Running successful construction companies is like leading successful sports teams.
Sports teams must play good defense to win games. The team’s defense handles stopping the forward progress of the other team. And they need to get the ball back into the hands of the offense so that they can score.
A construction company needs a great defense to be successful. A great defense helps a company stop problems coming in from outside the company. They stop problems before they start and put the ball back into the offense’s hands to score.
Leaders of successful construction companies build their management and leadership toolboxes. They fill their personal toolboxes with tools that can help them manage and lead better.
There are great tools available to help leaders and managers in the construction industry. Learning to use these tools will help leaders and managers grow. Using these tools will help them leverage their abilities into their positions.
There are 9 Zones that successful construction companies need to cover and defend. Defending these 9 Zones will help keep the ball in the hands of the offense. The best way for a team to score is to keep the ball in the hands of the offense.
Here are 9 Tools to help you Lead a Successful Construction Company
Zone 1: Business Management and Leadership
Zone 1 deals with your development as a leader or manager. To lead your company you need to continue to grow. Your company cannot grow around you.
To grow as a leader and manager you need to look for resources that you can learn from. Listening to audiobooks is a great use of your windshield time. Check out Audible for audio books on leadership and management.
Zone 2: Insurance and Risk Management
Zone 2 deals with the risk associated with being in the construction industry. Risk is a part of doing business. Learning how to handle the risk is a critical part of leading your construction company.
Align your company with an insurance carrier and broker who have experience in construction. Leverage their knowledge to help build solid coverage for this zone.
Zone 3: Marketing and Business Promotion
Zone 3 addresses promoting and marketing your business. Every business needs to create opportunities. Promotion is a key element of building your business.
Join networking groups including your local Chamber of Commerce. Networking groups provide outstanding sources to generate leads for your company. Look into BNI – Business Networking International
Zone 4: Project Cost Estimating
Zone 4 is a critical zone. Every good project begins with a good estimate. Good estimating practices need a good estimating program that is consistent.
Using a consistent estimating system will allow you to produce consistent bids and estimates.
Microsoft Excel provides a consistent platform to build an estimating system on. You can also look for an estimating system that is specific to your industry.
Zone 5: Selling for Your Construction Company
Zone 5 is closing the deal. You have to be able to sell and close deals to have work for your company. Without a sale, there is no company.
Recommended tool: The key to sales is listening. Listening is an important skill. Learn to listen. Dale Carnegie Training is an outstanding resource for sales training.
Zone 6: Managing Operations
Zone 6 is all about delivering on what you sell. Don’t get caught over promising and under delivering to your customers.
Recommended tool: That smart device that you have in your hand is a great tool for managing projects. There are great apps to help you lead and manage construction and remodeling projects. Search the app store on Google or iTunes for “project management”.
Zone 7: Leading People
Zone 7 takes a look at a vital part of your business – your people. Construction is a team sport. Without a team, you cannot take the field or play the game.
Recommended tool: Developing your employees and team members takes a plan. It does not happen by accident. Eric Jurin has a great system for building construction employees. He discusses in his course 5 Valuable Growth Stages that Actually Build Better Employees. Learn how to build better employees through an established process.
Zone 8: Financing Your Company
Zone 8 explores financing your company. Companies take cash – and without cash, your company dies.
Recommended tool: Cash flow is king. It is the lifeblood of your construction company. Without it, the company dies. A must have tool for financing your company is a line of credit. A line of credit can help stabilize your business’s cash flow during slow times for your business. Here is a great quick read by Scott Allen on some of the steps it takes to get a line of credit for your construction company.
Zone 9: Accounting
Zone 9 is about speaking a foreign language – the accounting language. Learning to speak the accounting language will help you communicate better with your advisors.
Recommended tool: Select a good accounting system that works for your construction company. Construction requires a unique approach to accounting. Not all accounting systems will work for your company. Make sure that you can scale the accounting program as your company grows. Online accounting solutions such as Xero are great solutions. An online system allows your accountant access to your books from a remote location. This allows for more real-time review of your financial performance.
Learning the 9 Zones will help you build a strong defense for your construction company. I explore these zones in depth in How to Start and Manage a Successful Construction Company on Construct-Ed.