Contractor Success Map with Randal DeHart | Contractor Bookkeeping And Accounting Services-logo

Contractor Success Map with Randal DeHart | Contractor Bookkeeping And Accounting Services


Back office support can make or break your contracting company. Let us move your contractor bookkeeping service off the roller coaster of pain onto the merry go round of peace of mind with our U.S.A. based outsourced contractors bookkeeping services and contractor success M.A.P.


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Back office support can make or break your contracting company. Let us move your contractor bookkeeping service off the roller coaster of pain onto the merry go round of peace of mind with our U.S.A. based outsourced contractors bookkeeping services and contractor success M.A.P.



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577: Mastering Construction Business Finances Through QuickBooks Desktop

This Podcast Is Episode 577, And It's About Mastering Construction Business Finances Through QuickBooks Desktop The power of effective bookkeeping using QuickBooks Desktop - plus an Important Update from Intuit. Keeping track of sales, earnings, expenses, and purchases is fundamental to your construction business's overall health and sustainability. Effective bookkeeping produces the data you need to evaluate your current practices, anticipate challenges, and set attainable future goals. Many business owners dread bookkeeping and accounting tasks despite their proven importance. In fact, 40% of surveyed entrepreneurs claim that bookkeeping is one of the worst parts of running a business! Is it worth the aggravation? Here are three reminders of how effective bookkeeping is the cornerstone of small business success: Keeping track of reimbursable expenses A reliable system for tracking reimbursable expenses ensures you reap all the benefits you're entitled to when filing your taxes. Expenditures sorted into categories, such as "food," "travel," and "office supplies," can be cataloged quite simply with online bookkeeping software. Using a dedicated credit card for business expenses and updating your records every month will put money back in your pocket come tax time. Measuring profitability and planning for the future To grow your business, you must be able to track and compare its finances from one year to the next. In addition to reconciling the books and bank statements every month, effective bookkeeping generates records you can use to gain a comprehensive overview of your business. This data can help you: Measure year-over-year profits;Identify opportunities to cut costs;Plan for major expenses (such as new office space, equipment, or staff) anddevelop data-based strategies for expansion. Preparing for tax season Few things are more stressful for business owners than scrambling to prepare poorly maintained financial records for tax season. In addition to the panic of last-minute filing, inaccurate or incomplete documentation can lead to severe penalties, fines, and an audit. In the United States alone, 40% of small businesses pay an average penalty of $845 per year for late or incorrect filings! Sound bookkeeping can save you money and give you peace of mind. You'll be assured of compliance with regulations and receive a reliable estimate of amounts owing long before your tax bill is due. If you've been following us over the years, you know that we are raving fans of Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks, and have used QuickBooks since the first version was released in 1992. In fact, in 2005, we moved our entire client base, including our own accounting firm's QuickBooks files, to an Intuit-approved commercial hosting environment so we could offer our clients all of the benefits of the full desktop version of QuickBooks accessible online 24/7, and it has been a huge success! We've always encouraged our contractor clients to use QuickBooks Desktop as QuickBooks Online does not offer the full features of QuickBooks. We know that QB Desktop in the Cloud is one area where you can reduce your overhead and increase productivity quickly and easily. It is a powerful tool that can streamline your accounting processes and provide valuable insights into your company's financial health. Here are some reasons why using QuickBooks Desktop is crucial for your construction business: 1. Industry-Specific Features: QB Desktop offers industry-specific features tailored to the needs of construction businesses. You can track job costs, create estimates, and manage progress invoicing, which is essential for staying on top of your projects' financial aspects. 2. Robust Reporting: QB Desktop provides robust reporting capabilities, allowing you to generate customized reports to analyze your business's performance. You can track profitability by project, compare actual costs to estimated costs, and monitor cash flow to make informed...


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576: How To Build Up And Stand Out By Delighting Your Construction Clients

This Podcast Is Episode 576, And It's About How To Build Up And Stand Out By Delighting Your Construction Clients Most businesses understand that customer satisfaction is crucial to their success. Happy clients are likelier to remain loyal, refer others, and leave positive reviews. This trend has only been amplified by social media and online review sites, where negative feedback can spread quickly and damage a company's reputation. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, more than an effective customer service system is needed: you must provide customers with a positive and memorable end-to-end experience at every touchpoint. Creating powerful experiences that exceed consumer expectations can have massive implications for any business — from increasing brand loyalty and trustworthiness among current clients to being highly attractive to potential customers. It starts with understanding the difference between traditional customer service expectations and modern customer experience strategies. Keep reading as we explore the nuances of each approach and discuss how construction businesses like yours can strive towards offering excellent experiences in their markets. Defining customer service and customer experience When we talk about customer service and experience, it's not just about providing a product or a service. It's about the way you make your customers feel. Customer service is all about delivering the product or service in a way that exceeds expectations and meets the customer's needs. But the customer experience is entirely different. It's a holistic approach that considers how your customers are impacted from the minute they interact with your brand to long after they purchase or hire you. It's about creating an emotional connection with your clients and leaving a lasting impression. So, whether you're a small construction business owner, understanding the power of customer service and customer experience can take your brand to the next level. The importance of customer service in the business Have you ever walked into a store and received terrible customer service? Maybe the employee didn't acknowledge your presence or seemed annoyed when you asked a question. It's a frustrating experience and can leave a bad taste in your mouth about that business. That's why having good customer service is essential in any industry. It's not just about making a sale; it's about creating a positive experience for the customer. When customers feel valued and heard, they are more likely to return to that business and even recommend it to others. In a world with countless consumer options, standing out with exceptional customer service can make all the difference. Improving customer service is crucial for any business looking to stay competitive in today's market. Strategies for improving customer service Invest in employee training to equip staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle customer inquiries and complaints professionally and empathically. Collect customer feedback to identify areas of improvement for products, services, and overall customer experience. Implement technology solutions such as chatbots or knowledge bases to assist customers and streamline the resolution process immediately. The importance of the customer experience The significance of customer experience transcends the essential act of selling products or services; it's about crafting stories and memories that customers carry with them long after a transaction. A superior customer experience fosters an emotional attachment to the brand, transforming casual customers into passionate advocates and vocal supporters. Where choices are plentiful and attention spans are short, construction businesses that focus on delivering memorable customer experiences will not only distinguish themselves from competitors but will enjoy enhanced customer loyalty, increased satisfaction, and, ultimately, improved business outcomes. What should...


