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Commercial and Industrial Painter Safety Practices Everyone Should Keep In Mind

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Aug 14,2017 @ 05:00 AM

Commercial and Industrial Painter Safety Practices Everyone Should Keep In Mind


Painting is a great way to enhance the beauty of a home or office but it can also be a job that can result in some serious chemical contamination if you aren’t careful. Do yourself a favor and act to protect yourself while painting on a professional basis. As an industrial or commercial painter, you’ll want to follow the following steps to limit your exposure to unhealthy substances while doing your job.

Protect Your Skin

It’s bad for you to get paints, solvents and sanded materials on your hands when working as a painter, but you’ll be handling the substances daily. That’s why it’s important to get some long-sleeve shirts, some pants, closed sneakers and strong nitrile gloves (can be found online at websites like to protect yourself while working. Ensure that waterproof protective equipment is worn and that you are fully protected against all the risks that you’ll face while painting.

Dust MaskKeep Particles out of Your Lungs

Use a high-quality dust mask when you’re sanding or painting with strong substances. The mask will keep particles out of your lungs and help you stay in good health over time. It’s important to realize that even the best masks will miss some of the smallest particles, so keep the area ventilated as well when doing something like sanding down walls and other surfaces before painting the area.  Rather than a dust mask, a respirator may be required depending on the materials you are disturbing. 

Ensure Excellent Ventilation

When working with solvents and most paints, be careful to work in well-ventilated environments. This will reduce the risk of working with these materials and the health hazards that they cause. Open windows and doors and rely on fans or other devices to keep fresh air flowing through the space. This helps remove any harmful odors and chemicals in the air, keeping the space nice and clean.

Safety Glasses on floor-WR.jpgProtect Your Eyes

While painting there is always a risk of hurting your eyes, especially when painting up above the head. That’s why it is so important to invest in safety goggles to protect your eyes. Get a good pair of goggles or glasses to cover your eyes, or rely on a face mask to keep particles out. This will keep your eyes in good shape and you’ll thank the protective gear the first time that paint splatters or drips over top of your eyes.

Safety Doesn't Happen By Accident:

Follow the above steps and you shouldn’t have too many problems with your health while working as a painter. Always follow OSHA requirements should they apply to the work being done.  Just be careful that you don’t skip any of the safety precautions, or you’ll risk letting paint, solvents and other substances through all your protective measures.


Other related articles you might find helpful:

OSHA Compliance Checklist: Will You Be Ready If OSHA Visits You?

RRP Conundrum: To Test or Not to Test for Lead Paint.


Tom Masters


Guest Blogger:  Tom Masters has been working in the construction industry since he was a child. Lately he prefers the business end and writing about the trade. He is currently working with Contractors Today

Topics: Contractor Training, Guest Blogs, Paints and Painting, Tools and Supplies, Safety

Now Might Be a Good Time to Remodel How and Why You Do Marketing

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jun 16,2015 @ 10:03 AM

Now Might Be a Good Time to Remodel How and Why You Do Marketing

marketing ideas for remodelersOn April 2nd, 2015 I presented a half day marketing workshop titled "Choosing and Targeting the Right Customers and Projects Types for Your Business". The workshop was billed as the keynote session for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) annual trade show in Minneapolis.   At the workshop I shared new ways contractors can think about and do their marketing so they can attract their desired customer and job types. It’s what I call strategic marketing.   For those of you who missed the workshop here are some of the key points we discussed at the workshop.


BATC Builders and Remodelers Show information Take advantage of the timing 

The economy and residential construction are both picking up.  At the same time the majority of attendees agreed with me in that we are not yet confident that the pace of the current surge will be sustainable considering the uncertainties businesses and consumers still have about the economy.  With that in mind this is however a good time to take advantage of the surge to concentrate on developing market share in a strategic way.  It’s my opinion that most contractors would benefit from becoming a specialist in what they do and how they do it.  After all specialists typically command higher prices than generalists.  And, true specialists are always in demand, even in down economic times. Now is a good time to specialize, as long as you also work on branding to establish and maintain your position as a specialist in your desired market areas.


