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

 

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