Business Tips

Satisfied Contractor

6 tips on staying ahead of the economic upturn

Slowly but surely, construction in the U.S. is regaining strength.

As of July, the rebuilding of the construction industry (pardon the pun) has seen the replacement of 25% of the jobs lost between April 2006 and January 2011, the lowest point in construction employment during the recession.

An industry rebound doesn’t happen overnight. It occurs slowly but steadily, and if you’re on the lookout you won’t be surprised. If you’re not paying attention, though, you could get left behind.

As a contractor and business owner, you want to be prepared, not surprised.

Recent reports show that with demand for new labor increasing, some contractors have had trouble finding additional workers who are skilled and experienced.

A skilled labor shortage could mean lengthy searches to fill positions, or cycling through the wrong hires before finding the right ones, all of which amounts to more money spent on your most costly expense: labor.

It’s more important than ever to get your ducks in a row and clean up your act if you want to grow along with the industry—and not fall victim to attrition and change.

Borrowed from Equipment World Magazine and other industry experts, here are a few key approaches to strengthening your business as the industry grows:

  1. Find and keep good workers.

    When you find highly skilled people with a good work ethic, acknowledge and honor this precious asset. Be fair but take good care of them.

  2. Find and keep good subcontractors.

    Ditto the above.

  3. Go above and beyond to please clients.

    Create die-hard fans of your clients by doing the work right the first time, in a timely manner, and at a fair price. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a referral: your customers are your best source of new business.

  4. Tighten your accounting practices.

    The action might be at the job site, but good solid accounting practices are just as important in the long haul. Reviewing all those boring spreadsheets is essential if you want to see where materials or labor must be trimmed, priorities shifted, or best practices applied.

  5. Embrace technology.

    As the folks at Equipment World say, the companies that adopt GPS/GNSS, telematics, and other new technologies that might seem daunting at first are the ones who find that their work has been greatly simplified—and their productivity has improved.

The last two items both support one of our favorite points, because it’s really a no brainer. You’ve got to drop bad, outdated habits like paper time cards in favor of mobile and rugged time tracking, which will save you time and money in the short run and the long run.

When you become the best and smartest company you can be, you’ll be duly rewarded—but you won’t be the only one. Your customers, subcontractors, and employees will be happier, too.

Find out more about ExakTime’s turnkey system, which works with your accounting program for accurate, painless payroll processing. Click here.