Here are some specific tactics contractors can consider and use to strategically build market share

Pick your customers, don't let them pick you:

marketing strategies for remodelersStop taking just any customers and jobs.  Be selective about who you will let become your customers.  For example why not only work with people who would say they are "working with" you, not those who would say you are "working for them".   Also, be selective about the project types you go after.   For example why not attract people who want high quality products.  If you sell using one markup across all cost categories the gross profit dollars earned on material intensive projects due to higher price point products is an easier way to meet overhead and net profit goals, both now and in the future, particularly when compared to selling and producing labor intensive projects.

Stop competing, differentiate:

I don't understand why contractors think they have to compete and or be competitive.   For most construction business owners competing means bidding. Home owners who seek bids are typically like auctioneers, except they are looking for the lowest price, not the highest.  And, rather than try to be better than your competition, why not seek to be different from your competition.  Being different attracts attention and consumers who want different also know they have to pay more to get different.  
One key to being different and attracting positive recognition for it is to concentrate on how you do what you do to demonstrate your difference, rather than work on what you do to differentiate.  One example of potential differentiation could include offering true Design/Build as an alternative to the traditional design-bid-redesign and bid again game. Another example would be helping prospects develop project specifications with the agreement that you will come back to present your proposal and solutions, but you will not leave them behind unless they sign your proposal and give you the required deposit.  


Being different comes with pros and cons

If you decide to use these example strategies many prospects will go away.  However, the ones that see value in your differences will become cogs in your new referral generating machine and will pre-sell the value of your differences to their referrals so you won't have to.  I call those types of referrals "layups".


Think of how you do marketing in a new way

marketing for remodelersThe old traditional marketing methods of trying to find prospects who want your services now and interrupting them to get their attention no longer work.  Today consumers are the ones deciding how they will find and qualify their project ideas as well as the contractor they will work with.  Instead use inbound marketing tactics that help consumers find your business.  This should be one of the two primary purposes of your marketing and can be accomplished on your web site using SEO tactics and good content on your site’s pages as well as your blog.  The other primary purpose of your marketing, particularly at your web site, should be to help prospects decide if what you offer and how you do business are right for them.  In other words your marketing should help them prequalify themselves so they either want to contact you or know they shouldn't.


Final Thought- Marketing shouldn't just be limited to creating leads

At the workshop I also shared one more new way to use your marketing; to advance the sales process.  Consumers want to gather information and ideas about their project, but they want to be sure they are getting accurate and useful information.  Savvy contractors are now using the content at their web sites to educate consumers before they call to setup an appointment with a contractor.  This saves both the prospect and the contractor a lot of valuable time.  In addition to offering project and product related information, you can also educate them about how and why you do business the way you do. Sign up to join our mailing list  This can not only speed up the sales process, it can also help clearly differentiate your business and therefore improve the quality of your leads.



Topics: New Business Realities, Contractor Training, Success Strategies, Sales Considerations, Differentiating your Business, Marketing Ideas, Web Site Related, Marketing Considerations, Customer Relations, Business Planning

Three Reasons I’ll Be Attending The Professional Remodeler Leadership Tour

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Jun 01,2015 @ 12:35 PM

Three Reasons I’ll Be Attending The Professional Remodeler Leadership Tour

Eastern MA NARI MeetingMy Local NARI Chapter, Eastern MA NARI, will be hosting Professional Remodeler Magazine’s Leadership Tour this Wednesday night in Natick MA at the VERVE Crowne Plaza Hotel.   Always a good event with great food, this year’s tour is under the new leadership of Sal Alfano, the magazine’s new Editorial Director. Below are the three reasons I’ll be going again this year. I hope you will join me Wednesday night.




Reason #1: Great food, door prizes and networking all at a great price

Attending the event is only $15. There will be some great door prizes and the food alone will be worth the price to register. However the networking might be the biggest value. This event attracts remodeling industry leaders from the area. It’s a great opportunity to hang out and chat with other remodeling industry professionals including contractors, trade partners and vendors. By networking with other attendees you can find the information and resources your business needs to stay ahead as a leader in the marketplace. Depending on who you are, you can find other people and business to buy from or sell to.   I find it is a great way for me to spend time with my current clients and get introduced to their referrals.


Reason #2: Great Education

In addition to vendor displays, where you can see new products and speak with the manufacturers, the event this year will include two speakers and timely topics.  

David Mayer, Director of Marketing for Houzz will share how new tools, like Houzz, have changed the way homeowners find and choose professionals and vendors, and how you can use Houzz more effectively to market and build your business. I for one am curious on how Houzz defines a “professional” and how they keep non-professionals off their site.

