Is Your Construction Company Profitable? Learn by Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.
My story does not start with me. In fact, it begins about 30 years before I was born.
The story starts with my “Pop”. After graduating from high school, he went to try his hand at playing football with the Eagles. He found out in the early days that he could make more money getting into the trades instead of playing football. So he decided to leave football and get into roofing.
He started out working for a roofer in Philadelphia as an installer and then moved into sales. With a growing family, he made the move to start his own business. Bux-Mont Roofing and Siding was born. He began to grow his business. He was successful in delivering his services to his customer base. He bought a farm in Upper Bucks County and moved his family into the country.
As most small contractors he set up shop at his home. One of my earliest memories in my life was smelling the hot kettle as he came up the driveway from a long day of work. To this day I still connect the smell of hot asphalt with good memories. I know – a bit odd isn’t it?
When my Dad met my Mom, he began working for my Pop. For a short stint, my Dad tried his hand at college but soon came to realize that his future was brighter in the trades. He chose to leave college and go to work for my grandfather.
Fast forward several years. “Pop” realized that he was not growing and was he holding my Dad back from his success. He told my Dad to go into business for himself. So almost overnight my dad started his construction company. He began contracting work of all types – painting, roofing, siding.
As my dad’s business grew, my grandfather’s business declined. The poor economy of the late 1970’s in combination with his limited business skills took its toll. His business suffered, and he eventually was working project to project and check to check to maintain his life with my grandmother. In 1991, he passed away at the age of 61 leaving my grandmother with no savings and no income.
My dad’s future took a different path. Business continued to grow after he left working for my grandfather. He built a successful small construction business that served the local community. His small business grew because of his dedication to his customers. His philosophy of always leaving a home or business better than the way he found it propelled his success.
But as his business grew so did the headaches he was experiencing. More business can lead to more problems. As with most successful leaders, it is not their ability to avoid problems that make them a success. It is their ability to evaluate and react to those problems that makes or breaks their future.
Instead of trying to avoid problems, he went looking for answers for how to address his problems. He looked inside himself to discover his skills and passion. He also looked for outside help to learn new skills. He developed a passion for learning that would help him overcome tough circumstances and continue building a successful construction business.
While I was growing up, I had a front row seat to the family construction business. I would sit at the kitchen table for dinner and listen to my Dad and my Pop discuss their projects. I got to see two men that I admired react very differently to their circumstances. Similar to Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad series where he saw his Rich Dad contrasted against his Poor Dad I was able to see examples of my father’s responses to his problems and how they differed from my grandfather’s. I was able to see how those different responses led to success and missed opportunities.
One memory that I have of a hurdle that my father overcame was when I was about five years old. I sat in my bedroom looking out the window as my dad sold one of his two pickup trucks. Times were tough, and he had to sell off one of the two trucks he had to make ends meet. But instead of letting this get him down, he used this challenge to propel him forward.
The major difference between finding success as a small construction business owner or just getting by is the business owner’s passion for learning and growing. It is not enough to just be a skilled tradesman. It takes dedication to continue learning and growing in your skills as a business owner. Successful construction business owners must continue to learn about the business behind their trade.
The difference between my Pop and my Dad was my Dad’s commitment to learning and grow beyond himself. My Pop was a skilled roofing contractor, but he did not rise to the challenge to improve in areas where he was weak. My Dad still continues to learn and grow to this day realizing that learning is a lifelong pursuit and not a destination.
Learning does not have an ending. It is a lifelong pursuit. Construct-Ed’s mission is to provide opportunities for those involved in the construction and remodeling industries to learn from the experiences and knowledge of those who are successful in the industry. We provide resources to help small and medium-sized construction business owners make their good construction companies better.
Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
Join us at Construct-Ed – and enjoy the view from the shoulders of giants.
Learning Is A Tool For Growth
Building a construction or trades business is hard. I’m passionate about learning as a tool for growth. If you struggle with cash flow, learn how to do it better from a pro who’s been in your shoes. If you’re not estimating for profit every time, learn from an experienced pro who’s scraped their knees a few times and finally figured it out.
We made Construct-Ed as a platform where pros with skills and knowledge could easily share what they know with you. It’s a place where you can learn what you need, when you need it, from a real pro, all to grow your business, skills or knowledge. Welcome to Construct-Ed.
Our Mission: Online Learning For Pros, By Pros.
The mission of Construct-Ed is to provide a platform where anyone in the industry can learn what they need to from real pros who speak their language. In other words, online learning for pros, by pros.
We provide a place for experts in the industry to publish and share their knowledge with others by taking the tech-work out, so they can focus on building and educating. Educators can get paid for what they know, and reach a wider audience, and pros in the industry can learn from experts and grow their skills, knowledge, and business.