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Construction Programs & Results Inc

We Like to See The Good Guys Win!

August, 2019

by Michael Stone

Here we are again. It's time to check your July sales and your production to be sure they matched up with your company goals. If your numbers are off, you must immediately increase your sales or reduce your overhead expenses to keep the financial balance in your company. If you don't, your spending might eat up all your profits for the year. It is getting to the point in the year when catch-up is difficult if not impossible.

We now have seven months behind us. In less than four months we'll be having our yearly Thanksgiving festivities. Plan your specials now for your holiday advertising. Get your printing done, and arrange the advertising for fall work (October - November - December). Your promotions should all be on your website because that's where potential clients will look first.

Have you checked your vehicles lately? Have you checked the oil, tire pressure, transmission and differential to be sure the oil is where it should be? Have you gotten in the vehicle and driven it a few miles to be sure it's running right and the crew is taking care of your investment? Are vehicles being kept clean, inside and out?

One way to gain publicity and do a good deed at the same time is to help some of the elderly folks in your area still living in their own homes. It can create goodwill in the neighborhoods you want to work in. A few years back, we suggested you create a drawing where folks submit their name, address and phone numbers and you draw 3-5 of those names out of the hat at some point in October. Those you draw get help for no charge (you'll need parameters - over a certain age, income limitations, what you will do, time investment on your part, etc.) Figure out the details and let the local media know about it. You get the publicity for doing it and you get names to add to your mailing list. Now, I'm throwing a rough idea out there, see if you can make it work or improve on it. Give it some thought and see where it goes. You will never know if this approach will work until you give it a try.

While the economy is doing well at the moment, there are things you can do to prevent any "slow times" during January, February and March of 2020. Start planning ads for those months. Don't wait until January when you have nothing to do to start thinking about advertising. You need to be getting in front of potential clients now if you want work on the books during the winter months. Get started now.

Check that all your subcontractor's license, bond and insurance information is up to date. Same song, same verse, get it done.

Make sure your employee manual has been signed and read by all of your staff. I cover the whys and wherefores and the need for an employee manual in chapter 6 of Markup and Profit; A Contractor's Guide Revisited. The problems an employee manual can prevent are worth many times the investment.

Be sure and check the filters on the air-handling units in your office. Many times these plug up and can drastically reduce the AC's ability to keep your space at a reasonable temperature. If you have any signs of dust on the return air grills, it's time to clean your filters.

Did you remember your spouse's birthday this year? How about your kids? Don't forget mom and dad. A nice gift certificate on an employee's birthday always helps out. It doesn't have to be big, $10 to a coffee shop or ice cream parlor. Just be there.

Take your wife/husband on a date. Take your shoes off and walk on the beach. Or find the highest spot in the area, hold hands and watch the sun go down. Don't forget the ice cream. Make it your "first date" again.