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    Questions To Ask As Your Construction Business Reopens

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jul 03, 2020

    (Note: Celebrate Independence Day with a coupon code found at the end of this post)
     
    As small business owners look to operations after reopening, there are some critical business questions to ask. These questions will help you determine what adaptations you want to keep, whether your construction business model is working, if there are additional changes you want to make to keep your company operational through future economic downturns.
     
    It's not always fun to do this sort of examination, but the answers to these questions will help you make the best possible future decisions.
     
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    Topics: Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Reopening, Construction Business After COVID-19

    Tax Tips For New Construction Business Owners

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jun 26, 2020

    The tax deadline is postponed to July 15, 2020. If you just started your construction business last year and haven't filed yours yet, this post would be helpful. 
     
    Your tax bill is based on reports produced by your accounting system. Want to avoid paying more than you should come tax time? Or a frantic last-minute search for missing financial records? 
     
    New construction business owners have a lot on their plate, and can quickly lose track of an approaching tax deadline or financial data needed to submit their return.
     
    Organization is key when preparing for tax time, as is taking advantage of the many tools and resources out there to support new entrepreneurs.
     
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    Topics: How To Lower Your Tax Bill, Construction Accounting, Annual Tax Return, Income Tax Preparation Checklist, Contractor, Contractor Tips

    Sure-fire Construction Marketing Plan In Eight Easy Steps

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jun 19, 2020

    If you're serious about getting the best value you can for your marketing budget, you'll need to develop a marketing plan. Many contractors are having challenges adapting to this ever-changing economy. Trade contractors who rely on the same general contractors they did a few years ago to supply jobs to bid on are finding it more difficult to recover and find work.
     
    It appears that history is repeating itself. Instead of yellow pages, I see many well-intentioned people with their minds and hearts in the right place with a lot of really great ideas on what works and fails in social media. I certainly don't know what works for every contractor; however, what I do know is that every construction company is unique, and what works for your competitor may not work for you.
     
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    Topics: Marketing Tracking, Construction Marketing, Construction Accounting, Marketing, Contractor Marketing, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips

    Beyond COVID-19 - How To Build Value In Your Construction Business

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jun 12, 2020

    We've said it before, and we'll say it again – this has been a challenging few months for all of us, but there is no better time to think seriously about your business. 
     
    We all understand the economy has been tough for construction owners. I know you have made severe adjustments in your lifestyle and your businesses; however, remember this too shall pass because there is nothing new under the sun.
     
    The key to building value in your construction business is to plan the process in a systematic way, whether you're aiming to grow your business in any economy or groom it to get a better price from a buyer. In this article, we have compiled a few tips to create value in your industry.
     
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    Topics: Construction Accounting, Business Process Development For Construction, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips

    How Cash Flow Forecasts Help Contractors

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jun 05, 2020

    Managing cash flow is a vital part of running a successful construction business. Some contractors think managing cash flow means keeping track of how much money enters and leaves their business, but there's actually more that goes into it. 

    [Starting Cash + Cash In - Cash Out] = Cash Flow

    Contractors and sub-contractors know there is more to profits than what is shown above, and most of you rely on your "gut feel" to see when the project has made a profit or not.
     
    Cash flow forecasting is an incredibly valuable tool that helps you anticipate cash flow issues, plan for days when your cash flow is limited, and show the bank that you are prepared. It's a necessary process that you shouldn't ignore.
     
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    Topics: Construction Cash Flow, Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, crisis

    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

    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

    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. 
     
    Read More

    Topics: Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, security, cybersecurity

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