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575: A No-Fuss Record-Keeping Guide For Your Construction Business

This Podcast Is Episode 575, And It's About A No-fuss Record-keeping Guide For Your Construction Business Managing a hectic schedule and complex projects can be challenging if you're a contractor. You must also ensure that your paperwork, documents, and contracts are in order. It's essential to keep a paper trail of your work and practice due diligence. Keeping all your working documents in order shows that you treat your business, customers, and subcontractors responsibly. This is a mark of professionalism and can also help if you have an insurance or legal claim. Contractor paperwork documentation and procedures You should develop documentation and record-keeping procedures appropriate for your contracting operation or service if necessary. Once procedures are in place, it is equally important to ensure everyone understands and follows them. It's good practice to hold a workshop on documentation procedures with your employees and have them sign off that they understand and have copies of the procedures. For construction jobs, some of the documents that may be obtained and maintained as part of your documentation procedure include: Project tenders/estimatesContracts or work ordersDuty to perform documentsSite inspection formsTests on work completedDocumentation for materials delivered to the siteDocumentation of your risk services assessmentCertificates of insurance from your subcontractors Using Digital Tools and Software Implementing project management and documentation software can significantly reduce the time spent on paperwork. These tools can help track project progress, manage invoices, and store important documents securely in the cloud for easy access from any location. There are many options on the market, and it's unlikely that a single piece of software will meet all of your project management needs. Companies usually combine a few applications to create a custom solution. Remember, the accounting software you need depends on the level of reports you require. This is why we recommend choosing project management tools that integrate nicely with the parts of your setup that don't need changing. What to look for Real-time reporting capability Effective construction project management requires up-to-date information. With this, you can make important decisions if you rely on guesswork, which is a lousy way to do things. The best project management tools for the construction industry offer instant reporting. Accessibility Your data must be as accessible as possible. The best construction project management tools are cloud/web-based, which makes them accessible from virtually anywhere in the world. Good Support Incorporating even the best construction project management tools will inevitably result in hiccups. That's why you should look for programs from companies with reliable customer support. Security Your data is precious and sensitive, and construction project management tools and techniques should reflect this. Before you incorporate any software into your workflow, research the company behind it, its terms of use, and the security measures it implements to keep your company's data private. Construction project management tool checklist Here are questions to ask yourself once you've narrowed your options using the above criteria: Does the software come with enough licenses for my company?Can I use the tool on multiple devices?Does the software have several positive reviews?Will the company demo its software for my company?Can my current data be easily transferred to this new software?Do partner companies use the same software or a program that integrates well with this one? The proper construction project management tools can make a big difference to your company and its productivity. I hope this helps identify the best picks and what you must consider when evaluating them. Proper record-keeping helps you manage your finances, comply with tax laws, and make informed decisions about your...


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574: What Every Contractor Needs To Know About Successful Construction Companies

This Podcast Is Episode 574, And It's About What Every Contractor Needs To Know About Successful Construction Companies Small construction businesses have several characteristics that distinguish them from larger firms. These characteristics include having a limited workforce, smaller revenue streams, and a more localized focus. They are often run by the owners themselves or a small team of employees. They tend to have a more personal approach to their work, as they are usually more involved in every aspect of the project. Due to their size, they are often more flexible and able to adapt to market or project scope changes. However, they may also face challenges such as limited resource access, difficulty securing financing, and increased competition from larger firms. Over the years, we have had many successful construction clients. The seasoned ones have become lifelong friends and are now retired, living according to their terms. And several are still working according to their schedule with quality, high-paying clients. Is it still possible to succeed in this industry, given the state of the economy? Regardless of government or environment, what I find common among them are these characteristics: 1. Owners leading by example The construction company owner or project manager leads by example. They are usually the first to arrive and the last to leave. The owner knows everyone by name, and their presence is unmistakable. They show a strong commitment, setting the standard where they work. This commitment should be easy to understand. After all, if they don't work hard in their own company, how can they expect anyone else to take their business seriously? 2. Simple business structure They operate a simple and open business structure, encouraging easy access to the owner for every employee. They value the contribution of each employee, many of whom are allowed to influence aspects of the construction business that would ordinarily be denied to them in a large hierarchical company 3. Communication among employees Staff receive information as soon as the owner does. Goals, problems, and concerns are discussed openly. Feedback on issues is encouraged, and staff are asked to contribute their ideas for improving and overcoming difficulties. It is often this aspect of open communication that staff appreciate the most; it is unique to small construction businesses, whether you have only one or two staff. 4. The crew is carefully chosen Staff is recruited very carefully because the contractor owner(s) recognize that they are the lifeblood of any small business. Staff are hired because their knowledge, skills, and abilities will benefit the organization rather than because of friendships or family relations. They are carefully chosen, nurtured, and trained to help the crew members and the organization from the relationship. 5. Staff commitment and loyalty All staff are very committed and loyal. Good performance is rewarded with praise, extra responsibility, and money—poor performance is not. Poor workers are consistently removed as they upset the rest of the team. Organizations whose staff show optimum commitment and loyalty have a source of competitive advantage that is hard to copy or beat. 6. A unique service (or product delivery that goes with the service) Most successful construction businesses have unique products or services, such as designs, products, systems, or some other aspect that sets them apart. This uniqueness is an essential source of competitive advantage and one that many companies work hard to sustain, adapting and innovating their products or services as their competition catches up with them. 7. A specific customer focus Successful small businesses specifically focus on their customers and clients and are geared to supplying them with exactly what they want. This focus means adopting a market-led approach, with the owners and their managers consistently looking for ways to solve their client's...


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573: Navigating Construction Cash Flow Challenges, Myths, And Facts

This Podcast Is Episode 573, And It's About Navigating Construction Cash Flow Challenges, Myths, And Facts In the world of small businesses, positive cash flow is king. The driving force keeps your business engine running smoothly, covering all your liabilities. But what happens when outflow exceeds inflow? Cash flow problems ensue, threatening the survival and growth of your construction business. These cash flow problems can originate from various sources, including macroeconomic issues like recessions, natural disasters, wars, and microeconomic problems like business decisions and performance. However, careful planning and smart accounting practices can cushion or even avoid these financial blows. Managing cash flow is a vital part of running a successful construction business. Some contractors think managing cash flow means tracking how much money enters and leaves their business, but more goes into it. [Starting Cash + Cash In - Cash Out] = Cash Flow Contractors and sub-contractors know there is more to profits than shown above, and most of you rely on your "gut feel" to see when the project has made a profit. Unfortunately, many cash flow myths and misconceptions can lead to poor financial decisions. For a better understanding, how about a mindset shift first? Myth: Profit equals cash flow. Fact: Profit is not the same as cash flow. A business can be profitable but still have cash flow problems. Profit is the amount left over after all expenses are paid, while cash flow is the amount of money that comes in and goes out of the business. Myth: Increasing sales will solve cash flow problems. Fact: While increasing sales can help improve cash flow, it is not a guaranteed solution. If a business is not managing its expenses properly, increasing sales will only exacerbate the cash flow problem. It's essential to focus on controlling expenses as well as increasing sales. Myth: Cash flow problems are always caused by slow-paying customers. Fact: Slow-paying customers can contribute to cash flow problems but are only sometimes the root cause. Factors such as overstocked inventory, underutilized equipment, or poor project management can also impact cash flow. Myth: Borrowing money is the only way to improve cash flow. Fact: While borrowing money can provide a short-term solution to cash flow problems, other options exist. Construction businesses can also improve cash flow by reducing expenses, increasing sales, and negotiating better payment terms with vendors and customers. Construction businesses can make better financial decisions by understanding the facts about cash flow. Let's delve into some common cash flow issues and explore how you can manage them effectively. Problem: Lack of cash reserves If your contracting business's revenue drops, having enough cash reserves to cover up to six months of expenses can be a lifeline. Solution: Project your cash flow by estimating your sales, determining payment timelines, and estimating all expenses. Your accountant can help you create cash flow projections in your accounting software so you know where you stand financially. Problem: Expensive borrowing High-interest credit cards and business loans can significantly affect your business's revenue. Solution: Consider supplier financing or refinancing loans to secure lower payments. Term loans with competitive rates can also help improve cash flow. Initiate a discussion with your lenders if interest only or deferred payments on outstanding debts are possible. Request more flexible payment options It never hurts to ask, especially if you've been transacting with your vendors for a long time and you've established a certain level of mutual trust and confidence. You can request more flexible payment options or longer payment terms. Tap into available credit lines Take advantage of available lines of credit and place the funds in interest-bearing accounts. Problem: Decreasing sales or profit margins Offering too...


