Why It’s Actually Safer To Ditch The Paper Trail

I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in a construction family.

With my grandfather, father, brother and various uncles owning construction companies I know (as in I really, truly know) how important covering your ass is. I’ve witnessed first-hand the frustration and inevitable time-suck that occurs with any type of lawsuit.

Construction business owners are some of the busiest and most stressed out people on the planet. Add a lawsuit to their list of things to deal with, and their pace of productivity briefly unravels, taking a toll on the whole company.

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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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The Secret To Marketing Your Construction Company

You’re already doing it.

Your company is live with a project management software program, and results are rolling in: Work is happening faster, tracking progress and construction documents is easier, and no one’s banging their head against the wall when “daily report” and “punch list” are mentioned.

For many firms, there’s your victory. But smart contractors are discovering there’s more juice where that came from.

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One of the biggest bonuses of your new field management program isn’t in the field; it’s in the new technology’s marketing value.

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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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3 Skills All Great Construction Managers Need

As you know, construction managers can make or break any project. And right now they’re laying the groundwork for the future of the industry to satisfy the growing demand for green building, support the development of new technology, and answer the call to renew domestic and global infrastructure. 

But what separates the great from the good (and bad)? Here are three leadership skills that every top construction manager has in their toolbox:

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Planning and Goal Setting

Detailed planning and goal setting are required for projects to have a chance to come in on-time, on-budget, and safely. Whether following a phased master plan or weekly schedules and agendas, managers create and rely on these tools to track progress and hold their teams, as well as themselves, accountable. With countless moving parts and various stakeholders invested in construction projects, great managers make planning and goal setting a priority so satisfying client expectations is realistic and achievable.

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3 Construction Trends to Watch for in 2016

2016 is poised to be a beautiful year for the construction industry. So kick back, relax, and get a glimpse of the top trends that await you in the New Year:

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U.S. construction expected to grow 6% to $712 billion

“The expansion for the construction industry has been underway for several years now, with varying contributions from each of the major sectors. For 2016, the economic environment should support further growth for the overall level of construction starts.” – Robert Murray, chief economist, Dodge Data & Analytics

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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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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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