I’m a firm believer in treating salespeople well. When they’re treated well, they’ll sell. When they sell, you win.
I am not opposed to the use of cell phones on the jobsite as long as the phone is used solely to communicate information about the job, and the calls are direct and to the point.
If you want to attract the best people, you need to make the a good offer.
There’s a reason that working in the trades isn’t appealing. But if you do the work, you know there are positives that outweigh the negatives.
Finding good employees is difficult, and you want to keep the ones you find. Sadly, I’ve spoken with a few contractors who’ve had their lead person, the one running their jobs, quit in frustration.
When you own a small business you’re often asked to hire family or friends. Sometimes it works out great, but not always.
As you add employees to a growing company, you’ll both increase production and decrease productivity. You need to account for it when you’re estimating and pricing your jobs.
It’s true that employees are important, to your business and/or to your subs who get your jobs built. But they aren’t the reason you’re in business.
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that it’s difficult to find employees, I’d buy an island in the South Pacific.
There are business owners who think it’s okay to put the screws to someone else as long as it helps them make more money.
Does subcontracting raise the price of the project?
It’s the time of year when you should be planning for the coming year. Once you set your plans for the year, how much of those plans should you share with your employees?
Make sure your new hire is compatible with your business, in both personality and skills.
Issues that eat into profitability: It’s easy to hire someone who looks good on paper. If the resume is terrific and their references are glowing, they get hired.
Recently I’ve had a number of discussions with company owners about how to get their jobs built. It all comes down to using subs or employees, or as some like to say, “Should I be a paper contractor or a real contractor?”
I’m hopeful our industry will continue to improve as owners do the remodeling, repairing or building they’ve delayed. When you sell those jobs, will you use employees or subcontractors to get them built?
We have a major problem in our industry: we’re getting old. There aren’t enough young people getting into construction.
I recently had the opportunity to visit with some construction employees and it struck me that they didn’t know much about the company they worked for.
How do you pay a salesperson? If you were to work for yourself, would you be okay with the rules you’ve established for paying your salespeople?
Sometimes they request you use employees instead of subs, or work on a T&M basis. Clients don’t understand how the construction world works. It’s your job to educate them.
Can you afford to hire a new office empl …
Have you ever had a client go behind your back and ask your employees and/or subcontractors to work for them outside your company?
When I was selling, I always sold on straight commission only. Pay should be based on performance. When you hire a salesperson, set ground rules that you both work under.
If your construction business isn’t profitable, it won’t survive. You have an option of being competitive in construction. You don’t have the option of being profitable.
It's your job, as the construction business owner, to make sure no one smokes and no one smells like an ashtray when you go on a job.
If you have employees, changing laws can impact your business. Two states recently legalized recreational marijuana. Another 15 states allow medical marijuana.
When you are looking for employees, your advertising should include the caveat that speaking, reading and writing English as a job requirement.
Whenever you get two people together, there's the chance of a disagreement.
If you're an employer, these are things you should watch for and be prepared to deal with. If you're an employee, check to see how you're doing.
Do you have a potty-mouthed employee who is offending your clients, subs, suppliers and maybe even your other employees?
I recently worked with a company having problems with a particular salesperson. They produced sales, but also created a lot of clean up opportunities for the owner.
If you have salespeople, their job is to bring in profitable work. If you are paying them anything other than straight commission, where is the motivation to sell?
It’s my opinion, that being late is almost always a habit. If you have employees who are perpetually late, you have to decide how much you want to put up with.
We are approaching the time of year when the subject of bonuses comes up. Your employees might be saying, “Do you suppose they will pay us a Christmas Bonus this year?”
Now, if you are a subcontractor, it doesn't matter what trade, if a general contractor has hired you to work on a job your obligation is to that general contractor only.
If you’ve raised kids in the past 20-30 years, you know the new rules – no one loses, everyone gets a prize. Don’t keep score because it hurts their feelings.
If you are a general contractor hiring a salesperson, do you have a written agreement with them?
At the National Tile Contractors Association national convention this fall, I sat in on a class about social media and how it can benefit your business.
We are rapidly approaching the time of year when you should review and update your employee manual.
I read an article in Entrepreneur Magazine titled “Freelance Nation”. The author discusses the proper tax handling of subcontractors versus employees.
Someone asked me recently if I thought a salesperson for a construction-related company should help provide leads, and how many. Yes, they should help provide leads.
"The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority." The dictatorial manager won't get the results they want by bullying or badgering.
One of my buddies has an employee with constant money issues. My buddy said he switched companies that handle his payroll and there was an extra day between paychecks.
I was working as a salesperson for a fairly well run remodeling company. I went on a sales call to the home of a CPA that I’d know for some years.
I read an article about a local construction company that gets all the employees together to do stretching exercises each morning before they start working.
Why is it some folks have tons of time to gripe and complain but they won't take the time to prevent those problems by making minor changes in the way they do business?
Many old timers in this business will tell you to be slow to hire and quick to fire. That is just the opposite of what too many construction-related businesses do.
Unless you have detailed records on production per hour per employee, you probably don’t know if the folks working on your jobs are producing to the max.
Invoices came in that they knew little or nothing about. While checking, they learned some of the materials were used on "side jobs" being done on nights and weekends.
I have recently read comments regarding non-compete clauses in an employee manual. The issue with these clauses is the length of time covered.
A question came about moonlighting employees. This is an ongoing issue for construction business owners.
If a company offers no sick pay or vacation pay…but is about to start – which is more important to offer first, anticipating that the next year we can offer the other?
What do you suppose is uppermost in the minds of your employees?
What do you do when an employee’s work is not up to par and the client complains and will not pay for the work done?
One of our coaching clients told me recently that his crews are working four 10-hour days but his production numbers are off.
Many contractors are experiencing a lower dollar volume of business. That means less money coming in the door to pay overhead.
I asked why they weren’t setting the post they were scheduled to set . . . What a treat to hear someone else’s project was more important.
Do you know who you are sending out to your job sites? Do you run background checks before you hire employees? It's time to start.
If being a lawyer is just like any other job, why do so many people regard it as a better career than that of a tradesperson like an electrician, carpenter or plumber?
All of the industries that we work with share one thing in common: they employ tradespeople . . . But there’s a problem: there’s not enough of you to go around.
Quick spot check about construction empl …
We are in a business whose backbone is good communication. I’m sure that would apply to most businesses, but it certainly is true in construction.
At the start of break, the crew jumped in a truck, drove 15 minutes to a doughnut shop, had coffee and a doughnut or two, drove 15 minutes back to the job site.
If your employees consistently take longer than you estimated, you need to change your method of estimating. The human body can only work so fast.
We are only five short months away from deer and elk hunting seasons. It is not too soon to remind your employees who want time off to get those dates on the schedule.
It’s tempting to hire more people now. Don’t bring on more employees just because you are busy. Instead, first make sure you can generate enough business to support them.