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Biggest challenge: Finding competent, professional, career minded, highly motivated new hires for growing staff.

Solution: Constant recruiting. Hire the right people carefully. Fire the wrong people quickly.

2nd biggest challenge: Responding to and capitalizing on the over abundance of opportunbities

Solution: Larger staff, thorough training, setting expectations more clearly, Raising margins

3rd biggest challenge: Mobilizing large materials and equipment

Solution: Investing in larger transportation equipment

4th biggest challenge: Suppliers capabilities balanced with sharp pricing

Solution: Being very clear about our requirements with suppliers, vertical integration of supply chain, elimination of middlemen

5th biggest challenge: Managing growth while keeping things in control

Solution: Don't be tempted to grow too fast causing loss of controls
 

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Livin the dream...
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Biggest problem: Finding competent, professional, career minded staff.

Solution: Constant recruiting. Hire the right people carefully. Fire the wrong people quickly.
Haven't been solo long but I can tell this is going to be it for me too. Getting help that is competent and trustworthy and then being able to pay well enough to keep them around is going to be tough.

But for where I am right now as a one man show it is simply finding time to get everything done. I have to put in a full day and then go look at jobs, do estimates, book work, shop work etc. Every so often I have a day of just "catch up stuff" but I build that into my pricing so I get paid for those days.
 

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I'm The BOSS
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Biggest problem: Finding competent, professional, career minded staff.

Solution: Constant recruiting. Hire the right people carefully. Fire the wrong people quickly.
I'll 2nd that.

Also keeping the phone ringing and qualifying the right customers.

AND not going broke buying tools...
 

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585 Posts
Staying productive in slower periods inbetween jobs when you know you have all kinds of things to do but don't "have" to do them right away... Personal projects always seem to take twice as long.

Solution: Knock some sense into myself.
 

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After more than 35 years in the trade and 29 being an owner, continuing to motivate myself seems to be my biggest challenge.
Not to hijack here, Tx that's a great subject. I will start a post about motivation over the long haul. I was able to renew my enthusiasm by changing my business drastically.
 

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View attachment 113921

As a contractor, what is your biggest day to day challenge?

How do you overcome it?
Seems like different days brings different challenges. I've experienced my share, and somehow I got through them.

I love working, I work all of the time, I love what I do, and I'm proud to be a mason and I'm very blessed to have a good business, but since motivation was brought up, I have to say that might be a challenge I've been dealing with of late.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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1,834 Posts
#1 Finding good employees is VERY difficult!

#2 Keeping jobs on time so you can get to the next job on time.

#3 Managing the full time job and trying for a promotion while owning and running the construction business, need 30 hours in the day!
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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4,455 Posts
My biggest challenge? Keeping the know-it-all/know-nothing people out of the ears of my clients.

The first time I sit down with my clients, they usually start out not knowing anything at all. After I give them a suitable AV/Home theater design that's functional for their needs, easy to use, and it fits within their budget, they're happy.

They understand exactly what they are getting and how it will all work. I even talk to the satellite/cable TV provider on their behalf (on speaker) so that the technician brings the right equipment. I leave thinking that all is well and that we are on the same page. Then a few days later they're confused, angry, upset, and completely lost. At first I think that it's something that I said or did but in fact it's all coming from other sources.

The salesman at Best Buy told them that if it wasn't digital it wasn't going to work. :rolleyes: Then the next door neighbor said that it's illegal for anyone to hook up a TV other than the cable company.:blink: Then the sister-in-law has a girlfriend whose husband does this "professionally" and says that he never heard of it taking 3 weeks to install a household AV system. :cursing: Then the neighbor from across the street who buys all of his stuff from Radio Shack chimes in and says that wireless equipment is the only way to go, etc...:censored:

So in summary, my biggest challenge is teaching my clients how to ignore all of that excess "chatter".
 

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Then the next door neighbor said that it's illegal for anyone to hook up a TV other than the cable company.:blink:
When you say that do you mean run the cable from the lines to the tv or taking the TV out of the box hanging it on the wall and hooking the cables up.

I'm hoping someone had a miscommunication and meant the first one otherwise I'm leaving this planet.
 

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Accidental Painter
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2,292 Posts
The emotional roller coaster. One day things look great, and just as fast your looking at nothing for the next two weeks. It's hard to flat line your emotions. Between non paying or late paying customers, to ones who bombard you with more work than you can handle, it can drain you mentally.

Keeping a level head can be tough sometimes. Thank god I have a wrench in a bench vise to take out stress on.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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4,455 Posts
When you say that do you mean run the cable from the lines to the tv or taking the TV out of the box hanging it on the wall and hooking the cables up.
To answer your question, it's none of the above. The next door neighbor's comments are irrelevant whether right or wrong. But I'm glad you raised that issue because that's the perfect example of a challenge that I deal with. The neighbors and relatives who are not involved always have the most advice and suggestions.

Then the client expects me to explain it to the neighbor and every other schmuck who has an opinion about what I'm doing. :censored:
 

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Personal motivation seems to be my problem as well. It has been a problem for the last year and half. I can't explain it and I can't figure out how to fix it.

Of course finding good help is another issue.

Customers that watch too much HGTV. (Just yesterday a customer informed me she plans on taking several days to a week +, picking out a paint color. She wants to paint squares on the wall to see how the color looks in different light at different times of the day. 8x10 kitchen with cabinets, to the ceiling, and appliances - your never going to see the paint.)

Time management.
 

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Banned
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3,075 Posts
By far my #1 is......
finding quality people to hire.

#2.....
scheduling. Right now I'm gardening for a few days.....waiting for the chitstorm to hit. Building Inspectors:rolleyes:, interior designers:whistling, clients unable to make final decisions:sad:........they all have a schedule, it just isn't fitting in with mine right now.:censored:
Then there's that motivation thing. I could go out to the shop and build a few tables a client has been waiting for, but I guess I'd rather play around in my garden and complain.

No.........! Today I turn over a new leaf.....or slab. 3 slabs cut from the christmas tree at Rockerfeller Center need to become tables and.... I AM THE MAN FOR THE JOB! (capitalization really didn't help motivate me that much.......$$$ (or the lack thereof) will though)
 
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