Mark Richardson, well know industry speaker will present "Creating a World Class Team" Covering such topics as: People are your greatest assets; Culture eats strategy for lunch; Know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em; Become a magnet for talent; and Great businesses begin with great leaders.


Reason #3: Recognizing Remodeling Industry Leaders.

Sal Alfano


After some food, drinks, education and networking a good friend of mine, Sal Alfano, will be recognizing the local winners of the Professional Remodeler Market Leaders Awards which identifies the top remodelers in the major markets in the nation. Winners are selected through a combination of research by Professional Remodeler staff, publicly available data, and information provided by the remodeling firms.



Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Trade Associations, Leadership

Thoughts on Choosing a MA CSL Renewal Class and Instructor

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Mar 02,2015 @ 08:26 AM

Thoughts on Choosing a MA CSL Renewal Class and Instructor

Best MA CSL renewal classesChoosing your MA CSL renewal class simply by price or location may not be a good investment for some MA CSL license holders. Sure, you may get the credits you need, but why not also seek to increase the return on investment of your hard earned money!

Here are a few things to consider before you choose which class you will sign up for.


Different trainers offer different classes and subjects.  

Some trainers offer classes that concentrate on trade skills. Others offer classes that concentrate on building code and or energy code requirements and amendments. On the other hand we have decided to concentrate our classes on helping contractors charge and keep more money by helping them with the way they run their businesses and how they manage construction. For example, one of our previous 6 hour CSL Classes titled “Estimating, Pricing and Producing Successful Construction Projects” covered ways contractors can be accurate about pricing their projects, write proposals that help sell work and assemble job packages crews can build from on their own so the owner can concentrate on selling another job.

I find it amazing how many attendees don’t even know what topic will be covered when they get to the class they had signed up for. Before you choose a class to renew a MA CSL first consider the topic being offered. As a business owner you may want to take a business related class but send your licensed production employees to a different class.

Cheap MA CSL renewal classes

Make sure you get the right number and categories of credits you need

Depending on your license type you will need either 6, 10 or 12 credits to renew your MA CSL. Check out this link for a full explanation of how many credits each CSL License type requires.

Although the number of credits needed differs by license type, all three license types require the license holder obtains credits in certain topic areas called categories. The list of required categories is different the first time you renew than subsequent renewals. Make sure the class or classes you take will give you the right credits to renew.   Check out this link for clarification about the required CSL Credit hour categories.


Some trainers have more experience than others

Two things to think about regarding the trainer you choose.

Shawn McCadden CSL classesThe first is whether the class instructor is experienced as a teacher and can effectively help you and or your employees learn the topic at hand. Some trainers have degrees in education and lots of previous experience actually teaching.   Other trainers lack the skills and or experience needed to help you actually understand and then apply what you learn in class in the real world. I suggest you choose a trainer with a proven educational background. If you don’t already have past experience with the trainer and his/her abilities, referrals and or testimonials from past attendees can be a big help when making your selection.

The second important consideration about choosing a trainer is the level of actual practical experience that trainer has had using and or performing the skills being taught.  In my opinion too many trainers have read the book on how to do something and then decided to teach about it. If the instructor lacks practical experience he or she may actually be misleading the attendees. We are seeing a lot of this now that contractors and workers are renewing their RRP certifications at our RRP Refresher classes. Many attendees share they are very disappointed when we tell them the information and guidance they got form a previous instructor was incorrect and has cost them a lot of money and or put them at risk for potential fines.


Renewing your MA CSL takes up a lot of your time.

If you have to do it anyway why not maximize the value of your time and the money you spend by being strategic about the topics and instructor you choose? By doing so the money you spend will be an investment, instead of an expense.



Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Worker Training, Earning More Money

Why January Is Great Time Of the Year for Me and My Contractor Coaching Clients

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Jan 31,2015 @ 09:00 AM

Why January Is Great Time Of the Year for Me and My Contractor Coaching Clients

Working with a contractor coachOne of my goals when working with my contractor coaching clients is to offer them new ways of looking at and doing things than they may have already experienced in the past. At this time of the year we debrief how well they did last year putting changes in place. Our interactions typical include review, celebration, planning and commitments. Using this process proves to be very rewarding for them, and for me as well.

