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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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...


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557: Becoming A Better Project Manager By Improving Communication Skills

This Podcast Is Episode 557, And It's About Becoming A Better Project Manager By Improving Communication Skills In the construction industry, communication takes many forms, including written reports, drawings, emails, and face-to-face meetings. Each form of communication has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, written reports and illustrations provide a permanent record of information, but they may not be as effective in conveying complex ideas as face-to-face interactions. Understanding how construction business owners and project managers, like you, if you do both (a one-person company), adapt to their environment, and facilitate procedures could make your company run smoother because there is no money in workplace chaos. However, the thinking patterns and comfort zone of a well-trained staff or subcontractor are defined by the following: If it isn't broken, how can I ensure it stays that way?When it fails, I fix it, then I look for the root cause and work on thatI maintain it so that it does not deteriorate into an emergencyEverybody is my client; I work for the internal and the external clientWhen I have to fix things, I must not have done my job right in the first placeI gain recognition from knowing things are running smoothly and predictableMy clients are important; the world revolves around themI don't know everything, so I ask lots of questions to uncover problems and opportunitiesI delegate responsibility to those who can handle it, and I guide them to successI read instructions because somebody else learned it the hard way and wrote about itEverything under my control is my responsibility; therefore, I empower myself to fix itConstruction Project Managers loathe unpleasant surprises, so I seek to eliminate unpleasant surprisesWhen a severe problem arises, I work with the team to develop a plan before it gets out of controlFinally, I don't reinvent the wheel; I find who is doing things right and copy their success Effective leaders are conditioned to avoid emergencies by being proactive and having systems to deal with emergencies. After the crisis has passed, they are ready to evaluate the emergency's root cause and implement change in the system to avoid a repeat performance. That's why excellent communication is crucial in the construction business workplace. With so many moving parts and various stakeholders involved, clear and concise communication is necessary to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. Poor communication can lead to costly errors, delays, and safety hazards. To become a better leader and improve communication in the construction business workplace, it is essential to establish clear lines of communication and ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. Regular meetings and check-ins can help keep everyone informed and up-to-date on project progress and any changes or issues. It is also important to encourage open and honest communication, where team members feel comfortable sharing their concerns and ideas without fear of retribution. This can help to foster collaboration and creativity, leading to better outcomes for everyone involved. One way to improve and encourage collaboration and clear communication in your workplace is by practicing simple ways to improve it: 1. Always maintain control of your emotions in stressful situations Leaders are often called upon to make difficult decisions under circumstances that are not ideal. If you can keep a cool head and calmly make decisions in a crisis, the people around you will begin to recognize you as the go-to leader when new or challenging situations arise. 2. Remain focused on the conversation at hand When you are in the middle of working on a project, it is easy to get tunnel vision that prevents you from focusing on what is happening around you. When someone engages you in conversation, always try to stay focused on what they are saying. Occasionally,...


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556: Rest And Reset For Construction Contractors And Business Owners

This Podcast Is Episode 556, And It's About Rest And Reset For Construction Contractors And Business Owners To be in business and to remain in business, become a business person! To run a business, you must be business-like. It's not sufficient just to be very good at what you do. Many people who are 'very good at what they do' have failed. The familiar cry: "I'm far too busy for that" is no excuse. Are you 'too busy' to be a competent businessperson? If so, your construction business won't last long. You must continue to develop your business skills. To be a businessperson, you have to make an effort to become something of an 'all-rounder,' not just a specialist player. You can offer outstanding goods or services, but if you don't develop sound business systems, you are not a fully rounded businessperson, and your business will be in danger of failing. Having a system in place is your key to enjoying a stress-free holiday. There's no need to be overly anxious about your construction business during this period (this week, between Christmas and New Year, for instance) as long as you have a few basic precautions. It's never too late to start building a system; you never know when you might need a break for a momentous occasion or your health and well-being. Back up all your important documents and information and store the backups in a secure place off-site. It also makes sense to take this one step further and check that you can restore your systems from your backup. Arrange for a responsible staff member or someone independent of your business to monitor your premises (if you have one). Alternatively, install security systems if you haven't already: fire alarms/sprinkler systems and break-in monitoring by a security firm. This is something to consider if you haven't done this yet. It's also good to ensure you have appropriate insurance coverage and that your insurance policies haven't lapsed. Practice the Art of Delegating - yes, this is possible even if you're a one-person company. You can outsource small tasks and hire a specialist for a more specialized job in many ways. A virtual assistant can communicate and respond to inquiries, emails, and social media. A construction bookkeeper can take care of your last bits of receipts and payroll. You can also: Plan for contingencies. What would you do if staff fell ill? Who should be contacted if there are any unexpected calamities?Discuss your team's concerns and your own.Pick the right people for the right jobs. This is critical if you want your construction business to continue to operate well in your absence; you'll be relying on your staff while you are away. It is essential that you prepare them.Ensure everyone is familiar with the contingency plans – discuss, revise, and practice them before departure. As a construction business owner, taking time away from work is essential. But worrying about whether staff are meeting deadlines and suppliers are happy translates to more stress and less time enjoying your holiday. With some staff communication and planning beforehand, you needn't worry that your business won't be able to cope in your absence. If you can't switch off from work mode or something urgent pops up, technology can be a great way to check in and ensure things are ticking along. Is it time to start over? For those of you who are using this week to rethink your administration and paperwork processes, I might be able to help you clear some bookkeeping blunders. Sometimes, a contractor's QuickBooks (or bookkeeping) file is a hopeless mess, and fixing it would cost more than simply starting over would cost. Here is a list of warning signs that can help you decide: Nothing inside QuickBooks makes any sense to you.None of the Financial or Job Costing Reports make sense to you.Your QuickBooks bank or credit card balance differs entirely from your last Bank Statement. Worse yet, your bookkeeper puts all the credit card statement charges in bulk using...


