The Four Types Of Contractors

Dog And Pick-Up Truck

This Wonderful Soul - Has a heart as big as the outdoors and likes working alone. They are easy to get to know. They usually have either a pick-up truck or a van with a dog sitting in the passenger seat hanging his head out the window watching and occasionally barking hello to folks and other dogs while feeling the breeze as the contractor zooms down the road.

They Do Not Think About - Retirement and when asked about it the reply I get most often is something like “Retire, nope, I don’t need new tires yet”. 

These Contractors - Enjoy being their own boss, doing what they want when they want, how they want and works hard. They typically do not feel the need or desire to grow the business or hire employees since they would only get in the way.

Most Of Them - Run their business as a sole proprietor

They Generally Earn - $20K to $40K a year after all expenses


Salt of The Earth

This Wonderful Soul - Also has a big heart; just not quite as big as all outdoors. They like having employees because they do not want to work alone.  As their business grows they like to take time off and enjoy travel and vacations.

These Contractors - Have one, two or three employees because when the employees get out of line the contractor can hold two of them by the throat; one in each hand and eyeball the third one!  This is called “Construction Management”

This Group Will Usually Invest - Some money to build a retirement nest egg.

Most Of Them - Operate their business as a C-Corporation, LLC or Sub-S

They Generally Earn - $40K to $60K a year after all expenses


The Professional

This Wonderful Soul - Also has a big heart; they just tend to keep it under cover. This group tends to have more employees and have a structured approach to their construction company treating it more like a firm.

These Contractors - Tend to have 1-20 employees with formal organizational charts, processes, and systems in their contracting businesses including a formal documented business plan which is updated and reviewed regularly with a board of advisors as outlined in my article on the subject.

They Invest Heavily In Marketing - Their businesses. They understand their target market, they use The 80/20 Rule to understand the demographics and psychographics of their prime customer, the ones who generate 80% of the cash and income. And they seek to acquire more of them and will do whatever is economically feasible to turn those customers into lifetime repeat business.

This Group Usually - Engages the services of a competent financial planner, banker, and accountant to work together in helping plan and develop a financial estate that can take care of them in their senior years and be passed on to future generations.

Most Of Them - Operate as a C-Corporation, LLC or Sub-S or Partnership.

They Generally Earn - $100,000+ a year after all expenses


The Enterprise Level

These Construction Firms - Have 100+ employees and generate enormous revenues. Most of the owners and managers earn about the same as a well-run professional contractor. In a lot of cases, their life span is shorter than any of the other contractors due to the enormous stress they suffer trying to navigate their construction companies through the ups and downs of the Business Cycle.

The Managers Deal With Issues - That are beyond anything the previous groups even think about, including labor unions, government oversight, massive risk and are constantly under pressure to increase shareholder value at any cost.

Seagull Management - All too often a board member or powerful outside influence without a clear understanding of all of the moving parts involved in running this type of company feels the compelling need to fly in, crap on everything and everyone with their crazy ideas and fly out leaving a disaster to unfold. Then when things go bad the managers are the ones most likely to pay the price.

The Odd Thing Is - It always looks like a fun job until someone gets into it. Having worked with a few of these firms I understand the enormous pressure they are under and have decided my life is too short to spend one more minute with them. All I can do is pray for the managers and ask that all of them will receive divine guidance to stop them from making a long-term decision like suicide or worse, based on short-term problems.

I Am Sincerely Concerned - About the health, wealth and spiritual well-being of all contractors and have found the other three types of contractors to be well grounded spiritually; however, since I am aware of the special challenges of running an enterprise construction company I sincerely ask you as a friend; someone you may not have met, and may never meet on this plane of existence, that you will seek the goodness of an everlasting and ever loving God, whatever you conceive him to be, so we can meet in the future in a better time and a better place.


If You Are A Contractor - It is not about the type of contractor you are, how many employees you have or how much money you earn. It is all about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Be the type of contractor that suits you, do the work, you will have results and enjoy yourself.

The Final Observation - I will share is that you deserve to be wealthy because you bring value to other people's lives and do not let anyone tell you differently.

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About The Author:

Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA The Construction Accountant Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood Washington. He is the leading expert in outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services for small construction companies across the USA. He is experienced as a Contractor, Project Management Professional, Construction Accountant, Intuit ProAdvisor, QuickBooks For Contractors Expert and Xero Accounting Specialist and Bill.Com Certified Guru. This combination of experience and skill sets provides a unique perspective which allows him to see the world through the eyes of a contractor, Project Manager, Accountant and construction accountant. This quadruple understanding is what sets him apart from other Intuit ProAdvisors and Xero accountants to the benefit of all of the construction contractors he serves across the USA. Visit http://www.fasteasyaccounting.com/randal-dehart/ to learn more.

Our Co-Founder Randal DeHart - Is a Certified PMP (Project Management Professional) with several years of construction project management experience. His expertise is construction accounting systems engineering and process development. His exhaustive study of several leading experts including the work of Dr. W. Edward Deming, Michael Gerber, Walter A. Shewhart, James Lewis and dozens of others was the foundation upon which our Construction Bookkeeping System is based and continues to evolve and improve. Check out our Contractor Success Map Podcast on iTunes and Follow Randal on Google+Follow Randal on Google+