5 common traits of successful construction firms

5 common traits of successful
construction firms

by HERBERT TIMPSON, busybusy | March 6, 2015

There are varying images when you think of construction industry personnel. Ranging from the hands-on type in the field, caked in concrete dust, to the CEO types with their suits and ties. Regardless of whether your HQ is the cab of your truck or an office in a high rise, the traits of success are the same.

Through getting to know some top construction firms, here are 5 common traits that all share:

1.  They take care of their people  - Finding qualified people with a good work ethic is difficult in today's work environment. But when successful contractors find one, they make sure they pay them well, they listen to their ideas and they provide a career path up to supervisory level. They don’t baby or pussyfoot with them, but they don’t act like drill sergeants either. They make the environment of their companies a place where people want to work; 

2. They go above and beyond the requirements of a bid or a contract to fix problems and to satisfy clients - Turning customers into fans separates the good from the great. That’s why time and again we find so few of top contractors doing hard bid work. Many of their customers don’t even bother to bid out the work, knowing that these guys will do the work right the first time, at a fair price, with no delays or hassles. The work finds them; 

3. They embrace technology - Less than 10 percent of contractors in general use GPS technology. More than half of top contractors use it. It’s a tough nut to crack at first, but the ones that do so, dramatically improve their productivity. Being able to know at any point in time where all your employees, trucks, and machines are - and what projects they’re laboring on - gives top contractors tremendous competitive advantages; 

4. They follow the money - The fun in construction is mostly in the field. But successful contractors know that they have to pay attention to the books. The boring, spreadsheet-dominated business side has to be attended to. The best get into it with the same intensity they bring to field operations and can tell you, to a dime, what everything costs. They bid better and more confidently than competitors, and rarely leave money on the table. Most have systems put in place that manage all of the information automatically; 

5. They are true leaders  - Dwight Eisenhower once said, "Leadership is getting extraordinary results from ordinary people." Some are born leaders. Some learn it through experience, or study leadership and apply it to their lives. But time and again, what is seen is that most top contractors build great businesses by finding, nurturing, and motivating the ordinary people who come to work for them. 

Regardless of the size of your company, these traits are invaluable to any construction company, regardless of trade. There are many systems available to the industry today that manage the processes discussed above. 

Based in Salt Lake City, the author is a district manager and customer relations specialist at Busy Busy, specializing in labor productivity, profit maximization and budgeting accuracy.

This article first appeared at the author's LinkedIn page

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