Every business leader wants to see their business grow. If you want to become a successful construction contractor, you should look to other successful contractors to see what they are doing. While there is no single thing you can do to magically succeed, Needo has some suggestions. These are some of the top tips that successful contractors follow.
Vision is Very Important
This is true of any business. It’s great to be good at what you do. But to really grow and become more than just a run-of-the-mill kind of mediocre business, you need vision. What does vision mean? For starters, you need to know what kind of business you want to be. There may be dozens or even hundreds of competing contractors in your service area. What makes you stand out? What do you want people to see when they see your business? Where do you fit into the local construction market? Answering these question thoughtfully and seriously is not easy. But if you can spend some time really figuring out what you want your business you be, you can start to go after it. Knowing where you want to go is the first step in getting there.
Vision is also important personally. You need to have a vision for the type of leader you want to be. You can ask many of the same questions about yourself that you ask about your business. What is your leadership style now? What do you want your leadership style to be? What do you want your employees to think about you? What kind of culture do you want to create for your business? If you can answer these questions, you can begin to work towards becoming the leader you want to be. You can also become the type of leader that can accomplish the vision you set out for your business.
Educate and Train Your Workers
Your workers are your greatest asset. The more you develop your workers, the more they can do for you and your business. You could try to go out and hire experts in every field. But if you already have a workforce, ongoing education can continually fine-tune their skills to build your expert team in-house.
Ongoing education means that you are training and educating your workers at every opportunity. That doesn’t need to mean daily lessons, but it does mean taking time out occasionally to learn new skills and enhance existing ones. If your workers are seasonal, bring them in a few days or even a few weeks before the building season starts for some extra training. If you work year-round, have some education plans ready for a rainy day. When they’re not working in the field, your workers can be learning and increasing their work capacity.
Cross-training is also important. Take opportunities to train your workers in a variety of skills. If you have only one worker who can use a particular machine or perform a particular task, you are limited in your scheduling and workload. But if everyone is cross-trained, you will increase your flexibility and be able to take on more jobs.
Communicate With Your Workers Every Day
At the beginning of each workday, get together with all your workers for a quick meeting. Go over the work plan and the goals for the day. Don’t assume that anyone knows exactly what to do next. Keeping everyone informed and setting small goals will give your workers a sense of purpose and ownership and keep everyone on task.
This is also a great place to implement your leadership style and your work culture. Workers will stay with a business that is enjoyable to work at. Every day doesn’t need to be a party, but workers should enjoy doing what they do. Make your workplace an environment that encourages a good laugh and keeps things light. Construction can sometimes get stressful, so keeping things lighthearted will help your workers stay productive and reduce stress.
Develop Great Field Leaders
If you are able to grow your business, you may find that you have multiple work site and more to do as a leader than you can handle alone. This is where delegation and employee development come in. The more you are able to trust in your field leaders, the more productive your business can be.
Train with an eye toward leadership development. If you have a strong and wise field leader, you can spend your time on other parts of your business. Filed leaders can direct the daily work, so you don’t have to.
Learn to Motivate Workers Without Stress
If workers constantly feel under pressure, they will wear out quickly. You’ll find that you aren’t keeping your best workers. But a low-stress environment doesn’t mean relaxing on the job. Instead, motivate your workers with clear goals and shared customer expectations. Don’t be afraid to share information with your workers. Let them know how the company is doing. Make sure that they are aware not just of your expectations, but also the expectations of the client. Workers who understand the stakes of their work will be more motivated to meet high standards.
Incentive Programs Are Good Business
While money shouldn’t be the only motivator in your business, rewarding good work with good pay is important. While your base pay should be at least competitive in the market, let workers know that if specific goals are met, they can make a little more. One key to a good incentive plan is to be very explicit with how the plan works.
There are many ways to incentivize workers with extra pay, but however you choose to do it the system should be clear and fair. Incentives are great if want workers to meet or exceed a particular goal and will pay them a little more to do it. But make sure they know exactly what you want, or they can’t meet your goals and will be disappointed in their inability to earn the extra buck.
Involve Your Workers In the Planning Process
If you’ve trained your workers to execute your project, you may want to give them a chance to help in the planning stages. Workers who feel a sense of ownership are much more likely to stay with you. But it’s not just about the workers. Once your workers are trained and know exactly how to complete a project, their input on how to complete the project can be invaluable. After all, these are the people who are on the job site every day getting the work done. They may have ideas about how to complete the next project that you never thought of. Just like developing field leaders, incorporating input from your workers is part of recognizing that you don’t hold all the answers. Successful contractors don’t pretend to be all-knowing. They take good information from anywhere they can get it.
Invest in Good Software and Management Tools
When you supply your workers, you want them to have high-quality tools to do high-quality work. As the general contractor, you may need tools besides your construction tools. Running and managing a business is a complicated undertaking, but it can be made easier with the right tools. Modern construction management software can make you more efficient, accurate, and effective. Needo makes software that can help keep your jobs organized and keep track of your workers and vendors. Best of all, your workers and customers can have access to your software so everyone can stay on the same page.
Contact Needo today to learn more about how we can help you become an outstanding construction contractor.