My coaching strategy is to help them explore the options they have to improve and grow their businesses so they can make their own informed decisions about how they want to move forward. I really enjoy working with them in this way because it helps them discover and experience how to think and act on their own. I purposely do it this way so as not to create a dependency on my assistance and so they won’t need me to help them over and over again with the same things year after year.

My calls and interactions with them during this time of the year focus on reviewing the successes of the past year’s efforts. They also include identifying the goals and actions they will commit to in the New Year to continue moving forward on their defined path to personal and professional success. We also agree on how they want me to hold them accountable to achieving those goals.


Here is a taste of what we do in January and why it is so rewarding for me

Working with a mentor for contractorsFirst they share with me their excitement about their personal and professional progress, and how much more time they have to work on their business, not just in it.

We then review their financial reports for the previous year to see how they did and make sure all transactions are in the right places within their chart of accounts based on the financial system strategy we designed together. This helps get things ready for their accountant and simplifies filing tax returns.

I celebrate with them and point out how much better they did financially than the previous year because of the changes they put in place. Then we discuss budgeting and pricing/markup for the New Year using their historical information as our guide and as a reference. With the economy improving most of my clients are willing to sell at higher prices to help increase volume in the New Year, rather than just sell more work.

I encourage and support my clients in accomplishing a combined total personal compensation and net profit of 20% of produced volume.   This compensation strategy gives them the money and the confidence they need to use some of those profits for investing back into their businesses to continue growing them. That level of total compensation also provides money to build their retirement funds and or finance other investments.

If we have worked on their marketing plan and strategy over the past year we also do a year end review of their results.   After doing so most tell me they want to invest more on marketing this year because of the result they experienced last year.


David Agnew“Before, when I was working with other people, I felt like I was on a trampoline. Now, when I work with you Shawn, I feel like I’m on a concrete floor.”
              David C. Agnew, Custom Home Renovation Solutions, LLC

contractor coaching for remodelers

I actually love what I do!

The business owners I work with are great people. Although they all have different motivations for seeking my assistance, they all share the common desire to remodel their businesses to make them better. As a bonus for me, when they give me the opportunity to help them, I also get the opportunity to help change the lives of their employees, trade partners and the customers they serve.

And, these are just some of the reasons I really love what I do!


Topics: Contractor Training, Earning More Money, Mentoring/Coaching

Breaking Past $1M At Your Remodeling Business: The Set Up

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jan 06,2015 @ 09:59 AM

Breaking 1 Million in Remodeling


(Note: This is the seventh article in a series of articles written specifically for remodelers who want to successfully break past doing $1M/year in installed sales. Click here to see a list of all the articles in the series that have been published.)

As a remodeling business seeks to grow past the $1million a year threshold things can very difficult for most business owners.  Taking the jump can even be fatal for the business. I call it the “Take-Off Stage” because either the business takes off successfully, or it doesn’t.

The typical challenges most owners experience during this transition include having the right skills to make the jump successfully and getting it done quickly enough.  The growth has to happen quickly enough so the increased volume produces the gross profit needed to cover the additional related overhead expenses required to first make the jump and to sustain it.

At the doorstep of approximately $1M remodelers must make a decision

How to be a $1M RemodelerWill they remain contractors or will they become construction business owners? 

Either is a good choice, but being a construction business owner is much more involved.  It can also be much more profitable.

 It’s the best time to introduce the structural and behavioral changes the business and the owner will both need to make.  


Growing past the $1M mark without putting significant changes into place is a huge risk

The reason most small businesses fail is not because they are not profitable, but rather because they grow faster than the business can successfully implement the systems needed to manage that growth.

Want help making the $1M Jump?

If you what help here is what I am setting up to help you.  Over the next two weeks or so I will be publishing blog topics specifically written to help remodelers who want to grow past $1Million a year.  In the next article I will share the typical characteristics of the Take-Off Stage.   After that article I will share some important considerations for the business owner and a list of goals the business and the owner should consider committing to and working on to get ready for the growth. 

Then, following those articles I will post a series of articles.  Each article will specifically discuss one of the seven business systems I have identified as critical to the successful and profitable growth of a remodeling business.  Again each one will be written for the purpose of helping remodelers with what they will need to consider and put in place to help them break $1M profitably.


The list of systems to be discussed will include:

  1. Financial
  2. Marketing
  3. Design
  4. Sales
  5. Production
  6. Personnel
  7. Communications.

If you haven’t already done so subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a single article.

