policy encourages a working environment that is free from Bullying and Harassment.” And, this exact wording of that idea was the very first sentence in one (rather boring) article I read.

Other articles harp on how much a company loses when there is a large turnover of workers. Their premise that people will hang around longer when treated well makes sense.

But it seems the need to respond with dignity and respect in dealing with your employees loses its power when shrouded in the negativity of losing money “if you ain’t nice.”

Respectful for the right reasons

So, I’ll state (for the record) I know there is a huge financial drag on businesses which can’t retain their employees. Further, I’ll note that when others are treated with dignity and respect across the board, lawsuits (and their costs) derived from bullying and harassment don’t see the light of day.

So, if you “don’t harass” someone, does that mean you respect them and allow their dignity to show through? Not at all!

I’ll give you an example. You can force kids to “play together.” But you can’t force kids to “have fun together.”

Being respectful must come from the heart. And in your construction business, showing respect starts with your attitude. From there, it seeps into the culture you build within your construction company.

The real value of showing respect

I dug further. One article I read on the topic makes a great deal of sense. Glenn Llopis, writing for Forbes says, “Employees want leaders that are likable, understand their needs, can authentically motivate people and know how to energize a workplace culture to generate the best results for the organization.”

Seeking employee input, hearing their concerns, giving recognition when an employee does a good job, are all good ways to show respect for them. And it allows them to see you respect them as individuals.

It’s no mystery; the value of your team increases when they know you respect and value them.

The lowest common denominator is – be nice.

Respect isn’t always easy

With that being said, I must note, being nice isn’t always easy. Bad hair days and grumpy spouses aside, sometimes it takes extra effort to show respect to the noodle-head who has made sixteen mistakes already, and it isn’t even noon.

Keep in mind, showing respect doesn’t mean you don’t call it like it is. It means (when called for) you respect said noodle-head by giving a heads up or a word of caution. You’re not in the land of an elementary school where everyone is recognized as a contributor when the only contribution some kids make is trouble.

Finally, showing respect to others (the rest of your employees) may come in the form of firing the one guy who doesn’t pull his weight – respectfully, of course. 

Avoid screaming hissy fits

It is imperative to avoid screaming hissy fits or tawdry put-downs. And, more important than what you leave out of the day is what you put into it. Here are some thoughts and ideas concerning how to develop a company-wide culture of respect and dignity.

  • Tell someone what a great job he or she is doing
  • Show appreciation publicly
  • (Just as importantly) Show appreciation when no one else is around
  • Compliment an employee to their supervisor, not just to them personally
  • Be sure your employees know they can respectfully disagree (and they will be heard)
  • Offer them opportunities for career growth
  • Let an employee know you used his or her idea
  • (Or) Encourage the employee to implement his or her idea
  • Support employees during times of stress
  • Treat employees fairly and equally

And remember – smiles can set the tone for the day. Plus, they are quite contagious.

A few other things to consider

  • Focus on what went well on the project at a closeout meeting. Be sure to point out individuals as well as teams who “brought it” to the project.
  • Provide lunch and updates of progress (no down talk) at last-Friday monthly meetings.
  • Make a big deal of the annual company-wide family get-together events.

 

In conclusion

Show your dignity through being respectful of your staff. And teach them to do the same.

 

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction business owner through our blog posts. Some will be new ways of looking at things, and others will be refreshers.

 

Schulte and Schulte Provides 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

Build A Bigger Business – Think big; act bold

This is part two in a five-part series concerning Steps to Scaling Your Construction Contracting Business. You can see the introduction to the series by clicking here.

Are you among those who’ve figured out the simple way to deal with a puzzle maze is to begin at the end? The misguided and errant paths become much less of a problem to be dealt with when working a maze backwards. Same thing holds true when trying to figure out the puzzle which is all the moving parts of your construction contracting business.

When you start preparing to grow your business begin with the end in mind. Decide what matters to you in the long-term and formulate a big vision. Another term for this step is deciding on an exit strategy. Here are four typical scenarios:

  1. You determine your business will only exist until you retire or die.
  2. You plan to sell your business assets including the name.
  3. You choose to create a legacy firm which your children and later generations will own and run.
  4. You decide to develop a construction contracting firm designed to scale into and beyond the long-term, and which others (not your family) will manage.

Get ready to take “next steps”

Acting Bold becomes easier when you know which outcome you’re working toward. It allows you to focus on today’s steps, the ones which are getting you and your team to the end.

Some suggested next steps:

  • Be proactive.
  • Step back and look at the bigger picture.
  • Develop plans with concrete actions concerning how growth will be achieved.
  • Create realistic growth targets.
  • Decide to think big now hiring out as much of the daily work as possible.
  • Work to surround yourself with the right team members, various mentors, and good connections.
  • Create a model that doesn’t solely depend on you.
  • Think about autonomy for those working for you in order to test weaknesses and holes concerning moving toward your big vision.
  • Learn how to separate your ego from the big vision – trust the vision to do the heavy lifting.

Get ready to step aside

In case you missed it – all four of the above options will have you stepping aside – not being “boss” anymore. In his article in The Harvard Business Review, Noam Wasserman discusses The Founder’s Dilemma in which he states you can choose to be rich or you can choose to be king. He goes on to say it is rare indeed for a business founder to be both.

Whichever route you choose to take (whichever ending you’re working toward) you’ll find it easier to know which “next step” you need to take depending on where you intend to end up.

Your call to action:

Determine your exit strategy. Now begin taking steps to achieve it.