Goal Planning in Your Construction Business
Goals and how to prioritize them
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen Covey
While there can be a multitude of goals concerning any construction company, I’ve identified 5 which are a good start for prioritizing your construction company goals. And, I’ve listed them in (a sample of) the order of priority.
Goal 1 – How will it end?
The overall big swooping question you must answer is, “How will it end?” What will become of your construction contracting company in the years ahead? How will you, the owner, exit? And, your choices are rather limited. There are 4 basic alternatives:
- Legacy – pass down to your children or grandchildren
- Sell – sell your business as a going concern
- Job over – close the door — liquidate the business and sell the assets
The last option isn’t pretty and one for which no one plans.
Furthermore, there are other circumstances you must consider.
How will you afford to retire whether you sell to others or pass the business to your children?
Are you equipping someone in the family or in your employee to step to the helm?
Have you contacted an attorney concerning how and when to step down?
What happens to your family, employees, and clients in the event of your untimely death?
Will you choose to work for another contractor if you decide to go out of business? Speaking of going out of business, this article has a A 10-Step Checklist for Closing a Business that is worth perusing – and might make you decide it will be easier to stay in business. 😵
Once you’ve answered the above questions and determined how you want your business to end, you can choose goals which lead to that destination.
Goal 2 – Wowing your clients
This is where your core company values, standards, and ethics come into play. What goals do you have for yourself, your company, your employees, and your subs which add to the client wow factor?
This is when it becomes essential to measure correctly. And, I’m not talking about measuring twice and cutting once. Essentially what it comes down to is knowing what to measure.
For example, if you set a goal that everyone in your company must take X number of classes each year, you’re likely missing the correct item to measure. The number of classes multiplied by the number of employees only equals how many classes were taken.
The number of ecstatic clients or highly satisfied general contractors should be where your computation ends. The first part of the equation is where you must choose the correct methods for reaching your goals. Some which come to mind are:
- Clean jobsites
- Paperwork ahead of schedule
- No preventable accidents
- Teamwork among employees, fellow contractors, and clients
- Accountability for personal as well as company actions
It could very well be that taking or offering classes concerning any of the above goals plays into your plan for meeting those goals. Good. Then add them to the equation with a specific goal in mind. There are other strategies you may choose to use and we’ll delve into that in part 3 of this series.
Goal 3 – What’s in it for you?
Why do you really want to own a construction contracting business? Does it give you a sense of personal fulfilment?
- You like the challenge of putting the pieces together.
- It allows you to express your creativity.
- Cash, yes you like the cash involved.
- You know you have leadership skills and you enjoy putting them to use.
- Giving other people jobs and opportunities is worth it to you.
- You genuinely enjoy seeing buildings rise from the ground.
- Understanding how people will use what you’ve had a hand in building is rewarding.
Whatever it is that makes you glad you’re a construction business owner, you have opportunity to set goals which make you better at doing just that.
How will you determine you’ve been successful? Is success a far-off goal to look forward to or is it something you’re achieving in the here-and-now?
And, here is where we get to bedrock. How will your ownership of a construction contracting business affect your family, your friends, and your community?
It is about the spend. How will you spend your money, influence, and time? Remember, we’re talking about setting priorities. Make sure you have your personal priorities straight. The next step is developing goals to align with those priorities.
Goal 4 – The wellbeing of your employees
A few goals to consider include:
- Benefits and pay packages
- Vehicle or vehicle allowance
- Training and/or cross-training
- Safety immersion and training
Yet, you already knew that. You’ve likely thought of each of the above. Where it becomes more difficult is when it is harder to get a firm grip on the ROI.
How do you measure the Return on Investment into your employees when what they want can’t be measured by dollars or time spent? We’ll get to that in a minute. But first, let’s reflect on how this looks from your side.
Let’s say your company goals reflect what you’re doing, where you want to go and why. This comes down to your mission and vision. Are your company goals known to your employees? Can they be accessed easily? (That means – are they written down?) Are you sure they understand them?
Now, we can talk about what your employees want beyond the paycheck and the benefits package.
Your employees want to know they’re making a contribution. In part, that means they want to know you value them for more than their set of skills.
They want to experience the connection that comes from doing good work with good people. Yep, they want to have fun. They want the camaraderie that comes from working with others. And, like you, they want to be able to point at a finished project and say, “I built that!” Employees want to experience the pleasure that comes with the feeling that their work matters.
Your goals for employee wellbeing will reflect your understanding of what your employees need.
Goal 5 – Getting the word out
The goals you set concerning marketing will, in some ways, reflect the goals you set in the previous sections. Do you want to stay in business? Will your present clients be inclined to refer business your way? Will your support for your family or employees be maintained or (perhaps) increased due to marketing efforts?
When determining your goals concerning marketing it is well to keep in mind that there will be a “spend” connected. As my not-at-all-famous friend, Karen once remarked, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”
Your marketing goals must include the spend-factor. Because your time, your money, or both will be spent. Your goals may include the use of paid advertising, various social media channels, hard copy materials, (business cards, flyers, pamphlets) cold calling, asking for referrals, you know – that sort of thing.
Yet, there is more to keep in mind. Your marketing efforts start with elated clients and happy employees.
Your goals are connected
It is noteworthy that your construction company goals have relationships with one another. It is like the lyrics in the old Frank Sinatra song.
Love and marriage, love and marriage
They go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you, brother
You can’t have one without the other
Taking time to sort through the various goals you have for your commercial construction business won’t be easy. Yet, it will be worth it.
This article concerning the Golden Rules of Goal Setting does a good job explaining the basics.
This has been the second in a three-part series concerning planning for priorities. You can see the first part here. The third part deals with the strategies connected with goals and priorities.
Do you have a goal of getting all your financial dealings under control? We’re good at that. You can get in touch here. Or give us a call Toll Free: 866-629-7735