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.
Here are a couple of the top bad business habits that contractors should eliminate in 2016 to help their business succeed:
Discounting Quality & Service
As a contractor, you know the project bidding process can be frustrating: A potential client wants a project completed, but doesn’t want to overpay. Several contractors, including yourself, are bidding for the project and some are willing to underbid to secure the job. You know your team is best suited for the project, but reducing your quote would cause you to sacrifice quality, in addition to not getting paid what you deserve. It’s the no-win situation that every contractor hates.
While the lowest bid wins in some cases, many clients are willing to pay more if it assures that the job will get done right. In a survey conducted at the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) Leadership Conference, 95% of owners stated that quality and service matters when selecting contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Also, 89% of respondents are willing to pay more for quality and service. This is great information and insight for contractors, but now the key is figuring out how to prove your value to clients.
Contractors can enhance their bids by better understanding their client’s needs and providing specific solutions for every aspect of the project, instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, if your client is developing a retail shopping center, note your experience, as well as the background of your subs and suppliers. On retail projects, share some of the issues you’ve faced and how you solved them, and explain how you’ll execute the current project if you’re picked as contractor. If a client feels more comfortable with you as the contractor versus others, your odds of securing the bid will be higher, regardless of how low another bidder might have come in.
Leaving a Paper Trail
For some contractors, keeping track of forms and documents is more of a time suck than managing people. And many are one bad lawsuit away from taking a business hit they can’t afford. That’s why contractors of all sizes are going digital at a rapid rate. Things like daily reports, plan views, punch list, quality assurance/control and manpower, can all be tracked digitally for quicker access and easier organization for days, weeks, months, and years to come.
And if you think it’s a gamble for your company to adopt construction project management software, it might help to know that 84% of businesses that have gone digital have seen results within 18 months. It’s pretty clear that the process generates positive results and is a huge benefit to those who are sick of spending too much of their time on paperwork.
Bad habits are easy to pick up, hard to quit. But identifying what they are and nailing down ways to kick them can affect your daily productivity and yearly earnings. Make 2016 the year you say no to wasting time and money.