Handle Your Next “Oh Shit…” Moment On The Jobsite

You know the feeling: Your crew is working hard, interruptions are minimal, and the project’s tracking well – it’s a good day. Then you get an urgent email or phone call about a screw-up, or you make the discovery yourself. It’s bad. Even worse? This one’s on you.

You’ve got an “Oh shit” moment you need to put in reverse, and fast.

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As they say, “Shit happens” –  especially on construction projects (doesn’t matter how big or small).  But when it’s your mistake, simply chalking it up to bad timing or a fluke accident won’t cut it. (Think for a second about what runs through your head when someone tries this one on you.)

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Simple Instagram Tips for Marketing Construction Companies

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Instagram for construction contractors? Isn’t that the platform my teenager uses for what the kids call ‘selfies’?

Nope, not anymore. Instagram is quickly gaining on more widely known social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and many small businesses are starting to realize the platform’s potential for marketing their companies. If you’re a contractor not using this free resource to market your business, then here are some simple tips for getting started.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo/video sharing platform, and similar to Facebook you can post a photo or video and include a caption. Followers can like and comment on the photo/video if they want, and commenters can tag other Instagram users in the comments.

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Contractors: Are You Risking Enough?

“Just taking risks for risk’s sake, that doesn’t do it for me. I’m willing to take risks that I think are worth it, and I’ve worked so hard to make sure that I survive.” – Chris Hadfield, Astronaut

Construction Dive recently forecast that contractors will be more cautious about project selection this year. Ok, on the surface that makes good sense.

Most contractors that survived the recession have got some battle scars to show for it. They can relate to the quote above. Now when they think about how many projects to take on, how large/complex, and how many hands they’ll need, they’re proceeding with more caution than before.

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“Zero Punch List” Possible? Does It Even Matter?

If you tackle it right, there’s no good reason punch list should eat up the final 20% of your project. But is it ever realistic to shoot for a “zero punch list” project? Or is that like believing that there actually is a dark side of the moon?

Let’s dig into that – so you can do great things like make your clients happy and get paid faster.

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First up, if you don’t believe a “zero punch list” job is possible, why is it still worth shooting for?

It goes against the grain, but it’s a great strategy for aligning your project team to collectively work toward higher quality each day. (The alternative being to let poorly-executed work sit until you’re at the tail end of your project.)

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Talk That’s Not Cheap: Construction Project Communication

Tell me you haven’t heard some version of this before:

There’s been some miscommunication (Read: someone f’d up), and it’s causing some delays.”

Or:

“The project got off to a slow start.”

You know when you hear that — because you do hear it— that someone is losing money, and it’s probably not helping their reputation either. Communication breakdowns happen to even the best construction crews.

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It’s often after money losing jobs like this that construction companies entertain the idea of getting project management software — they’re looking to solve a problem. But usually this process leads to a treating of specific symptoms while ignoring the disease.

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The Top Habits Contractors Should Kick in 2016

The greatest accomplishment is not in ever falling, but in rising again after you fall. – Vincent T. Lombardi

It’s that time of the year when contractors wrap things up and put all the wins and losses behind them. You look forward to the New Year and put down a plan, usually with some goals to help make your business more prosperous. Putting down goals is essential, no doubt, but what might be missing from the plan is just as essential to helping you achieve those goals: bad habits, and how to kick them.

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Unlocking Value From Stakeholder Relationships

If you’re a general contractor, you’re almost never alone. You’re constantly crossing paths with clients, architects, engineers, suppliers, and subcontractors. Ask yourself honestly: How much time have you put into building on these relationships?

If you answered “not much,” you’re missing out on some big opportunities to help your business win.

twenty20_contractor-relationship-buildingBuilding relationships takes extra time and effort, and it makes sense that you’d pour it all into the job. But face it: You’re not Stephen King, writing books in a room in Maine. To be successful in the construction industry, you need people, plain and simple. And so many relationship-building opportunities are ignored every day. Here’s how to pay attention to them, and what you’ll get in return:

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Construction Managers: How to Own Daily Productivity

Does this situation sound familiar?  You’re in a status meeting, struggling to pay attention, but the person talking isn’t engaging anybody or sharing any information you care about. The meeting ends, and instead of feeling like you have a better handle on things, you feel like you’ve all but wasted 30 minutes. As a construction manager, you have to ask yourself, “Is this how my team feels after one of my meetings”?

Too often managers call too many meetings to report on what’s happening and don’t involve the attendees, ask for input, have meaningful discussions, or adjourn with an action plan. – George Hedley, HardhatBizSchool.com

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How to ‘Miscommunicate’ Better on Construction Projects

The title of this post is not a typo, in case you were wondering.

No, I was having a conversation the other day with a guy after work. We were talking about communication on construction projects. Pretty broad topic. But he works in the field 50-60 hours a week in New York City. I wanted to know what his gripes were. I wanted to know what it was like being an army of one in a sense, while also very much relying on the rest of his project team—boots on the ground and every floor—to execute a really friggin’ hard construction job. He cracked a smile, and I figured a good story was coming — the kind of story everyone from the foreman plumber to the project engineer has told someone at one point or another. It turned out to be pretty simple:

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Where are the Construction Project Managers?

The construction industry is facing a labor shortage, and project managers (PMs) are among the top three hardest to find of skilled workers. Four out of five organizations report that they are struggling to find qualified PMs, and more than 20% of PMs are approaching retirement age and will need replacing. How did this shortage come about and catch so many companies seemingly off-guard?

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Construction project managers are in short supply as a result of a rebounding economy, an aging workforce, and a dwindling supply of new talent. Other possible reasons for the shortage include shortsighted hiring practices, lack of planning for the future, and cuts in budgets that result in fewer trainees. While there may be plenty of junior talent available, mid-level and senior talent are hard to find. These are the workers who have experience and knowledge in the field—things that cannot be taught.

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