Subscribe to the Design/Builders Blog

Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Success Strategies, Business Growth, Earning More Money, Business Planning, Breaking $1Million

Invest In Your Remodeling Business Now, Or Pay Forever

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Jan 05,2015 @ 05:00 AM

Invest In Your Remodeling Business Now, Or Pay Forever

Business improvements for remodelers


The New Year is here again. For many it’s a time to plan and make commitments for the changes and improvements needed to make the coming year better than the last.  Then there are the remodelers who say they and their companies are too busy working to take the time to remodel their own businesses. What they may not know is that if they don’t invest now to either train employees or restructure their businesses, they will be paying for not doing so for a long time to come.

What am I referring to?

  • I'm talking about proactively taking a look at how efficiently you run your company in order to get better returns on your investment of time, money and focus.
  • I am talking about assessing your company's cost effectiveness and taking into account if employees are properly trained to do their jobs so you don’t have to micromanage them.
  • I’m also talking about creating the ability to actually be “present” when you sit down to have dinner with your family or attend your child’s soccer game.

Retirement planning for remodeling business ownersYou can invest now to train managers or employees and to rework structural shortcomings within your business.  Or you can pay forever by running a shoddy show that won't give you the financial returns that it takes to stay in business and retire before your body eventually gives out.

If you don't do it now, how much profit will you possibly lose until you do set a plan into action?  If you don’t do it now how much will your procrastination cost you over the coming years you are in business; including the compounded interest you could have earned each year towards your eventual retirement? 

I know many remodelers who have no retirement funds at all.  How about you?

Don’t forget about lost opportunities

By sticking with the status quo many business owners are also missing out on opportunities they could have concentrated on if they were not constantly dealing with and fixing the same problems over and over again. For example, at a recent workshop for remodeling business owners I broke the attendees out into several groups and asked them to assess their business’ current status. One group of eight remodelers agreed their production slippage problems hurt them financially at a cost of at least 10% of total volume each year.

I then asked them to reference that in the point of view of being a $1 million/year company. They agreed this 10 percent production slippage loss would equal a $100,000 deficit each year. Would you want that to happen or keep happening at your business?

Here is a tough question to ponder

Does your spouse or significant other know you have such opportunities to make and keep more money?   Or, are you hiding that fact from them and others so you don’t have to recognize and address the shortcomings of your business and or your business acumen?

It's up to you. You can pay now, or you can pay forever.

Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Worker Training, Careers in Construction, Business Growth, Retirement Planning, Earning More Money, Production Considerations, Business Planning, Leadership, Sage Advice

3 Considerations Before Working With A Construction Business Coach Or Mentor

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jun 10,2014 @ 06:00 AM

3 Considerations Before Working With A Construction Business Coach Or Mentor

Contractor Coach


Working with a coach or mentor to improve your construction business can help you avoid potential challenges, particularly those you might not know to watch for yourself. It also can help speed up your path to success while at the same time reduce the cost to get there, particularly if your "go it alone" path ends up being the wrong one.


Click here to read about the difference between a coach and a mentor.

Here are three considerations for contractors looking to work with a coach or mentor


Be cautious of who you choose to work with

A business coach or mentor should have proven success in their areas of claimed expertise.  However, there are many consultants and coaches out there who failed at their own businesses or may have never actually reached success with their businesses before becoming a coach.   Check the business history and actual level of success achieved by your prospective coach or mentor before you commit and invest in hiring him or her.  Also, if you are not sure of the coach’s reputation, check with his/her current and previous clients about their experiences.  As with other business investments, your best bet may be to ask for a referral from other contractors you respect who have already worked with a coach or mentor.  The reality is if you work with the wrong coach and or mentor you own the responsibility for that decision.  If it’s not working out with your coach first be honest with yourself about why, then either change your approach to working with him or her or find a new coach to work with.


Make sure to have a way you can both measure success

Remodeling business coach resultsTo make sure you will get a return on investment make sure you and your coach agree on how you will measure results.   Help with soft skills like leadership and people skills will be challenging to measure because changes and results may be seen as subjective and might be measured differently by different people.  However many changes can be measured in an objective way.   For example when I was first growing my business I worked with a coach on a financial system and the related QuickBooks setup required to support it.   Although he seemed to have the right experience he couldn’t offer me a reference specifically from a construction company.  After some discussion we agreed his compensation would be conditional on results and we made a list of desired outcomes to measure.  After several months we mutually agreed his system didn't serve the intended purpose and I got the majority of my money back.   Unfortunately I lost a lot of valuable time.   I assume he did too.  However we both learned a lot from the experience, I minimized my risk by agreeing on how he would be compensated, and I still had the money I needed to hire another expert to get it done.


