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Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?

 
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:15 PM   #21
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Buy the biggest wheelbarrow that you can afford.

You will need it to haul all of the money with.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:28 PM   #22
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Easiest way to make a dollar is to fold it up and put it back in your pocket.

You need four points a day to stay in business. 1 point for a phone call, 2 points for an in person meeting. If you are writing two estimates a day or answering the phone four times a day you are on your way. If its been two weeks since your last phone call, well you are also on your way in the other direction.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:59 PM   #23
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


I would ease into it slowly........especially now......market is saturated in many areas....try working a regular job and doing it as a sideline....for a lot of established competition is struggling to keep their doors open.......you're not risking as much if you ease in....only take the plunge when you have enough contacts and capital......it's still a big risk and if you can't manage time and money well.....you end up upside down quick....don't ask me how I know
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:21 PM   #24
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


I really enjoy what I do most of the time.
I'm my own boss, if I want more money , I have to work harder.
If I want time off, I can have as much as I want, when I want.
But I'd better get stuff done and make up for it.
Would I do it again?
I'd probably become an electrician.
(Self employed). ;-)
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:23 PM   #25
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Employees cost more than you think, make sure they're worth it before you hire any.
Answer your phone and return all the calls you get.
Don't be afraid to be nice to people.
It's a customer service job, get used to it and embrace it.
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:17 PM   #26
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


1. Learn from an established and successful operator in your chosen field.

2. Pay attention.....to everything. Be a sponge. Say little....ask often.

3. Learn to estimate the time necessary for completion of tasks (done by yourself, and by a "crew").
If you can not estimate fairly well, you will have to climb over an untold amount of obstacles on your way to failure.

4. Get used to writing painfully specific and detailed contracts.
(Good contracts make for good relationships.....a lot of detail gets lost and misconstrued during simple verbal conversations, even between the finest of people and the closest of friends)

5. Write, deliver, and get signed all Change Orders in a timely fashion.
(See above.......no one likes a "surprise" bill because they "thought" it would be $ ***.XX....and it wasn't)

6. Take the time to learn the fundamentals of taxes, accounting and bookkeeping.
You can hire people for many of these things, but without a bare understanding, you will be at the (possibly perilous) mercy of ......someone else.

7. Remain an active member of CT, ask a lot of questions, and always stay on top of the emerging trends in your field.

8. Stay focused like a laser.
This business does not allow much forgiveness for half-assery or mediocrity. You may make it for a few years during an upswing, but if you fail to stay on your game....you WILL go down in flames eventually.

9. Establish a cooperative business model with employees and subs.
When you make sure everyone makes money and is comfortable, they will look to do the same for you.
(If you find they do not, excommunicate them from the "circle of trust")

10. Under promise......and over deliver.
A surefire way to make sure you are always busy, and always well-regarded and spoken of in glowing terms.
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:51 PM   #27
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Question for Blue Ridge ....how you handle rework issues by employees ?
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:14 PM   #28
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Reason I ask, I'm having some issues with that ...tried to hold one guys accountable ..he quit...other guy makes continual errors
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:57 PM   #29
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AGullion View Post
Question for Blue Ridge ....how you handle rework issues by employees ?
Ohhhh .....me?

That is not a problem I encounter with that much frequency.

I would first have to be able to let my crew operate without my constant and oppressive oversight.

I say this only partially in jest.

I have a small crew, because I am largely unable to "allow" anyone to perform even remotely complicated tasks without first proving to me that they can achieve MY level of desired results, in a consistent and repeatable manner.

I take years to train people, basically from the ground up, by my standards...... and have had to deal with the drawbacks inherent in that system.

It's something I agonize over, and something I am trying to become better at.
I came to realized long ago, that production work was not my thing, so I focused on a much smaller market niche that allows me the time and funding (sometimes....hopefully) to micromanage my work.

That said, I do have to deal with it on some level.
First, I try to assume a certain amount of lost time on each job for re-work.
Then, I do my best to explain to someone what it is that was deficient about their work, and re-do it with them to try and show them how a better result can be achieved.

(Really....the truth.....
I am not a great boss in those situations. I take every nickel of my client's money, or my money, very seriously, and can be very "difficult" at times.
If I had to list my failings as a business owner and boss, that would top the list.)

(Thanks for outing me )
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:05 PM   #30
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Thanks, guy. Certainly no substitute for being onsite. Good attitude.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:07 PM   #31
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AGullion View Post
Thanks, guy. Certainly no substitute for being onsite. Good attitude.

"Don't do your best, do my best"- Adam Carolla
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:23 PM   #32
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Hire a professional accountant. You may think you can't afford one, I say you can't afford not to. The tax laws change constantly. My accountant goes to update seminars all the time to keep her C G A. You are a construction worker, hire the pros for accounting. You will save money in the end, and you won't get in trouble with the government. They deal with them every day. When they call, the government listens. When you call, they tell you that you are wrong.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:43 PM   #33
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AGullion View Post
Reason I ask, I'm having some issues with that ...tried to hold one guys accountable ..he quit...other guy makes continual errors
Employees must be paid for all hours worked. You can't take the cost of their mistakes out of their wages. That not only makes you a labor law violator, it makes you a [email protected] Employee mistakes are a cost of doing business, just like your gasoline bill. Show me an employee making mistakes continuously, and I'll show you management that doesn't know how to hire.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:47 PM   #34
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Spend much less then you make.

Everything else will work itself out.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:50 PM   #35
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


Well, what do you do with some one who does great work 80 percent of the time , and creates a log jam of rework, added cost and headaches . And actually, employee was wrong word , guy was a sub. I didn't say I wouldn't pay anything ...also, we are talking 7-10,000 dollars here in mistakes
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:03 PM   #36
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


You know Kowpoke, actually I didn't ask you , and I'm not anything close to what you insinuated. My payroll is 8-10,000 a week, and guys not caring throws a wrench in things .....Blue Ridge is dead right , more training and sit on them is a great answer, and your right about not knowing how to hire , or even more to the point , not knowing when to fire . I should have fired them both before they did so much damage .
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:10 PM   #37
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Re: Tips You Would Offer Someone Wanting To Start A Construction Business?


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