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Increasing Construction Company Profitability Through Better Practices

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, May 05, 2023

If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of technological gadgets, never mind apps and other digital "solutions,"; you're not alone. Technology sprawl and the rabbit hole of more and more information available all the time makes productivity—and healthy downtime—a real challenge for many of us.

Although we may be quicker at completing redundant tasks, more time is wasted managing all our different apps and technologies—and more of us live in a near-constant state of distraction.

An epidemic of distracted workers

Maintaining focus on the job is increasingly difficult in the era of social media, chat apps, games, and the ability to search for anything at any time—whether related to the task at hand or not.
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Topics: Project Management, Construction Productivity, Construction Systems And Processes, Boost Construction Profitability

Ways To Sustain The Life Line Of Your Construction Company

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jun 24, 2022

Cash flow refers to the movement of money into and out of your business. It's based on the amount of money you bring in minus the amount you spend. A positive cash flow means bringing in more than you're spending. A negative cash flow means you aren't bringing in enough to cover your expenses.
Your construction company can run into problems by not charging enough for goods or services, having late-paying clients, growing too quickly, or simply spending too much money.
Solid cash flow management is vital to ensuring your contracting business survives, but not everyone understands what cash flow is or how to manage it. That's likely what makes it a leading cause of stress for small business owners. 
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Topics: Construction Cash Flow, Cash Flow, Construction Bookkeeping And Accounting, Increase Cash Flow, Construction Systems And Processes, Contractor Guidance

How Technology Helps Construction Businesses Save Money

Posted by Patrick Hogan on Fri, May 27, 2022

The use of technology in construction has come a long way. Many articles have already been written about how construction has been sluggish in adopting new advancements in technology compared to other business sectors. However, more and more companies, especially small construction businesses, have been open to using technology to improve their operations. 
Any change is difficult–especially in business. Changing how things have always been done in the past involves a lot of effort, persistence, and flexibility, not to mention financial investment. To sustain the interest and efforts towards these changes, it's crucial to fully understand and not lose sight of the benefits of adopting technology. For businesses, increasing the bottom line and reducing costs are always practical reasons to leap. 
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Topics: Technology For Your Construction Company, Automated Data Entry, Construction Systems And Processes, Contractor Guidance, Construction Business Budget

Overcoming Your Most Common Construction Business Time Waster

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, May 13, 2022

Every day you make financial decisions about your company, which affect how successful and sustainable your construction business is. If you're responsible for the bookkeeping and all the paper management (bills, receipts, estimates, invoices), you could be making errors that affect your decisions. Because of an incorrect decimal place, you may think that you have more money in the bank than you do. Or you may not fully understand how a decision today affects your business tomorrow.
Keeping up with paperwork is a typical construction business time waster we noticed in more than thirty years in the industry. Doing your books often winds up costing you more money in the end, not to mention the time and energy that goes into a task you despise or, at the very least, don't fully understand. 
This is one area that many construction company owners hate to be part of but still choose to take responsibility for.
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Topics: Bookkeeping Services, Construction Bookkeeping And Accounting, Technology For Your Construction Company, Construction Systems And Processes, Contractor Guidance

How To Balance Profit Centers And Cost Centers In Your Construction Company

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, May 06, 2022

Success in operating a profitable construction business is all about maintaining the proper balance of control over both The Profit Centers and The Cost Centers. If either one gets too powerful and is allowed to run your construction company, it can cause more damage than good.
The definition of a Non-Profit Construction Company is one that tries to fix its weaknesses and continues making the same mistakes repeatedly, expecting a different result and continues to struggle until the owner lays down and dies from over-work and exhaustion.
A Highly Profitable Construction Company builds on its strengths and core competencies and continues innovating, growing, and responding to changes in its environment. 
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Topics: Construction Bookkeeping And Accounting, Technology For Your Construction Company, Automated Data Entry, Construction Systems And Processes, Contractor Guidance, Construction Business Budget