Decide whether you want to remodel your business or do a tear down and start over

The business owners I work with as a coach and or mentor typically already own businesses that have been around a while and most already have pretty good business systems in place. These business owners come to me to help them remodel and improve their businesses so they can increase profits and or grow to the next level.  

remodeling franchiseIn addition to working one on one with remodeling businesses and their owners I have also worked in the corporate side of franchising. Joining a franchise can be a great option for the right business owner. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to carve out your own path and direction and evolve your business systems on the fly a franchise might not be a good option. On the other hand if your just getting started, or need to tear down what you have and start over again, and you want to adopt an established and tested business model, and you are willing to actually follow it, not question it, a franchise can be a great way to go. 

Most franchises offer some level of business coaching, just be sure it will be enough for you to achieve your desired level of success. Before joining a franchise I recommend you look into how much one on one support and coaching you and your new franchise can expect and will receive from the franchisor. If they offer a system, but not enough training and support to help you adopt it, you might want to keep looking.

Topics: Contractor Training, Business Growth, Mentoring/Coaching, Sage Advice

An Opportunity For Contractors Seeking To Remodel Their Businesses

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Mar 30,2014 @ 06:00 AM

An Opportunity For Contractors Seeking To Remodel Their Businesses

Boot Camp for contractors

Now that the economy seems to be improving and spring has sprung many contractors are seeing increase leads and sales as home owners are spending money on remodeling again.   Tired of living with their homes in their current condition, many home owners are once again investing in their homes to improve their lives.   Because home owners are now confident enough in the economy to pay contractors to improve their homes and change their lives, it’s also a good time and an opportunity for contractors to invest in and improve their businesses and their lives as well.   A Connecticut trade association and several well known businesses not only agree they are willing to help as well.


Starting on Thursday April 3rd, The Builders and Remodelers Association of Eastern Connecticut (BAEC) will be hosting a five week “Remodeling My Business” Spring Boot Camp at their Salem CT location. The boot camp sessions are being offered to association members and other serious contractors who want to invest in themselves and their businesses.  Only a limited number of attendees will be allowed to participate due to the cozy size of the association’s learning lab and registration is required.  


To make the boot camps possible these three businesses are investing in the event and their contractor customers 

Andersen Contractor Rewards

United Builders Supply

Andersen Windows Logo

Some thoughts about remodeling your business

Just like a home owner considering a project, the scope of work for making changes at your business will depend on how much of a change is desired.  Before you make any changes I suggest you consider whether your business only needs to remodel certain areas, needs a whole house remodel, or may be in poor enough shape that a tear down and rebuild makes the most sense.

Just like any other project it’s wise to first assess existing conditions, consider practical realities like available time and money, and put a plan together with a defined scope of work.  Then decide if you should build your project all at once or in phases.  Like a good builder however, a good business owner will begin the project always keeping the end result in mind.


Get the help you need to maximize your investment of time and money

Contractor Business Plan


If you are considering making improvements at your construction business this year make sure you get the help you need to do a proper design before you begin any changes.   Then look for industry best practices you can adopt into your business to help make the changes happen. To avoid false starts, frustration and reinventing the wheel, seek advice from experts in the industry who have already done it before.   Most of all make a commitment to invest the time and efforts needed to really do it and do it right.

If you want some help getting started and you live in or around the Salem Connecticut area consider attending these boot camp sessions. As you can see by the topic list below by attending all five sessions business owners will find plenty of helpful information and best practices across a wide variety of important construction business systems and functions.


BAEC Boot Camp Sessions Will Include:

BAEC Contractor boot camps by Shawn McCaddenSession #1: Thursday April 3, 2014 - Small Business Finances: Profit Strategies for Non-Accountants

Session #2: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - Choosing and Targeting the Right Customers and Project Types for Your Business

Session #3: Thursday, April 17, 2014 – Strategic Estimating: Know What You’re Selling Before You Sell It

Session #4: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Smart Selling for Tough Times

Session #5: Thursday, May 1, 2014 – Production: You Sold It, Now You Have To Build It



Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Business Management, Success Strategies, Business Growth

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