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572: Budgeting, Forecasting, And Goal-Setting In Your Construction Company

This Podcast Is Episode 572, And It's About Budgeting, Forecasting, And Goal-Setting In Your Construction Company If you're like many construction business owners, you may need help understanding your finances or how you can use your financial information to make decisions for your business. We often get into business because we love a product or service we want to provide, but it's less common that we love managing the financial aspects of our business. As a construction company owner, you have the best chances of success when you regularly set budgets, develop financial forecasts, and establish goals. Budgeting, forecasting, and goal-setting are best business practices that can help you stay on track and ensure long-term success. The M.A.P. Way Budgets are invaluable business tools because they help you manage your finances effectively. A budget is a plan for how you will spend money in the coming year. It's connected to setting goals, such as setting aside money for promotional expenses (Marketing), hiring a subcontractor, or outsourcing tasks (Production). Forecasting helps you look at your finances (Accounting) in the short term to ensure they align with your business's long-term strategy. Goals help you establish your financial priorities and set a plan for moving your business forward. 1. Budgeting - as your roadmap A budget is a plan for how your business will spend its money. It is a roadmap that helps you reach all your business's goals and objectives, including financial ones. Budgeting involves tracking your expenses, revenue, and profits and making informed decisions about where to allocate resources. By creating a budget, you can keep track of your finances and ensure that you are spending appropriately in any particular area. Having a budget will help you control cash flow. It will also help ensure that your construction business stays on track with spending so you don't pay more than you bring in. A budget also lets you know when you have enough money in your accounts to meet expenses such as payroll, taxes, and bills. If you don't have enough cash to cover your costs, you can revise your budget to free up additional money. Lastly, budgets allow you to understand how money flows into and out of your business, which makes it easier to meet your immediate financial needs while planning a sustainable future. 2. Forecasting - to avoid roadblocks Forecasting is a great way to determine your business's future profit and loss. It enables you to predict future cash flow, sales, expenses, etc. Financial forecasting can help you manage your finances by enabling you to anticipate what might happen and plan accordingly. By analyzing trends and patterns in your construction business, you can predict potential challenges and opportunities. This can help prevent overspending or under-budgeting during slow periods or high-demand seasons. This also allows you to provide accurate budget projections when seeking funding from banks or investors, which can help you make informed decisions and avoid potential roadblocks. 3. Goal-setting - to help you budget and forecast more effectively Your goals enable you to set a vision for your business and implement steps to achieve it. For example, if you want to bring in 5 new clients in the next two months, you must explore whether your marketing budget can accommodate that and adjust accordingly. If you aim to hire additional staff, you can look at your forecast to determine the best time to hire–and how long it will take to build up the revenue to bring in new people. Focus your efforts and increase your chances of achieving your goals according to the SMART guidelines: Specific, Measurable, Achievable (Attainable), Realistic, and Time-Bound. Start by defining your top three business goals for the next four quarters. Then, with those in mind, do some research to help you decide on the best way to achieve them and a reasonable timeline for meeting specific...


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571: Practical Tips To Improve Your Construction Marketing Strategy

This Podcast Is Episode 571, And It's About Practical Tips To Improve Your Construction Marketing Strategy Stepping up your marketing game as a construction business owner is always a welcome topic in my client conversations. Often, contractors chat with me about the best way to promote their company, primarily because no one else is running it. You may focus more on accounting and taxes at times, and at other times, your business may slow down, and sales become more challenging. Given this trend, establishing and maintaining connections with existing and potential customers has become more critical. So, if you're looking to do some construction business promotions to attract more quality clients, what do you do, especially on your own? Here are some practical tips that I highly suggest to consider: 1. Build a solid online presence: Create a website showcasing your services and experience, and make sure it's easy for potential customers and homeowners to contact you. Plus points if you know how to optimize it by location and keywords, or you can always learn a thing or two when you Google: Local Search Engine Optimization. It's essential to show up first in SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) when someone looks for "plumbing emergency in (city)" or "HVAC installer nearby." As you build and edit your pages, keep in mind your USP (Unique Selling Proposition): What your business does.Whom it serves.Why it's different from other companies?How is it beneficial to your prospective client? Note that some of these elements can be divided into sections and published on one page; for instance, Services and Testimonials can work well together. This gives your visitors much-needed assurance that you have had successful projects and happy clients. Create informative content: Share blog posts, videos, and infographics that provide value to your target audience and establish your business as an industry expert. Remember to include your Awards and Recognition (if you have any) and place it strategically. Add value to your website footer by including your contact details, policies, and other relevant links. Include appropriate CTAs (Call-To-Action) throughout your site so prospective clients can take the necessary steps and hire your services. For example, a 'Contact Us' button or a 'Request a Quote' form can be effective CTAs. 2. Use social media: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great for sharing your projects and engaging with your audience. Create posts regularly to update on services or special offers. Local SEO is mainly about getting listed in local online resources and optimizing your website's and other platforms' online content to reference location-relevant key phrases and regional names rather than generic keywords. Your construction business listing must be consistent across all platforms you use, mainly because changing it later will be challenging (think about logo placement, colors, and font). 3. Register your business on online directories: This will help increase your visibility and attract more local clients. Google Business Profile - This is a free tool for promoting your business profile and website on Google Search and Maps. Even if you don't have a website, your Google business profile is the most crucial resource for local businesses. Claiming and verifying your business's listing will help your efforts appear in local search results.Bing Places - Microsoft's version, which might be less popular, still needs attention. It works the same way, allowing you to claim and verify your business's physical location and have it appear in Bing Maps and on mobile devices running the Windows Phone operating system.Yelp. Yelp is an online urban guide that provides local business listings. It recently replaced the relatively unsuccessful Apple Maps app for iPhones and iPads, and these devices now use data from Yelp to display local information with their included mapping apps. Given the...


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570: Construction Business Practices For Getting Paid And Paying Yourself

