Contractors are craftsmen. After all that's why we become contractors. Some craftsmen know something is missing and put their tool belt down for a while to learn how to become businessmen.
When work is plentiful and competition spotty the contractor craftsman can stay busy and often get their price. But when the economy and marketplace tighten like the past few years the contractor craftsman tends to struggle. Keeping busy to pay the bills and taking work at lower margins is all too common. Frustration, concern and anxiety set in and you wonder when will it be normal again.
In the current economy it does not look like it will get normal again in fact we have a new normal forming. One with a highly informed price conscious consumer and a downsized housing market where very few have the equity in their homes to finance their jobs. Instead they have to use their own money.
The contractor businessman tends to fare better when economy and marketplace tighten. He/She has been planning for the new normal and is making it because they invested in themselves and learned the necessary business skills to meet the current environment.
Are you the craftsman who has learned the needed business skills to succeed in this economy? Many business trained contractors are reporting things were good in 2012 and interest in new projects is picking up. (if you have business training and are not doing well the Contractor Business Success Program will help you)
Or are you the consummate craftsman who does a great job but you are experiencing
- insufficient leads
- short backlog of work
- inability to get the price you know you need to pay the bills
- getting beat up by consumers you used to sell
- doing multiple estimates and no one is hiring you
- you need someone in the office to help do paperwork and basic office duties but can't afford it or don't know where to start
Here are some basic business essentials craftsmen learn and implement to become contractor businessmen.
- Business Planning
- Financial: learn your numbers, overhead costs, burdened labor, your markup, gross profit, net profit.
- Estimating Process: create a straight forward estimate process so you do not have to recreate the wheel everytime
- Marketing Plan:figure out your target client, target project and geographic area to focus. Create a marketing budget and fund it to attract leads form your targets. Website development and ongoing marketing campaigns.
- Proposal development: that helps sell jobs and differentiate your company
- Sales Process: Basic Sales Strategy and Methods
- Production System: lead carpenter, crew chief or some comparable organized production system that incorporates check lists and meetings between the field staff, designer, sales, and the client.
- Administration Systems and Controls: measuring and tracking
To start working on you and your business TODAY without breaking the bank click the following button: 6 Business Workshops For Contractors, Remodelers and Specialty Trades