Four Key Areas To Evaluate In Your Construction Business Budget

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Apr 15, 2022

With the potential for business life to return to something resembling normal, it's good to look at your budget and see where you may need to shift some of your priorities. Pay attention to how your spending over the past few years affected your business and either helped you achieve or took you away from your overall goals. 
Considering how your business and your employees functioned in recent years can help you predict upcoming trends, enabling you to plan for adjustments. 
There is no better time to reflect and think seriously about your construction business. Excellent organization systems add considerable value to any business because they allow you to spend more time working on your business rather than on it.
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Topics: Construction Bookkeeping And Accounting, Technology For Your Construction Company, Automated Data Entry, Construction Systems And Processes, Contractor Guidance, Construction Business Budget

Bookkeeper, Accountant, And CPA For Contractors - Understanding Roles

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Feb 21, 2020

The tax season is here. This is when most construction company owners think about getting their construction bookkeeping system in order, so they can file their annual tax return for the previous year.
Keep in mind that each branch of accounting serves a different function similar to how it works in construction. There are framers, rough carpenters, and finish carpenters, and all three works with lumber, yet in most cases, the skill sets to do everything are rarely found in the same person.
If you're like many construction business owners, you may not be exactly sure of the differences between a construction bookkeeper, a construction accountant, and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)  - and whether you should hire one, or all.
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Topics: Accountant, Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

Why Your Construction Business Needs You To Say No

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Feb 14, 2020

Being open to new possibilities is a positive trait shared by most construction company owners —but saying yes to all the people you meet and opportunities that come your way can get you into trouble.
When we over-commit—especially when we take on projects that don't benefit our business—our stress can hit the roof. It's much hard to be productive when we're feeling burned out and resentful.
One of the most impactful changes you can make in your construction business is to form one simple habit: give yourself time to weigh the cost and benefit before making any decision, and politely decline any opportunity that doesn't align with your goals.
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Topics: Business Planning For contractors, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

Six Effective Ways To Save Money As A Construction Business Owner

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Feb 07, 2020

We are always looking for ways construction contractors like you save time and money. These tips will help you make a noticeable difference to your bottom line.
Reduce staff costs
Without a doubt, having someone to help deal with routine tasks can significantly improve productivity. The rub is that hired help is often too expensive for small business owners.
Internships can be a real win-win: a student gets hands-on experience assisting you with marketing, accounting, or administrative work, and you get time-saving help for free.  

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Topics: Accountant, Construction Accounting, Contractor, Contractor Tips, Contractor Operating Tips, Construction Systems And Processes

A Construction Contractor's Optimal Guide To Profiling Clients

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Jan 31, 2020

Easily an essential first step in establishing your construction company is to define your clients so that you have the information you need to attract the right audience and generate valuable traffic to your website.
Understanding your customers and what makes them tick is the key to any successful construction business, particularly if you are paying out large amounts of money to drive relevant traffic.
One of the most practical ways of defining your prospects is by building client profiles that represent the typical types of customers that you are aiming for. As a result, you'll be able to home in on a more specific target audience, communicate with your audience in a more relevant and personalized manner, and, ultimately, generate more revenue.


Every business caters to a specific demographic, and while some audiences might be vast, it is still essential from a marketing perspective that you know your clients and how to reach out to them. You'll need to understand your product or service, seek out feedback, learn about your customers' habits and interests, and maintain a consistent and targeted marketing campaign.

Knowing Your Brand

There's no shortage of novice construction companies out there who are attracted by the empty promises of making a quick profit by providing a service that is in high demand during a particular season, even if they aren't at all familiar with the execution. The reality of a successful construction business is quite a different thing; however, you need to be thoroughly familiar with what you are trying to work on (whether you are installing, repairing, or renovating), and you need to believe in it.

Whether you're a lone contractor or you're planning to start a small construction business with multiple employees or partners, you'll need to define your mission and come to understand your products and services fully. You cannot hope to accurately profile your clients if you do not have the utmost familiarity with what you are trying to sell to them. You'll need to pay attention to every detail before putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. When you know your brand, and it has a clearly defined mission, you'll be ready to start profiling your customers and tweaking your approach to marketing as necessary.