This Podcast Is Episode 570, And It's About Construction Business Practices For Getting Paid And Paying Yourself Running a small construction business may seem like hopping from one task to another, needing more support and guidance. That can make it tempting to let some to-dos on your checklist slide, especially those related to finances, which can be challenging and are often outside your preferred skill set or experience. The issue, of course, is that clients can only pay you once you've invoiced them. And as you make your salary a top priority, you can also pay yourself. You need an invoicing system that makes the process less painful—or even removes it entirely from your hands. There are some tips you can follow to keep your finances healthy and enable you to thrive. Here are some practices to improve managing your financials so you can have the best chances of success in your construction business.. Pay yourself The business owner's salary is the line item most often left out of a small construction company's budget. As a construction business owner, you may be tempted to keep putting every cent you earn back into your contracting business, but paying yourself first is necessary. You need to earn a living; paying yourself can help your business succeed. You need to pay your bills and be financially sound. You'll also need to have money set aside for your retirement. Ensure you draw a regular income from your business to cover your expenses. Talk to your accountant for guidelines on how much to pay yourself, and always treat yourself as generously as you would your employees. Reward financial milestones met and projections exceeded with a bonus. Raise your salary when your profit shows continuous growth. If giving yourself a raise creates some anxiety, do it in confidence, knowing you can always make adjustments as needed. Have a separate business bank account From day one, business owners should have a separate bank account to deposit their income and pay their business expenses. Keeping your business and personal finances together makes it more difficult to track how your business is doing and how you're doing. Separate bank accounts for your business and personal finances allow you to monitor where and how you spend money more efficiently. It's also crucial to designate a business-only credit card. During tax time, separate statements make submitting claimable expenses quick and easy while reducing painful audit risk. Have separate accounts for your business and finances, and deposit your salary (see the above tip) into your account. Have a good billing strategy Every business owner wants to make money. Invoicing is typically one of the tasks that contractors like the least. Chores like creating and sending invoices are set aside for other more enjoyable or urgent tasks. Eventually, you'll deal with clients who are slow to pay their bills. Money your clients owe you isn't accessible until it's in your bank account. The good news is that we have developed two solutions that can streamline your client's payment process: Contractor Payment Application The difficulty often comes down to waiting for clients to pay their invoices. Chasing down one or two chronic late payers costs valuable time and money; if reliable clients stay caught up on one month, the result can be devastating. Many contractors use QuickBooks For Contractors to keep track of Job Costs and invoice their clients—it works well if you only have a few simple invoices. The tricky part is when you get beyond two invoices, add some job deposits, and change orders because there is no "magic button" in QuickBooks to generate an invoice that will make sense to your client. Randal DeHart created this Excel program for complex invoices, which shows the money trail from beginning to end in a way that everyone can understand and appreciate, which means you get paid faster, with less hassle, and your clients will love you for it. Job Deposits...


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569: How Not To Undercharge Your Construction Clients

This Podcast Is Episode 569, And It's About How Not To Undercharge Your Construction Clients Contractors like you know how to pound nails, pour concrete, build homes and commercial structures, bend pipe and pull wire, install roofs, lay carpet, paint walls, and perform a thousand other tasks. So why are you not enjoying the same standard of living as other professionals? Because you are doing all of those things for anybody and everybody who asks you to. Too many contractors are overworked, undervalued, and underpaid. We seek to change that for as many contractors as possible as we know how almost every sound, solid, hardworking, well-intentioned contractor is going out of business or barely scraping by, and that has to end here and now. First, I must address how this could be an internal cause, such as how you deem your self-worth. Imposter syndrome is a common problem affecting people in various industries, including construction. For those who don't know, imposter syndrome is the feeling that you're not good enough or don't deserve your success despite evidence to the contrary. This can lead to undercharging clients, which is bad for business and perpetuates the cycle of feeling like an imposter. In construction, imposter syndrome can manifest in many ways. You may feel like you need more experience or the proper education or training. You may be comparing yourself to others in the industry who seem more successful or knowledgeable. Whatever the case, it's essential to recognize that these feelings are common and don't have to hold you back. However, when imposter syndrome leads to undercharging clients, it can have serious consequences. Not only are you undervaluing your work, but you're also potentially setting yourself up for failure. If you need to charge more to cover your expenses, you may need help to make ends meet or even go out of business. So, what can you do if you're struggling with imposter syndrome and undercharging clients? Here are a few tips: 1. Recognize your value: Remember that you have something valuable to offer your clients, whether it's your experience, expertise, or unique perspective. Feel free to charge what you're worth. 2. Focus on your strengths: Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your strengths and what sets you apart. Could you highlight these strengths in your marketing and client interactions? 3. Get support: Talk to others in the industry who may have experienced imposter syndrome. Join a professional organization or mentorship program to connect with others who can offer support and guidance. Now that this mental dilemma is tackled, let's examine your systems and processes. Working IN your business is a JOB (Just Over Broke) Working ON your business is where MONEY IS MADE What if you could do both? Work in your business and have a higher standard of living. Because most small construction businesses focus on survival, you pay close attention to the bottom line. This makes sense, but it also leads to being seriously overworked. Contractors like you are under increased pressure to cut their prices to get enough work, which means they need to reduce costs. What to do? 1. Accept that you have to raise your prices at some point It's a daunting task to consider raising your prices, as the danger of losing customers will be front of mind. But the bottom line is this: you can only deliver quality service if you're charging enough. It's that simple. If you're spinning your wheels trying to make up for the difference, you'll lose customers anyway. You won't be able to deliver the excellent service you're known for if you're constantly overworked trying to find profits elsewhere. 2. Understand what's costing you Consider your business costs at least once per year. Check which products or services are making money and which aren't. Then, take it further and pinpoint each area's breakeven position. You will then be able to decide how much more you need to...


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568: The Power Of Core Values In Your Trade Business

This Podcast Is Episode 568, And It's About The Power Of Core Values In Your Trade Business As a construction company owner, you're the architect of your business's vision and culture. But some of the foundation often needs to catch up in the hustle to improve services, chase sales, and keep the lights on. Core values—those guiding principles that shape your company's identity—are more than words on a wall or a statement in a handbook. Getting leads and doing the work is only part of the answer. Not answering them and acting on the knowledge is why many construction companies wither and die. They focus on the wrong areas to innovate or improve. They focus on the wrong enemy and threat. As a result, they need to catch up on what they could be doing to succeed and prosper over time. Is the elevator pitch you used a year ago – even six months ago – still accurate? Unless you are crystal clear on who you are as a construction company, whom you're here to serve, and what you hope to achieve in the next one to three years, it will be hard to come up with meaningful goals. These aren't just buzzwords to sprinkle throughout your website—your business's core values can act as the compass for your business, sharpening much about it. If your brand needs tweaking to reflect where your construction business is today and where you want it to go, start there. Let's dive into why core values are critical to your entrepreneurial journey. 1. Core values establish a company culture. A company without defined core values is like a boat without a rudder—adrift without direction. Sure, you're moving, but where? Core values foster a sense of identity and purpose Your core values anchor your company's culture. They define your company's personality. When employees understand and live these values, it unifies them. Guide decision-making and conduct Values should be your company's moral compass, setting the course for how you want your team to operate in every situation. From difficult decisions to everyday choices, they help your team stay true to the company's ethos. 2. Attract and retain talent. In a competitive job market, your company's values can attract like-minded individuals. Appeal to employees who align with the values Millennials, and now Gen Z, not only seek employment but also meaningful work. They are drawn to companies whose values match their own. When you promote your business's core values, you'll find it easier to recruit those who are best suited for your team. Increase employee engagement and loyalty Employees who connect with your values are more likely to be engaged in their work and committed to the company's long-term success. This engagement translates to higher levels of staff retention, and engaged employees are much less likely to look for a job at other companies. 3. The currency of trust: build trust and reputation. Consumers want to buy from companies they believe in. Demonstrate integrity and authenticity When your core values drive your business practices, you stand out as a company that's not just about profits but about people and principles. This authenticity in business operations builds a strong foundation of trust with your customers. In a world of cynicism, displaying your core values shows that you mean what you say. Enhance customer trust and loyalty A company that walks the talk regarding values will create loyal customers who return for repeat business and refer others to you. 4. Provide a framework for decision-making One of the trickiest parts of leading a business is knowing which opportunities to chase and which to pass up. Help plan actions and initiatives Clear core values make evaluating opportunities easier and aligning them with your company's long-term strategies. Guide strategic planning and goal-setting Strategic plans also benefit from a values-driven approach. Your values help you set more meaningful,...


