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Help With Evolving From Contractor To Construction Business Owner

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Mar 25,2014 @ 06:00 AM

Information and Guidance To Evolve From Being A Contractor To Being A Construction Business Owner

Contractor or construction business owner


With remodeling spending expected to grow by double digits this year many remodelers can and will be taking advantage of the opportunity to grow their businesses and their market share.  If this includes you, be careful.  One of the most common reasons for small business failure is growing the business faster than the systems required to support that growth.


History shows us that as the volume of work increases at their businesses most contractors will be challenged to produce the work. Challenges will include important things keeping up with the workload, finding and keeping good craftsman, finding and keeping project managers and or lead carpenters, the handoff from sales to production, and managing allowances. 

LIRA Report showing 2014 spending growth


Decision time: Will you remain a Contractor or become a Construction Business Owner?

Construction business systems improvementMy experience has shown me that those business owners who think of themselves as contractors will typically be the ones who experience most if not all of these challenges as they grow their produced volume of work.   Rather than do things differently they just try to keep up with the growth by doing more hours themselves and hiring more people who will need to be supervised.   On the other hand those contractors who seek to become what I refer to as “construction business owners” will be adding to and improving their business systems so they and their team members can share responsibility, work smarter and work together more efficiently.

The good news is that being able to charge enough money to first invest in putting helpful systems in place, and then also continually paying for them once they are in place, is becoming practical again for many more contractors.   According to a recent survey by LEK Consulting, discussed in an article by Craig Webb, Editor in Chief of Remodeling magazine, contractors are now feeling reduced price pressure from consumers and are enjoying greater opportunities to be selective about the jobs they do take.  This is great news if you have been waiting for a good time to risk growing your business.


Improving production at a remodeling businessWhy I created the list of article links listed below

In mid April I will be headed out to the west coast to help one growing contractor and his team members create and implement the systems the business needs to improve their production efforts and take advantage of growth opportunities he is experiencing in his local area.   We will have a lot to cover in a few days together.  To help him and his team get ready for my visit I sent him a collection of links to articles I think will help them get the mental and creative juices flowing and will help maximize our discussions. 

As I was putting the article links together it occurred to me they would be good ones to share here at the Design/Builders Blog.  I also added a few more here than I had sent him.   If like my client you want to move from being a contractor to being a construction business owner I suggest you read them all and do so in the order they are listed.   I hope you find them helpful and enlightening.

Feel free to offer your own thoughts and or suggestions in the comments area.  


Links to articles for contractors who want to grow their businesses.

The Design/Build Remodeler’s 10 Step Plan for Success

3 Objections Your Boss May Have About Hiring an Industry Expert

Afraid To Hire Employees For Fear Of Running Out Of Work For Them?

Don’t Underestimate Your Estimating System’s Potential!

Tips for Reducing and Controlling the Effects of Construction Allowances

All I want for Christmas… Is a Real Production Manager!

An Overview of the Lead Carpenter System

Interesting Considerations for Putting the Right Employee on the Right Job

3 Good and 1 Bad Reason to Offer Profit Sharing Rather Than Bonuses

Checklist for Implementing the Lead Carpenter System



Topics: Contractor Training, Business Growth, Production Considerations, Leadership, Sage Advice