Contractors are some of the most ethical and creative people on the planet; most are artists, entrepreneurs and geniuses all rolled into one package, but only 5 out of 100 will really succeed. You might as well try to become a major league pitcher – you would have a better chance at success.
Over the years, being involved in the construction industry and building my own multi-million dollar business, I have had the opportunity to speak with many industry professionals. Many times, I would show associates the systems I use to manage and expand my company. And you know, nearly one for one, they said, “That’s nice, but I just need to know if I’m making any money?”
Surely, a contractor knows whether a job is profitable or not, right? I mean, he added overhead and profit into the estimate, right? And at the end of the year, why, he can see whether he lost money, broke even or made a profit, right? Before tax day, somehow you squeeze out enough time to sit down with your accountant or taxman and he tells you the good news. “You did make some money, but you owe much more than you have in your account.” This is the moment you want to shoot yourself. “How could I have made any money, if I don’t have any?”
There are two deadly errors you can make as a contractor; do you know what they are? One, adding “Overhead,” and two, “Profit” into your estimate and then assuming you will make money.
There are several basic business flaws that come from misconceptions and falsehoods that have plagued the construction industry for years and years. If you as a contractor don’t discover and correct this in your business, you will fail.
No, I’m not sitting here with a crystal ball, but I am looking at the numbers and “doing the math,” as they say.
Statistically, at least 95 out of every 100 contractors will fail to build any kind of stable, expanding business by the time they reach their 5th year. Most contractors left standing after 5 years, will be found still in the trenches fending off the enemy.
I am sure you’ve experienced this. I am sure you have seen this with others or yourself, and I am sure, somewhere, even if only in the back of your mind, you have been discouraged by this.
Well, let’s face it. Running a contracting business is an extremely difficult operation. First off, you are dealing with jobs that are each one totally different from the last – there is not one job that is the same. Not one. Imagine a manufacturer of bottles, just plain old plastic bottles. Imagine that not one bottle this company made was the same as the last one. Each one was unique, each one different. Well, you say, that’s not manufacturing, that’s art!
Secondly, you’re not just out there producing a product that when done, you will turn over to the consumer. You’re dealing with the user of the product while you are making it! Just imagine what it would be like to manufacture a car with the customer in the plant testing and asking to make adjustments as you are building it. Sitting in the car as it goes down the assembly line saying, “Could you change the vinyl seats to leather?” “Could you make it an automatic?” “Can you add a sunroof?” “I was thinking of a bit darker blue.” If a car was built under those conditions, the manufacturer would have to charge 10 times the amount or go broke.
The site of your plant not only changes with each job or when the customer walks out onto the floor, but also at the whim of: the weather, the building inspector, the designer, the architect, the engineer, the city, the owner’s wife. You name it. Meanwhile, you’ve got no manual, no Big Book of contractor business rules, and you’re wondering if you’re making any money. You’re out of control!
Well, you are not alone. 95 percent of contractors are in the same rickety boat.
This is a wild operation, and if you’re going to gain control you need to start by grabbing a hold of one thing, and then another and another. So where do you start? What “thing” do you grab a hold of first, to align all other “things” to? The answer will shock you, and maybe that’s why so few people have discovered it. But once you know it, you’ll become enlightened and be able to defeat YOUR MAIN ENEMY.
However, before I reveal this amazing secret, we must clearly understand some basic principles.
If you have any questions about running your business, click the button below to schedule a free consultation. I’d be more than happy to speak with you and give you free advice on your business.