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567: The Secrets To Stellar Client Service In The Construction Industry

This Podcast Is Episode 567, And It's About The Secrets To Stellar Client Service In The Construction Industry Customer service is the heartbeat of any successful business. The unsung hero transforms a potential disaster into an opportunity and a mere transaction into a lifelong relationship. In the narrative of customer loyalty and retention, service is the protagonist. Your approach to customer service has the power to attract and retain clients. As a construction business owner, client service is critical to your company's success. It is essential to understand what your clients want and how you can provide the best service possible to meet their needs. Why stellar customer service is key The importance of customer service for loyalty and retention cannot be overstated. Positive experiences build stronger emotional connections with customers, leading to repeat purchases or the client hiring you again, enhanced brand loyalty, and positive word of mouth. Stellar customer service is the hallmark of success in a booming digital economy. If you have a website or are marketing your trade business online, you are part of this, or you use platforms where competitors lurk one click away. One of the most critical aspects of client service is communication. It would be best if you communicated effectively with your clients to understand their requirements, provide updates on the project's progress, and ensure they are satisfied with the work. You should also be responsive to their queries and concerns and provide timely and transparent information. Another crucial factor in client service is managing expectations. It is vital, to be honest and realistic about what you can deliver and to ensure that your clients understand what they can expect from you. This will help avoid misunderstandings and ensure your clients are happy with the result. Good Customer Experience is Key A recent Zendesk report found that 3 in 4 consumers are willing to pay more for good customer service. This is a clear signal that in a market cluttered with varying product specifications, prices, and services, customer experience can be the factor that differentiates you from the competition. Retention Customer retention is cost-effective (five to 25 times less expensive than acquiring new customers) and promises a more predictable revenue stream. As a business, your job doesn't end at the point of sale—it means nurturing and retaining your customers. Crafting your customer service strategy Mastering the art of customer service requires a well-rounded strategy. Let's break it down: Excellence breeds loyalty When you deliver exceptional service, you invite customer loyalty, which fuels a positive cycle of customer lifetime value. From thank-you notes to responsive support, every interaction is an opportunity to reinforce a customer's decision to choose your brand. Accessibility is vital Clients shouldn't need a treasure map to find your service. Information, contact details, and assistance need to be at their fingertips. Accessibility is paramount through a user-friendly website, a seamlessly integrated app, or a robust social media presence. The power of empathy Empathy is the currency of customer service. It's walking in your client's shoes, understanding their pain, and making it suitable. An empathetic approach can turn a disgruntled customer into a brand advocate. Metrics You can't improve what you don't measure. Customer satisfaction metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer effort score, and customer satisfaction score are valuable tools to provide insight. Customer Service in Practice: Tools and Techniques It's time to delve into practical customer service applications. 1. Omnichannel Customers are diverse, and so are their preferred service channels. From social media to chatbots and the phone, an omnichannel approach ensures that customer service is available and tailored to meet them where they are. 2. Proactive...


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566: Marketing Your Construction Business- How To Make It Work For You

This Podcast Is Episode 566, And It's About Marketing Your Construction Business: How To Make It Work For You Marketing your construction business is crucial for its growth and success. You can use various strategies to promote your business, such as creating a website, networking, social media marketing, and advertising. Additionally, sponsoring events and collaborating with other companies can help you reach a wider audience. I understand how daunting it can feel for construction business owners like you; we've been there. Whether you're new to the game or have been in business for a while and haven't quite cracked the code, navigating the marketing world can be overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. Your business deserves to be seen, heard, and thriving—with the proper guidance, you can make marketing work for you. Let's unravel the puzzle, starting from square one. 1. Defining your target audience Know thy client: the key to tailored marketing. Before you shout your brand from the rooftops, you must know who you're calling to. Understand the demographics and psychographics of your ideal customer. Are they young professionals, parents, or retirees? What problems do they face that your product or service can solve? The better you know your customer, the better your marketing will resonate. 2. Uncover data gold with market research Don't rely on guesswork. Dive into market research — it's how you find the "who" and the "why" of your business. This doesn't have to be a complex, expensive ordeal. Start with online surveys or asking family, relatives, and friends in your neighborhood, as well as interviews, social media insights, and competitor analysis. The information you gather here will be invaluable. 3. Set clear goals that spark direction The beacon of your marketing journey Without clear objectives, your marketing can feel scattered, like throwing darts in the dark. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Are you aiming to increase website traffic by 30% in six months? Or boost sales by 15% at the end of the year? These goals keep you focused and make success less vague. 3. Develop a marketing strategy Mapping out your move Once you've defined your target audience and your goals, it's time to set your marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy is the "how" behind your goals. Identify which channels your audience frequents. If you're targeting working millennials, perhaps Instagram is for you. A well-thought-out marketing strategy aligns your business objectives with the most effective messaging and channels. 4. Consistency is king Branding isn't just a logo or a tagline. It's the sum of all your customer interactions and experiences with your small construction business. Create a content calendar to ensure your brand is visible across all marketing platforms and your message remains consistent. This calendar should include blog posts, social media content, email campaigns, and any other touchpoints relevant to your audience. 5. Crafting compelling content The art of the story Your content should inspire, educate, or entertain — ideally, all three. Write as if you're speaking to a friend, addressing their problem with your service as the solution. Your content is the thread that weaves your story with your customers. Remember, compelling content isn't just about words. Images and videos can support your message. Visuals – the silent sway Humans are visual creatures. In fact, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. High-quality, eye-catching images and videos can convey your message faster and stickier than words alone. Share photos of your "before and after" service provided or a video demonstrating its benefits. The more senses you engage, the deeper your marketing will resonate. 6. Execution and monitoring: making it happen and seeing it through Take the plunge It's showtime! Execute your marketing plan...


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565: DIY Construction Accounting Errors And Ways To Improve Your Practices