Seek Feedback

Seeking feedback is a critical ongoing process, but you should also start by doing plenty of research before you can even hope to get your marketing strategy off the ground. Your construction business will inevitably need to adapt over time to the needs and desires of its clients, not least because the customer has far more control these days than ever before by way of things like social media and online reviews.

Seek out feedback from your clients at every opportunity, but make sure that you don't end up being intrusive and don't bombard people with too much information or too many questions. Many customers won't have the time or the patience to leave feedback, and you'll have to learn to accept that. Fortunately, there are some practical ways of encouraging your customers to leave feedback, such as by offering incentives like promotional codes and other discounts for completing a short survey or answering a few questions about their preferences and habits.

Feedback doesn't always need to come from clients themselves, either. You can gain invaluable insights, albeit not entirely as accurate, by reviewing reports on your industry. Many companies provide insights into specific markets by analyzing trends in online behavior to help your business better define its target audience.

Create Your Client Personas

Create a profile of your perfect customer. If your construction business has an unusually broad reach, then you'll want to segment your target audience and create personas for each customer category. Map out the behaviors and interests of your customers based on important factors such as demographics, buying habits, geographical location, and more. You can even name these imaginary customers if you like, since this may help you to imagine them in a more practical light.

When defining your customer profiles, be sure to seek answers to the following questions:

  • What other related businesses would they likely choose to work with?
  • What sort of subject matter is most likely to interest them?
  • What are their demographical attributes?
  • Where are they located? 
  • What do they need or want? 
  • What do your customers do to entertain themselves?
  • What is their income level?
  • How much would they be willing to spend?
  • What are their priorities and goals in life?
  • How do they approach change?
  • What are their past purchases?
  • How often have they hired you?

Every day, millions of people turn to Google to find answers to their questions, solutions to their problems, or simply something to entertain them. What sort of queries does your business offer solutions for? By knowing your customers' problems, curiosities, and interests, you'll be able to tailor your content, your marketing strategy, and your product itself to better suit those criteria.

Avoid basing your customer personas on a real customer, since no single individual can completely represent your target audience. Instead, a customer persona should be reasonably broad, and it should characterize your perfect customer. 

Profiling your customers won't result in your construction company's profit if you don't know how to sell more to existing clients. Just because you're a contractor who provides services doesn't mean you can't cross-sell or up-sell. It's much easier to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones. Read on to learn how to generate more income by working these two sales strategies like a pro.


Cross-selling is simply inviting your customers to buy a secondary item that naturally bundles with a product they're already purchasing. This works particularly to the handyman and home service and repair contractors who have materials readily available for use. You'll get the best results with cross-selling when a complementary item is offered at a much lower price point.


When you up-sell to a customer, you're asking them to consider a higher-priced upgrade during a sales transaction. Think of an up-sell as a recommendation. You're endorsing the best version of a product or service your customer is already planning to buy. It's usually much easier to up-sell a customer than to cross-sell.

Paying more for the premier option is a smaller stretch for a client than deciding to buy something extra that wasn't initially part of the plan. Whenever you're telling your clients about a product's features, suggest the benefits of the premier option. Even if they decide not to buy at the highest price point now, they might keep it in mind for next time. 

Up-selling often happens naturally in sales when the focus is on the product that would best meet your client's needs rather than starting with price. Explain the differences between two or three options, providing all the information your clients need to make the best choice.

In conclusion

With your client profiles in place, you'll be able to match each area of your marketing strategy to the individual characteristics of your clients. By targeting smaller and more specific audiences, you should be able to increase the percentage of paying customers and valuable leads instead of wasting time and money on targeting the wrong people. 

As you integrate up-selling and cross-selling into your sales strategy, always keep your ideal clients and their needs top of mind. By being knowledgeable about the problems your customers most want to solve and able to provide honest, helpful advice - your clients will grow to trust you and your recommendations. 

Ultimately, don't forget that it's not about getting more visitors to your website: it's about getting more visitors that go on to become paying clients.


We are excited and honored that Randal is nominated for the 2020 Small Business Person Of The Year award in our city. If you are on Alignable, I would appreciate it if you can connect with us and "like" our recommendation.

Screenshot of Alignable nomination

About The Author:

Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of 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 and offers insights on how to manage 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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