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555: The Benefits Of Outsourcing For Construction Company Owners

This Podcast Is Episode 555, And It's About The Benefits Of Outsourcing For Construction Company Owners Outsourcing can offer a range of advantages for small construction businesses in today's competitive market. Not only does it reduce costs and free up valuable time for owners to focus on growing their business, but it also provides access to skills and expertise that may be unavailable in-house. Small construction businesses can streamline operations, increase productivity, and scale faster than ever by working with external professionals or firms who work in certain areas. Because a small business focuses on survival, you pay much attention to the bottom line. This makes much sense, but it also leads to being seriously overworked. Contractors are under increased pressure to cut their prices to get enough work. And that means they need to reduce costs. New technologies and approaches in cloud computing for construction accounting give forward-thinking contractors a fantastic ability to get more for less -but in most cases, contractors' heads are still stuck in 1990, thinking they have to do everything themselves. Here are some benefits of outsourcing for small businesses and how they can help your business succeed. The advantages of outsourcing for small construction businesses As a small business owner, you want to ensure that every aspect of your company is running smoothly. Outsourcing can benefit your business, including cost savings, access to special skills, and increased efficiency. By outsourcing specific tasks, you can free up time and resources to focus on core business functions. Outsourcing can also help you keep up with the latest industry trends and technologies, giving you a competitive edge in your market. So, if you want to grow your small business, consider whether this is a viable option to help you succeed. 1. Identify which services and tasks are suitable for outsourcing. When outsourcing, you must carefully consider which services and tasks are suitable for delegating to third-party providers. Factors such as the nature of the work, the level of expertise required, and the cost-benefit analysis must all be considered. For example, routine administrative tasks like data entry or customer service may be easy to outsource. Still, more complex tasks like software development or legal assistance may require a more strategic approach. Ultimately, outsourcing can offer numerous benefits to construction companies, including cost savings, improved efficiency, and greater flexibility. Still, it's essential to identify the right areas to outsource to magnify these benefits. 2. Review the cost-benefit of using a freelancer or third-party service provider. When outsourcing specific tasks, businesses have two options: hiring a freelancer or contracting a third-party service provider. Each option has pros and cons that business owners should consider before deciding. On the one hand, hiring a freelancer can potentially save money since they typically charge less per hour than a full-service agency. However, freelancers may not have the same experience or resources as a third-party provider, which could lead to lower-quality work or additional costs down the line. On the other hand, contracting a third-party provider may be more expensive upfront, but they often have a team of experts with years of experience and access to top-of-the-line technology. Ultimately, the cost-benefit analysis will depend on each business's needs and the outsourced tasks. 3. Discuss different payment options when hiring a freelancer. When hiring a freelancer, one of the critical things you must consider is how you will pay them and what payment options are available. Fortunately, several payment options can help you pay your freelancer easily and securely. These options include paying through platforms like PayPal or Stripe, using wire transfers, paying with credit or debit cards, or even choosing to pay by...


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554: Managing Work-Life Balance As A Construction Business Owner