This Podcast Is Episode 565, And It's About DIY Construction Accounting Errors And Ways To Improve Your Practices Many small construction business owners tend to handle their accounting and bookkeeping, especially when they've just started. However, keeping track of the finance side of the business– everything from income to expenses to tax compliance– can be overwhelming. Mistakes can happen quite quickly and can have costly consequences for your business. Below are five of the most common Do-It-Yourself accounting errors you should avoid. 1. Unorganized Records It takes excellent organizational skills to do your bookkeeping and accounting right. You must record every transaction, keep receipts or digitize them for future reference, calculate taxes accurately, and more. If your records are not kept organized and updated, you'll likely miss something, which could get you into trouble during the tax season. 2. No Accounting Schedule As a construction business owner, there are many other things you need to attend to, and accounting can easily be pushed to the bottom of your seemingly endless To-Do list. Yet, setting an accounting schedule to add your recent income and expenses into your records is extremely important. If daily updating is not possible, at least dedicate some time once a week to do your accounting. 3. Unreconciled Accounts Regularly check if your bank account reflects the same balance as you record your cash flow and other financial data in your books. If you find a gap, there is likely a mistake somewhere that you need to find or even a fraudulent transaction. Taking immediate action will help you prevent worse problems further down the line. 4. Failing to Take Into Account Small Transactions It can be easy to forget about minor transactions, such as the office supplies you picked up on your way to the office or the freebie you sent a loyal customer. However, no matter how small you think the transaction is, keeping a record and getting a receipt is essential. In case of a tax audit, you will need to be able to present records of ALL business expenses, even these small ones. 5. Not Backing Up Data and Using Accounting Software Imagine if the laptop where you store all your financial data was stolen, lost, or broken beyond repair, and you don't have a backup. You need to redo everything from scratch, which could be a massive waste of time. If you're still using a spreadsheet or paper ledger to keep track of your business finances, you might consider upgrading to a cloud-based accounting software such as Xero or QuickBooks. By migrating to the cloud, you can easily back up your accounting data and access them wherever and whenever necessary. These cloud-based accounting systems integrate well with your bank account and other valuable construction business apps. The results are streamlined processes, less manual work, enhanced efficiencies, and better overall business performance. Spend Less Time on Your Books and More Time on Your Business While being aware of these common accounting mistakes could help you avoid them, the most convenient and efficient way to stay on top of your business finances is to entrust your accounting to the experts. Our team of experienced accountants can integrate the most suitable cloud accounting software for your business and even train your in-house staff on its proper implementation. I admit that small business owners - like myself have learned to make the most of our resources. As an entrepreneur, I tend to take on the challenge of wearing multiple hats, managing your business, answering phone calls, responding to emails, and scheduling appointments. However, I am reminding you now that being a construction company owner and doing your accounting and bookkeeping requires a different skill set from being a construction expert in your field. When it comes to your financials, it would be wise to take a step back and let someone specializing in bookkeeping do it...


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564: Common Construction Business Pitfalls And How To Overcome Them

This Podcast Is Episode 564, And It's About Common Construction Business Pitfalls And How To Overcome Them Construction Company owners like you have probably experienced life-changing events in the past few years, as many of our clients did. Are you struggling to keep your construction business afloat? Do you find yourself facing the same issues over and over again? It's common for construction businesses to meet various challenges, but if you're not addressing them properly, they can quickly become pitfalls. 1. Poor Cash Flow Management One of the biggest challenges for construction businesses is managing cash flow. You need cash to buy materials, pay workers, and keep your business running. However, you may be in a cash crunch if you don't correctly deal with your cash flow. To avoid this, you should create a cash flow forecast and regularly update it. This will help you anticipate cash flow issues and take steps to address them before they become a problem. 2. Failure to Adapt to Market Changes The construction industry is constantly changing, and if you don't adapt, you may struggle to keep up with the competition. For example, if new regulations are introduced, and you don't adjust your business practices to comply with them, you may lose out on business. Keep an eye on industry trends and be willing to adapt as needed. 3. Poor Project Management Construction projects are complex and require careful planning and execution. If you don't manage your projects correctly, you may experience delays, cost overruns, and other issues. Ensure you have a solid project management plan and that everyone on your team understands their role. 4. Lack of Communication Communication is vital in any business but especially important in the construction industry. Your team must communicate effectively to ensure projects are completed on time and budget. Ensure everyone on your team understands the importance of communication and has the tools they need to communicate effectively. 5. Failure to Invest in Technology Technology is transforming the construction industry, and if you're not investing in it, you may fall behind. For example, construction management software can help you streamline operations, reduce errors, and improve communication. Explore the different types of technology available and determine which can help you run your business more efficiently. 6. Not Delegating/Outsourcing Tasks As much as we all might like to think of ourselves as superheroes who can handle anything and everything, the truth is that we're all human. Sometimes, even the most capable among us need a little assistance, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. Knowing when to delegate tasks can be one of the most important skills you can develop as a leader or even a responsible adult. Knowing when to ask for help – whether from family members, friends, co-workers, or specialists – can save you time, reduce stress, and improve the quality of the result. So, if you feel overwhelmed by a project or task, don't hesitate to ask for help. It might just make all the difference in the world. 7. Listening to Bad Advice When you're a small construction business owner, you get used to people giving you advice. While the advice is almost always well-intended, it's not always good. These are usually the top two tips that well-meaning people give to construction business owners: Never turn down a paying customer Money is a good thing. But that doesn't mean you should say yes to everyone who enters your door. Not every person who approaches you is suitable for your business. If your gut tells you something is off—maybe the person is very demanding or constantly questions your prices—it's in your best interests to say no. It's not necessarily about the client, either. You might be very busy, and taking on another project means you'll give them subpar service or use your valuable personal time. If possible, turn them...


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563: Unlocking New Construction Clients And Markets

This Podcast Is Episode 563, And It's About Unlocking New Construction Clients And Markets For a business to thrive and grow, it needs a strategic plan and the ability to find new customers and continually tap into promising markets. However, this can be easier said than done in a highly competitive trade industry. With time, the quality of your work will speak for itself, which is the most valuable testimonial of all. While your good reputation preceding you is undoubtedly essential, there are a few other ways that you'll want to market your services to ensure that you have a steady stream of work. The untapped potential in existing markets Start by re-evaluating your existing customer base. Profiling them will help you more accurately define your target consumers. Strategic Marketing is essential for any business to attract new clients, and the construction industry is no exception. Effective marketing strategies can help you reach your target audience and showcase your expertise. Some of these include: Utilizing Social Media to showcase your work and attract new clientsCreating a professional website to showcase your services and expertiseUsing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve your local online visibilityEmail marketing to stay in touch with potential clients and promote your servicesAdvertising in local newspapers, magazines, or on radio or podcasts.Appear in directories: Ensure your business is on relevant trade directories in your area. Personas: your marketing's best friend Personas bring your target customers to life. If your service's ideal customer is a 40-year-old stay-at-home mom and a husband in the tech industry looking to update their kitchen, create a detailed profile reflecting their lifestyle, income, concerns, educational background, and other key demographics. The deeper your understanding of your target customer, the easier it will be to find others who fit the same profile. Expanding your business horizons Look at where your customer personas are located. Could different geographical regions hold potential for you? If so, conduct thorough consumer demand research in these locations. If the demand is significant, devise a strategy to serve these customers. This could mean extending your services to locations outside your city if the project will pay well. Integrating vertically or horizontally Depending on your current position in the market, you might find opportunities to expand by buying out competitors or partnering with complementary businesses to increase your reach and customer base. Networking can help you build relationships with potential clients and other businesses in your industry. Attend industry events, join local business associations, and participate in community events to build your network You can also consider partnering with other businesses or contractors to expand your reach and attract new clients. The digital landscape: have an online presence A robust website or a business page is a valuable way to reach more clients. A responsive website design could be beneficial if your business customers mostly found you through a Google search on their phone (that's why it's essential to ask how they found you during your first chat). Your website is your storefront, so make sure it's professional, easy to navigate, and highlights your services and expertise. Increase visibility in the real world Make sure your construction business's name and logo appear on any equipment you use, and make clothes for yourself or your crew to wear when they're out and about in the world. It may be smaller than a billboard, but driving and walking around letting people know who you are, what you do, and how to contact you will go a long way to marketing your trade business. If people become familiar with your business name, they'll likely turn to you when needed. Analyzing your competitors It's essential to know what your competitors are doing. By researching their...


