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How To Build Construction Business Systems That Deliver Results

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jun 07, 2024

In the competitive construction industry, implementing efficient business systems can make a significant impact on the overall success and profitability of a construction business, regardless of its size or specialization. From streamlining operations to improving project management, adopting efficient systems can yield tangible benefits that truly pay off in the long run.
Too many businesses fail because the owner needs to establish efficient business systems. This typically happens because the business owner is so caught up in the company's day-to-day running that the fundamentals of good business management are forgotten. Often, it must be said that the owner doesn't like bookkeeping or other administrative tasks, so these get put on the back burner.

How To Build Construction Business Systems That Deliver Results


The symptoms are familiar, and their results are disastrous:

  • Poor or non-existent record-keeping.
  • Tax obligations still need to be met.
  • Invoices go out late, and debts remain uncollected.
  • There is one cash flow crisis after another.
  • Goods and services should be correctly costed and priced.

Any of these factors can lead the construction business down the slippery path to failure, but all are avoidable. The whole point of implementing sound systems is that they free you to spend more time working on your business, not in it.

Sound business systems will strengthen, improve, and simplify your business. They will also make your construction business far more attractive to future buyers. If you have developed clear operating and procedure manuals, your business will be seen as an independently viable unit and less dependent on you.

Here are five steps to a better construction business:

  1. Good record-keeping and bookkeeping will help you keep on-side with the Internal Revenue Department. You'll sleep better at night if you can meet your tax obligations through sensible planning. You won't fear a tax audit, and you'll know how your business is doing. You won't be caught by a 'sudden tax demand out of the blue' because no such thing exists for a well-run business. You should always know which taxes are due and when. You'll suffer less stress.

  2. Good business planning will help you set goals for your business and take specific steps to achieve them. Without goals, where do you think you're going? Running a business without goals is like arriving at an airport and saying, "I'd like to go somewhere." The person at the ticket desk would think you're clueless!

  3. Good cashflow forecasting will enable you to anticipate a possible cashflow problem (something all growing businesses experience occasionally) and take steps before the situation becomes a crisis. Banks will respect you if you anticipate issues and make plans in advance. Banks will not respect you—and will indeed categorize you as incompetent—if you tell them you've been 'caught out' by a crisis. Banks don't like crises. They want you to go to them well before any possible crisis with a plan. This shows them you're in charge of your business.

  4. Good creditor and debtor control will improve your cash flow. Invoicing promptly and collecting debts on time gives you the cash to pay suppliers on time and get more favorable credit terms from them. It is a virtuous circle. Sloppiness in this department is one of the most common (and unnecessary) causes of business owners experiencing stress and anxiety. So pay your creditors on time and don't let your debtors use you as a free banking service.

  5. Realistic pricing and costing will ensure you run your business competitively but profitably. Poor skills could mean operating at unrealistic levels—even at a loss. For example, your profits will erode if you let costs (such as overhead costs) get out of hand. There is no point in increasing sales if you're not increasing your profits.

One key area where efficient business systems can make a difference is project management. For instance, using project management software that allows for effective scheduling, budgeting, and resource allocation can improve project delivery, increase productivity, and enhance client satisfaction. By having a clear overview of project timelines, milestones, and resource availability, construction firms can better manage their projects and ensure that they are completed on time and within budget.

Moreover, integrating technology into construction business processes can save substantial time and cost. Leveraging advanced estimating and bidding software streamlines the bidding process and allows for more accurate cost projections, leading to more competitive bids and improved profit margins. Additionally, embracing cloud-based accounting and financial management systems can simplify invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting, providing better visibility into the economic health of the business.

Another area where efficient business systems can yield substantial payoffs is communication and collaboration. Implementing collaborative digital platforms and tools can enhance communication among project teams, subcontractors, and clients, leading to better coordination, reduced errors, and smoother project workflows. By fostering transparent and efficient communication, construction businesses can minimize costly misunderstandings and delays, ultimately improving project outcomes.

In conclusion

Implementing efficient construction business systems can generate significant payoffs for construction firms. In business, you don't have to be an expert at everything. For example, you might hate bookkeeping. Okay—but do get someone else to do it for you; don't rely on a shoebox for your accounts! You should at least understand the processes and the overall accounting picture, even if you don't want to do the 'drudge work' yourself.

Poor systems lead to stress and burnout. On the other hand, good business systems enable you to work smarter, not harder. They free you to work on your business rather than in it. That way, you're more likely to avoid burnout, and you'll be able to take time off work because you can train others to follow your clearly documented systems and procedures.


We offer free resources to help you save time and money that you can download and print now. 

About The Author:

Sharie_DeHart_President_Fast_Easy_Accounting_Serving_Contractors_All_Across_The_USA_Including_Alaska_And_Hawaii-1Sharie DeHart, QPA, co-founded Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations. She offers insights on managing the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or sharie@fasteasyaccounting.com



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