If you are a general contractor and you are at the point where you are looking to bring more people on board, perhaps upgrading from a solo worker to a small business, there is a lot that you have to consider. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, especially when you’re used to working by yourself and you have your own methods, but it is critical for the sake of your business, your customer service, and your future employees that you expand your commercial contractor business appropriately. What are the things you need to think about?
How Your Working Practices Will Evolve
One of the biggest mistakes we can all make as a business is thinking that we can simply carry on the way we are but pass on the salient information to our new employees. Your working practices are going to have to evolve in order to keep up with the workload but also for the sake of your developing company culture. The culture of a company is something that many solo business people overlook because they haven’t had to think about it. It’s now at the point where you need to have a better understanding of how you implement processes but also how this will impact your business in the long run.
Because there are so many different ways to fine-tune your practices, you should bear in mind the importance of things like the right software. Something like the BuildOps field service app helps many commercial contractors streamline and organize their businesses so they can develop a far more efficient organization. The biggest problem so many solopreneurs have is being so set in their ways that when somebody comes on board, there is no room for interpretation, which means that there is a great degree of conflict. If you are to grow your business, you have to get into the mindset that you will need to evolve.
Fine-Tuning Your Cash Flow
Every company needs the right approach to cash flow in order to stay afloat. Many one-man bands think that they don’t need to hire a business accountant because they’ve already got their books in order. As true as that may be for you, you’ve got to bear in mind that as your business develops, it’s going to be much harder to keep track of every little aspect. There are online programs and tools that can certainly help with this, but you’ve got to have a robust system to ensure that your cash flow is thriving, positive, and well-managed.
Cash flow is not just about what comes in and goes out, but it’s also about ensuring that you understand many other aspects, for example, your lien rights. Because if you know what to do when cash flow becomes a problem and understand how to protect these rights, you will not be waiting as long to get paid. Cash flow is not just about the business finances, but it’s also about making sure that you pay yourself as well.
Looking at Your Leadership Skills
Companies don’t just grow by themselves, and if you are growing a contractor business by having an extra employee or a handful of individuals on board, you’ve got to understand how you lead. When you have a plan that you believe in and you want to lead people toward growth, you’ve got to figure out how to get others to believe in your vision. One of the biggest issues many people make when they are setting up a business is that they become absurdly single-minded in what they want, and therefore, there is no opportunity for wiggle room, and this means that there will be conflict or it will result in people who are more fearful of working for you. You will get a bad reputation because there is no opportunity to budge.
It goes back to that idea of creating an amazing company culture. If your employees feel like they can come to you with any problem and you’re not going to dismiss it, but are encouraging working together on developing a solution, this will invariably result in a far more efficient environment, but it all stems from how you lead a company. Looking at ways to lead properly and ensuring that you develop the variety of hard and soft skills that are so pivotal to leadership success will guarantee that your business also becomes a far more successful one because you’ve got a culture that is built on happiness.
The Legal Side of the Equation
It is harder than ever to be a contractor in the modern world. There are so many rules and regulations that we need to be on top of purely so we can do our jobs properly, but we also need to keep our skills up to code, especially with developments in technology. The fact of the matter is that if we are not cognizant of the legal components, especially in terms of your business, you can find yourself on the receiving end of a number of lawsuits.
A good construction law attorney will be invaluable because they will know how to navigate those laws where you are and give you that essential advice. So when things get bumpy and you don’t know how to deal with the business side of things, you will have a greater advantage than you think.
Finding the Right Employees
Upgrading your business is also about ensuring that you have a balance of the right employees who have the skills, but also suit the business as a whole. While you will have to take a long, hard look in the mirror and fine-tune your approach to leading, you need to have the right employees who don’t just do what they’re told but will challenge you in the right ways. This is the only way that you will grow as a business and as a leader. One of the biggest difficulties in hiring people within construction or contracting is that they come from a very small pool of talent. If you want to expand your business, especially if you want to bring the construction or contracting industry into the 21st century, you’re going to have to think outside the box.
Thinking about hiring people with a number of different skills or finding people who are willing to learn will ensure that you can create something that is different from the norm, but in a good way. For example, in the construction industry, there is a lack of women. Why is this? Is it because the industry is scaring women away? Is it because the people in the industry think women are not able to do the job? If you are subscribing to these antiquated notions, you’d better buck up your ideas because when you start to bring different people into the organization that changes your way of thinking, you will reap the benefits.
Focusing on Quality Work
One of the biggest quandaries we all have in business is that we feel like we need to take on as much work as humanly possible. If we do this, we start gradually foregoing quality. Over time, this means you will have fewer customers and you will have even fewer positive reviews. Having the discipline to focus on good quality work and being selective with your customers while you are scaling up ensures that you will eventually profit.
When you take on additional work, it has to be profitable. This means you’ve got to go back to the drawing board and see if the time it takes to price up a job for a specific client is going to be worth your while, especially if that client looks like they may bail out at the last possible second, meaning you’ve wasted time, effort, and could have been focusing on something else.
Do Not Forget the Importance of Customer Service
If there is anything that we can learn about running a contractor or construction business, it’s that we can always fine-tune our customer service. One of the biggest problems we can find in the construction industry is that it is overrun with people who may have the ability to do the job but don’t deliver that customer service. When you are expanding, the best thing for you to do, first of all, is to get a secretary or assistant that can help you organize your business while also being the point of contact.
While this doesn’t mean you can grunt your way through a job, you still need to know how to deliver good customer service and potentially learn a little bit more about how to engage better with people. This is not just pivotal to the success of your business during tough times, but the hallmark of good customer service means that when there are tough economic times like right now, you will be able to keep your head above water.
If you are looking to upgrade your contracting or construction business, it’s important to not get caught out by the old-fashioned aspects and think about making those upgrades to catapult your company into the modern landscape.
(Disclaimer: This content is a partnered post. This material is provided as news and general information. It should not be construed as an endorsement of any investment service. The opinions expressed are the personal views and experience of the author, and no recommendation is made.)