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562: Improving Productivity And Leadership Mentality As A Contractor

This Podcast Is Episode 562, And It's About Improving Productivity And Leadership Mentality As A Contractor As a construction business owner, improving productivity is essential to your company's success. But you may often find yourself pulled in different directions by competing responsibilities. At some point, we all experience that. Classifying tasks and tackling the most time-consuming ones can feel daunting. But why is it so hard for us to start – or even finish – seemingly insignificant tasks? Why do these tiny tasks become the bane of our existence, tempting us into procrastination limbo? Let's explore why we get stuck on even the most minuscule duties and how that might hold us back. Understanding the psychology behind procrastination Procrastination plagues many people. It's a common problem that often leaves people feeling frustrated with themselves. But what if we could understand the psychology behind procrastination and use that knowledge to overcome it? At its core, procrastination is linked to negative emotions like stress, anxiety, and fear of failure. By avoiding or delaying a task, we temporarily alleviate these unpleasant feelings. However, this relief is short-lived and ultimately only creates more stress. By being aware of this pattern and learning how to manage negative emotions, we can break free from the cycle of procrastination and become more productive. Breaking down the task into small, manageable parts When faced with a daunting task, it can feel overwhelming even to know where to start. However, the key is often found in breaking down the task into small, manageable parts. By dividing larger projects into smaller, more achievable tasks, we can focus our attention and energy on one step at a time, leading to a greater sense of progress and accomplishment. Whether working on an estimate on a project or a personal goal, taking a moment to map out the necessary steps and tackle them individually can make all the difference in achieving success. So next time you're feeling stuck, take a breath and ask yourself: what's the next small step I can take? Using rewards as incentives to get started Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of extra motivation to get things done. That's where rewards can come in handy as an incentive to get started. Whether it's a tasty treat, a fun activity, or even some well-deserved relaxation time, a reward can give you that extra push to begin tackling a task. Studies have shown that implementing a reward system can increase productivity and help you achieve your goals faster. So why not give it a try? Choose a reward that suits you and your task at hand, and see how much more motivated you feel to get started. Finding out what your specific procrastination triggers are Have you ever found yourself staring blankly at your to-do list, unable to muster the motivation to tackle any tasks? Identifying your procrastination triggers can be the key to overcoming it. Maybe certain types of tasks are more daunting to you, or you get easily distracted by social media or other forms of entertainment. Whatever it may be, pinpointing your personal procrastination triggers can help you create a strategy to combat them and finally get back on track. Developing a plan and timeline for success Success isn't something that happens overnight. It requires careful planning and a well-thought-out timeline. Whether it's starting a business or working towards a personal goal, having a plan in place is essential. The first step in creating a successful strategy is to define your goals and establish the time frame you want to achieve them. It's crucial to take the time to map out the smaller steps needed to reach your ultimate objective and assign realistic deadlines to each of them. Along the way, it's also essential to evaluate your progress regularly and make necessary adjustments to your timeline or plan. With a clear strategy and timeline in place, success is within...


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561: Easing Your Back Office Burden One Payroll At A Time

This Podcast Is Episode 561, And It's About Easing Your Back Office Burden One Payroll At A Time As a construction business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You need to manage your employees, oversee projects, ensure compliance with regulations, and keep your clients happy. Amidst all this, you may be tempted to handle your payroll to save costs and maintain control. At face value, it seems like a great idea. If you're a small business owner with just a few employees, you probably think hiring a payroll specialist is an expense you can avoid. You feel that you can handle it yourself. You intend to keep your staff paid right and on time. What could go wrong, right? Well, lots, actually. And before you know it, it's now a costly mistake, and you need to spend more money to make it right. Why doing your own company payroll is not a great idea: 1. Time-consuming Payroll processing is a time-consuming task that requires attention to detail, knowledge of tax laws, and expertise in accounting. As a construction business owner, your time is better spent growing your business and focusing on your core competencies. If you don't have a finance background, you'll likely spend a substantial amount of time calculating employees' work hours, computing taxes and other deductions, creating payslips, processing, and filing. And even if you have a bit of a background in bookkeeping, are you sure you want to spend your precious time doing these tasks instead of focusing on the core aspects of your business? By delegating payroll processing to a professional, you can free up time for strategic planning, marketing, and business development. 2. Risk of errors Payroll processing involves complex calculations and compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Any payroll mistakes can result in penalties, interest, and legal liabilities. By outsourcing payroll to a professional, you can reduce the risk of errors and ensure compliance with regulations. A payroll specialist knows the ins and outs of taxes, overtime, contributions, sales commissions, and bonuses. The bottom line is that another professional can do it better, and while they're at it, you can get back to doing what you do best– like growing your business! 3. Costly mistakes Payroll mistakes can be costly for your business. For example, you may be subject to penalties and interest charges if you fail to withhold the correct taxes. Similarly, if you misclassify employees as independent contractors, you may be liable for back taxes, penalties, and legal fees. Sure, you can learn about relevant tax adjustments and benefits procedures if you want to. But then again, you'd be spending more time educating yourself, not to mention the possibility of making costly mistakes. Payroll processing requires expertise in accounting, tax laws, and compliance regulations. As a contractor, you may not have the time or resources to keep up with the latest changes in payroll regulations. A professional construction bookkeeper can help you avoid costly mistakes and protect your business from financial risks. You can benefit from their expertise and ensure compliance with regulations. 4. It's aggravating There's no denying that payroll processing can be stressful, especially when you don't know what you're doing. Reduce stress and spend more time on business activities that drive profits and growth. You can also eliminate the risk of burnout and improve your work-life balance. Better Practices Payroll is one of those things that starts simply enough. You create your construction business, outsource contractors, or hire part-time crew, and things tick along. It's straightforward and sufficient to keep everything in line at first, but what happens to most companies is that they grow! This is a great thing, but it also means that payroll becomes more complicated. As such an essential aspect of your business, payroll must run smoothly. Getting...


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560: Scaling And Adapting Business Strategies Amid The Cost Of Living Crisis

This Podcast Is Episode 560, And It's About Scaling And Adapting Business Strategies Amid The Cost Of Living Crisis When you're ready to take your construction business to the next level, you might start thinking about "scaling." No, it's not just a fancy term for growth; it's about doing more with less. Scaling is about increasing your revenue without proportionately increasing your resources—fancy yet practical, right? It's like sending an email: your effort is the same whether you send it to 100 people or 100,000. But, as of now, we also probably feel like we are in the thick of a cost-of-living crisis. This challenges entrepreneurs and is a nerve-wracking time for many small construction business owners. If you've had sleepless nights worrying about how you'll pay your suppliers or support your staff, you're not alone. You've likely already considered where to cut costs, but it seems impossible when suppliers raise prices. But don't despair just yet! There are strategies to stretch your dollar further, and they're not always about trimming expenses. What are the tricks to scaling and adapting effectively? Efficiently using your resources without emptying your pockets, the MAP way (Marketing-Accounting-Production). So, how can you make this happen? Let's get into it. 1. Look at ways to bring or retain more money into your business. Knowing exactly where and when money is coming from your business, is the first step to seeing where you can save costs. You could be paying for services you don’t even use or simply aren’t worthwhile. Take it one step further and ask yourself if the products or services you pay for add value to your construction business. Arm up your marketing efforts Spending more when you're looking to save might seem counterintuitive, but investing in marketing can yield profitable results in increased sales. There will be short-term costs, but effective marketing can substantially contribute to a positive cash flow in the long run. Understand your clients During uncertain times, empathy goes a long way. Understanding your customers' fears and concerns can inform strategies to drive sales. Depending on their situation, you might be able to offer more services or adjust prices without adverse reactions. As inflation rises and suppliers hike prices, it's crucial to respond accordingly or risk bearing the brunt of the impact. 2. Do what you can with the things under your control while monitoring external influences. Resist the urge to slash expenses indiscriminately. Cutting back in the wrong areas might hinder the growth of your construction business. Make it a priority to retain your staff if you have any, exploring other places to trim costs or increase revenue instead. You can't control everything about your business, but you can stay aware of external factors that might impact buyers' behavior. Keep it simple, keep it clean Don't get lost in complexity. More complexities equal more chances for things to go wrong, time wasted, and resources spent. If you're scratching your head trying to understand a process or a tool, chances are, so are your employees and customers. Keep it simple to keep control and keep everyone on the same page. Monitor your competitors Do you know how competing businesses cope with the cost of living crisis? Can you see what kind of strategy they've adopted? Understanding their strategies can provide insights about your place in the market and potential customer perceptions. 3. Embrace technology. The daily processes and transactions involved in operating a general maintenance and repair contracting business can mean long hours of repetitive tasks and occasional oversights due to human nature. Automating these tasks can result in significant savings in resources and eliminate mistakes. However, the key is knowing which tasks should be automated and which ones warrant staff intervention and guidance. Automation is your friend The future is here, and it's...


