The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog
As the summer comes to a close the winds of change are taking the residential construction industry by storm. The law of evolution is culling the dead wood and contractors who are resistant to change are being replaced by the Next Level Contractor. Contractors who embrace and adapt to the changes will survive and those who do not will perish. These new contractors are investing in business coaching, education, sales training, marketing and best practices while things are slow. They know that when things rebound this will insure their prospects of success.
I recently learned about a contractor who lost a suit from a homeowner who decided to stop paying for a completed project. It turns out the contractor did not receive several payments totaling over $40,000. He finished the job believing that the owner would eventually pay up. The contractor had never been sued in 15 years of business and has a good following in his community.
Before you know it April 22, 2010 will be here and any contracting company who works on homes built prior to 1978 will be required to be a certified renovator under the EPA Lead Rule. This rule effects remodelers, painters, plumbers, electricians and any trade that may disturb 6 square feet of areas covered with lead paint. Currently there are not enough trainers certified by the EPA. It is estimated that there are 236,000 contractors who need to be trained by April 2010! And currently there are only 4 certified providers in the entire USA! Do you think it is possible that everyone will be trained in time? Stay tuned for more information on available training providers. Hopefully contractors will be able to get training in there local market in time to avoid the stiff penalties that the EPA can impose. Penalties stated in their rule are up to $32,500 per violation, per day.
In a recent post about standard education for residential contractors, I spoke about the existing career path provided for students who want to become professional commercial contractors. In the current market the starting income for 4 year graduates with a degree for commercial construction can be as low as 50,000 per year.
A contractor coaching client recently asked me to assist with an employee who was not meeting expectations. The employee was not performing in a satisfactory manner that has lead to a serious customer complaint and loss of profit.
What allows you to have a business that works and produces profits? The answer is systems with clearly defined processes and procedures. The systems needed to run a fine tuned contractor business are marketing, sales, production and administration. In our training, we use the Four Legged Chair analogy to represent these four systems. Each leg must be strong to prevent the chair from falling over or collapsing.
In May my firm, The Contractor Coaching Partnership, joined The Eastern Mass NARI chapter to network with professional contractors. My goal is to help the chapter grow its contractor membership using effective best practice networking strategies. Over the summer, I have been exposing this great organization to contractors, sub-contractors, and companies who provide services to the residential construction industry. On September 10th, I was joined by several clients and guests at the monthly NARI dinner. The theme for the night was to recognize the contractors who earned their NARI certifications.