This Podcast Is Episode 554, And It's About Managing Work-Life Balance As A Construction Business Owner Wellness is an important aspect of life for everyone, especially construction contractors like you. Given the physically demanding nature of the work, contractors must prioritize their physical and mental health. Proper nutrition, exercise, and adequate rest are all necessary for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Additionally, taking breaks and managing stress can help prevent burnout and promote well-being. By prioritizing your health, contractors can feel better and perform better on the job. However, maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be difficult for a small construction business owner, as most know. You may work long hours, sacrificing personal time and family obligations to keep your business running smoothly. The duties and responsibilities of running your own business often take priority, no matter how personal pursuits are essential for your well-being. But, with the right strategies and mindset in place, it is possible to strike an effective balance between working hard on your business and making time for yourself. Set boundaries As much as we might love our jobs, we must remember that our mental and physical health always comes first. One of the best ways to ensure we care for ourselves is by setting boundaries for our work schedule. For example, taking regular breaks throughout the day can help us avoid burnout and increase productivity when we return to our tasks. Or, if we know that specific tasks require more energy and focus, we can set aside clear days to tackle them. Create a schedule that allows you to dedicate specific hours to work and specific hours to personal time. Avoid checking emails or answering work-related calls during your personal time, and encourage your employees to do the same. By sticking to a schedule that puts our well-being first, we can remain motivated and engaged in our work for the long haul. Do what works for you Ever feel like you have a million things to do and not enough time in the day to get them done? Trying to keep track of everything can be overwhelming without some system in place. That's why it's important to identify what works best for you and create a plan that keeps you on track and productive. Maybe you're a fan of to-do lists, or maybe you prefer to use a digital calendar. Perhaps you find that breaking tasks down into smaller, manageable steps helps you stay focused. Whatever it is, take the time to figure it out and stick with it. Your future self will thank you for it! Sort out what is important and what is urgent We often juggle multiple tasks and try to complete them all at once. This approach can often lead to suboptimal results or burnout. A better system is to sort our tasks based on their importance and urgency, focusing on the most important or urgent tasks first. This way, we can ensure that we are progressing in the right direction and achieving our goals. Identifying the most critical and urgent tasks may require time and effort, but it will pay off in the long run with increased productivity and reduced stress levels. So, next time you feel overwhelmed with a list of tasks, take a step back. Learn to delegate 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, or co-workers – 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. This will help you manage your...


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553: How To Avoid Year-End Construction Bookkeeping Chaos

This Podcast Is Episode 553, And It's About How To Avoid Year-End Construction Bookkeeping Chaos As the year comes to a close, it's important to start thinking about your bookkeeping tasks to ensure a smooth transition into the new year. Deadlines are fast approaching, but it doesn't have to be stressful. Have you given your bookkeeper, wife, partner, accountant, or tax accountant the information needed to complete your reports? Accountants need good information to create detailed reports and save money on your taxes. Here is where the expression "Garbage In Equals Garbage Out" comes into play. It is impossible to create Job Costing Reports when all anyone knows is the deposit amount on the bank statement. It's the Mad Dash To The End Of The Year as a contractor recently described their Year End Madness to prepare his documents for the Tax Accountant. Are you in this cycle? I have great news for you - it is preventable. 1. Review your accounts: Make sure all your accounts are reconciled and up-to-date. This includes bank accounts, credit cards, and any other accounts. In Construction Accounting, not everything is an expense. Not every item, tool, material, or customer enters the Chart of Accounts. In some cases, Class Tracking is helpful, but most of the time, it is used to make up for a poor Chart of Accounts or as a "workaround" for an accounting product not designed to have Job Costing Reports or Cost Of Goods Sold. Giving your bookkeeper only your bank statements and saying "Fix It" – I Want Job Costing Reports, I Want To Know Details is not enough. Doing it the way you have always done it – expecting a different result isn't how it works. 2. Review your files: Go through your year's costs and ensure they are all properly categorized. This will help you with your tax reporting and better understand where your money is going. One of the most overwhelming parts of the end of the financial year is finding all the invoices, receipts, and reports you need to file your taxes correctly. Pay attention to how easy it was—or wasn't—to find what you needed this past year. Did you have to search 15 different places for all your receipts? Did you have a combination of online and physical invoices? Did you have clearly labeled folders for everything? Did you leave everything for the last minute? If you search high and low for every piece of paper you need, you might want to consider revising your paperwork so it's easier and less time-consuming to manage. Can you keep track of everything through software and apps? Is there technology or equipment that can help you? Is it worth investing in a filing cabinet? The effort you put now into sorting your paperwork will pay off hugely every year when you can quickly and easily find all the information you need. Let's face it; you'll come up against the end of the financial year every year, so you may as well be systematic about it. 3. Collect your receipts: Ensure you have all your receipts from the year. This includes receipts for business expenses, charitable donations, and any other tax-deductible expenses. Every missed receipt that is a business expense is a missed deduction. Bookkeeping is all about tracking the money. Money In, Money Out is just following the checkbooks. Accounting is entering into an Accounting System that creates a Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet for the Tax Accountant to do the Annual Taxes. (Every successful contractor should have a Tax Accountant do their annual tax return) 4. Reflect on your year: The end of the financial year is a perfect time to reflect on how the past year went. Celebrate the big successes, but remember to focus on other victories. Even if you didn't meet your financial targets, did you survive a particularly tough year? Did you manage to pivot your construction business and try a new model? Did you take some risks and learn from them? Did you grow your business or expand your offerings? It's great to have goals...