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559: Mastering Tone For Construction Company Connections

This Podcast Is Episode 559, And It's About Mastering Tone For Construction Company Connections Mastering the right tone is critical when connecting and communicating with people in the construction business. Whether you're writing an email, making a phone call, or meeting in person, how you present yourself can make all the difference in building strong relationships with clients, colleagues, and partners. Research suggests that as much as 93% of communication is non-verbal, so it's unsurprising that the tone and meaning of emails and messages are misinterpreted as much as half the time. For small construction businesses, email is frequently the preferred way to communicate with new leads, customers, and employees – but if you haven't mastered your tone, the meaning of your message may be lost. In the worst-case scenario, you may even unintentionally offend your audience. Follow these tips to improve your tone when writing emails or other business communications. 1. Adapt to your audience Tone reflects the writer's attitude toward the reader, so you'll use a different tone depending on whether you're asking a bank officer for a loan or your client to respond to your change order question. Your relationship and purpose will help you decide on your word choices, which might be serious and formal, or relaxed and fun. Using active voice will bring your reader right to the point. Taking care always to use courteous language will keep them on the side. 2. Be clear and concise Avoid using jargon or technical terms such as' load-bearing walls' or' footings' that may not be familiar to everyone you're communicating with. Instead, try to use plain language that is easy to understand and gets your point across effectively. If it's in written form and you doubt how an email may be interpreted, hit save and return to it a day later – or ask a colleague to read it and provide some feedback. These additional tips can help you write emails that get read and avoid offense or confusion: Avoid using slang or sexist languageRemove any unnecessary wordsBe appropriately respectful of subordinationBe gracious (please and thank you. You go a long way with creating the right tone, which will keep you from being too abrupt, especially if your email is brief) 3. Be professional and respectful Use proper grammar and spelling, address people appropriately in all your interactions, and avoid confrontational or aggressive language. What to do when delivering a negative message: The tone becomes a more significant challenge if your message contains terrible news. After all, there is no way around creating unpleasant feelings in some circumstances. You can, however, avoid insult to injury by following these tips: Thank the reader for their message, briefly explaining why you cannot approve a request. In this case, passive voice is preferred because it helps neutralize the message.Take care to avoid personal attacks. You can maintain a professional tone by deferring to policies rather than personal feelings about an event or situation.Avoid the "bright side." Listing any perceived benefits can come off as uncaring by downplaying the emotional impact the reader may experience upon receiving the message. Drafting a style guide this January for a fresh start will help make your construction company's "tone rules" clear to staff, help build greater brand recognition with a consistent voice, and help you avoid the wrong tone in your communications. Start by defining your tone. Is it casual, fun, formal, serious, or quirky? Come up with five words that describe the tone of your brand. Then, list words that may and may not be used in your marketing emails. To illustrate exactly what you're aiming for with tone, include some sample text in your guide – perhaps some of your company's collateral or examples of marketing emails you'd like your construction business to emulate. Selling your services to homeowners involves art and creativity. Words...


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558: Practical Tax Season Tips For Construction Business Owners

This Podcast Is Episode 558, And It's About Practical Tax Season Tips For Construction Business Owners Tax season can be a bit overwhelming for construction business owners, especially with many things to keep track of in our industry. But don't worry; we're here to help! We know that construction businesses have unique tax considerations that can be tricky to navigate, such as complex accounting and bookkeeping challenges and issues related to payroll and sales taxes. That's why staying informed about the latest tax laws and regulations is essential, as well as working closely with a qualified construction accountant and tax professional who can guide you through this process and ensure you comply with all applicable tax rules and regulations. Preparing for tax season is a year-round endeavor. Tip number one for construction company owners is to update monthly financials using a streamlined software or cloud-based system. This way, come tax time, everything you need is in one place. Well-organized small businesses are better positioned to minimize tax bills while avoiding missing or inaccurate information penalties. Here are four more ways to take the stress out of tax time and maximize your return. Know your credits and deductions. Small businesses typically benefit from a wide range of tax credits. From special allowances for research and development to programs that supplement wages for student employees and apprentices, knowing which credits apply to your business can save you a tax bundle. It's also essential for business owners to be savvy about deductions. After all, you want to keep as much of your hard-earned revenue as possible. Often-overlooked items you may be able to deduct include: - Seminars, classes, or conventions you attended to improve your professional skills; - Unused inventory that you've donated to charity (an excellent reason to consider donating your overstock rather than paying for storage) and - Capital assets, such as office furniture, computers, and equipment. Speak to your accountant about the deductions you can plan for each tax year. Be careful about what you claim. If you run your business out of your home, you may be able to claim a portion of expenditures like utilities, insurance, property tax, and rent. But you must keep good records and receipts to justify why you've allocated business costs to your home office. The same goes for home office computers and mobile phone expenses. Tax authorities will want to see how you've separated these assets from personal and professional use when you claim them as work expenses. Want to claim drive time as a work expense? Ensure you submit a log of your business-related mileage to demonstrate how your personal vehicle was used professionally. Don't miss the deadline! This should go without saying, but construction business owners are hit with severe penalties for filing taxes late yearly. Missing the deadline can have a range of negative repercussions, including: - Added interest to amounts owing, plus a late payment penalty; - Losing your claim to a refund; - Loss of credits toward retirement or disability benefits and - Delay of loan approvals (lenders require a copy of your filed tax return to process your application). Seek expert advice well in advance. A survey of small business owners found that a full quarter don't understand their tax obligations. What's more, 27% only speak to their accountant at the last minute, just before the filing deadline. Having trouble? You don't have to go through it on your own again. Set yourself up for success this year by following these four pillars of painless tax preparation: 1. Commit to clean bookkeeping from day one Year-round, effective bookkeeping is the best way new business owners can minimize tax season stress. With the wide range of accounting software, there's no reason to rely on time-consuming manual methods that leave room for error. All-in-one options like Xero...