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    Working Out An Effective Marketing Budget For Your Service-Based Company

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, May 29, 2020

    “How much should I spend on marketing?” Most construction business people ask me this question at some stage. Many small company owners find working out how much to spend on marketing a tricky exercise to calculate. 
     
    Generally, there are five ways to work out a marketing budget for the year. Remember that these are marketing budgets, not advertising budgets. Marketing covers everything you do in your business that creates awareness, including such activities as advertising, brochures, competitions, trade shows, demonstrations, travel, direct mail, email campaigns, your website, and sponsorship.
     
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    Topics: Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, millennial contractors, boomer contractors

    Build Or Rebuild Your Construction Company By Bootstrapping

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, May 22, 2020

    Bootstrapping is figuring out how to reduce the cash you need to start or re-start your business, by eliminating any unnecessary overheads while finding out who will give you a hand.
     
    If for whatever reason, you're not able to raise enough capital to start-up, you might be able to get what you need by 'bootstrapping' (finding what you need through unconventional or low-cost methods):
     
    Have others lend what you need
     
    You don't have to purchase new equipment to start your business. Think about what items you might be able to borrow over the short term or do without until the business grows.
     
    Draw up a list of your asset needs and make a determined effort to borrow from others what you can while searching online for second-hand items that will save your business money. Are there people you know that are already in the construction business who could lend you what you need?
     
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    Topics: Working Capital, Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, bootstrapping

    Boosting The Social Proof Of Your Construction Business Online

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, May 15, 2020

    While the world is staying six feet apart, most small businesses are staying afloat and connected online. Now is a great time to boost the social proof of your construction business virtually.
     
    You won't build a loyal client base if you can't earn your visitors' trust, which is why companies value social proof so highly. But proving your construction business's value online takes a unique skill set, one you can nurture by learning from the marketing industry professionals.
     
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    Topics: Construction Marketing, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips

    Construction Business Communication Strategies During A Pandemic

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, May 08, 2020

    Most small business owners face a time in their career when they have to communicate in ways or about topics they aren't confident with. COVID-19 has put construction business owners in the position of having many conversations that are uncomfortable and stressful. 
     
    Whether you're communicating with employees about company issues during the pandemic, hoping to negotiate a rent reduction to the landowner, or changes to credit terms to your banker, here are some strategies that will help you be more effective in your communications. 


     
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    Topics: Communication, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips

    How To Manage Your Construction Firm's Cash Flow During Crisis

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, May 01, 2020

    Dealing with unexpected cash-flow difficulties, even if you're working hard to avoid shortfalls, is hugely distracting. A formerly reliable client might take much longer to pay than anticipated leaving you out of pocket. If you're starting a construction business, it could simply be taking longer than expected to turn a profit in these trying times.
     
    Red light warnings

    Develop red light systems to warn you automatically if something needs querying:

    • Check as early as possible if leads, orders, or sales, fall below a certain threshold, or a substantial customer ends their subscription (recurring service).
    • Pay attention to your Key Performance Indicators. Make sure you have regular feeds of how your business is performing.
    • You also need to know about any substantial invoices that are in dispute, particularly overdue debts and clients exceeding their credit limits.

    Building productive relationships with your key suppliers is important, so they are prepared to extend extra credit to you when you need it. 

    If you have a properly set up accounting software, then it should be relatively easy to view your red flags weekly, monthly (or any period you set).

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    Topics: Construction Cash Flow, Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, crisis

    Bridging Generation Gap In The Construction Industry

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Apr 24, 2020

    These days, it’s inevitable that a diverse group of older and younger workers cross paths in the construction industry. After all, the young, tech-savvy, socially conscious demographic known as Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z are currently the largest living generation in the U.S., navigating the workforce in record numbers. And the boomers may be retirement age, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to stop working. Many baby boomers are choosing to enjoy “encore careers” – jobs that allow them to continue to apply their skills and experience to personally meaningful projects.

    Here are a few ways to help these two groups work together, so your construction business benefits from their unique and complementary skills. 

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    Topics: Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, millennial contractors, boomer contractors

    Could Your Construction Business Benefit From The Gig Economy?

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Apr 17, 2020

    At some point, every business owner needs outside help to improve efficiency – or to free up their time so they can take steps toward future growth. 
     
    The trouble is, the cost of hiring regular staff, even on a part-time basis, can eat up a company's budget – especially in the early years when you're still just finding your feet.  
     
    The rise of the remote freelance worker (otherwise known as the "gig economy"), especially during this time, can offer construction business owners a simple, cost-effective solution when they need extra help with a one-off "gig" or short-term contract. 
     
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    Topics: Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Productivity, Construction Workplace

    Cybersecurity Tips For Construction Business Owners

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Apr 10, 2020

    It's natural for small business owners to think that they won't be victims of cyber attacks. Most of the news surrounding hacking and data breaches involve large corporations, but that is because that's where a high number of victims are affected. Hackers may find they have an easier time going after small businesses and start-ups that aren't prepared for a security breach. 
     
    So while they might get less information from a small business, thieves will have an easier time accessing that information. If your construction company keeps any time-sensitive information on a computer network—whether that is personal information, credit card details, or other vital data—you need to ensure your cybersecurity is top-notch, so you, your business and your clients are fully protected. 
     
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    Topics: Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, security, cybersecurity

    What To Do When Your Construction Company's Supply Chain Faces Disruption

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Apr 03, 2020

    Having a family-owned construction business in times of uncertainty, we spent many sleepless nights wondering how we were going to make payroll. Where would our next job come from? Would it be profitable, or would something terrible happen to cause us to go bankrupt?
     
    If your company relies on material suppliers in various geographic locations, it's likely that at some point, your construction business will face a supply chain disruption. Whether that disturbance is caused by a virus, regulatory lockdown, international tensions, changes in local laws, or a natural disaster, there will probably be scenarios in which your suppliers or transporters face obstacles that affect your company. 
     
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    Topics: Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Project Management For Construction

    7 Ways To Improve Construction Workplace Productivity

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Mar 27, 2020

    (Note: We are tracking the latest construction industry news and online resources for contractors in time of COVID-19)

    The success of any business, large or small, depends considerably on nurturing an efficient, productive workplace. 

    Some contractors and construction company owners believe in maximizing production by driving everyone from the laborers to the Project Managers to work harder, longer, faster, hustle, and run. And if they are giving less than 110% to the company, they are not doing enough.

    While improving employee productivity should always be a priority when the ultimate goal is a sustainable and profitable business, the process is easier said than done.  

    Below are some of the most effective methods of managing a productive, happy workplace while increasing output:

    Read More

    Topics: Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Productivity, Construction Workplace

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