If You Could Start Over, What Would You Do Different?


Think of all the decisions you made over the last five to ten years that affected your future and where you are today. Now think of all those decisions you didn’t make you wish you had. Remember when you were busy signing new contracts, getting plenty of business, trying to juggle all your commitments, scheduling crews, putting out fires, and doing everything you could to keep everyone happy? During this time it was hard to do everything you wanted to do.

Because of the stress and workload, many construction business owners postponed making good critical decisions. Some of these might have included:

 – Paying a subcontractor for extra work without a signed change order.
 – Keeping a project manager who was consistently over-budget.
 – Putting up with a project superintendent who is always late finishing jobs.
 – Overlooking a foreman who didn’t do the required paperwork.
 – Not requiring a relative to follow the same standards as all employees.
 – Not replacing an estimator who didn’t keep accurate job cost records.
 – Relying too heavily on the same customers for most of your work.
 – Relying on being low bidder to win most of your contracts.
– Continuing to work for customers who paid slow or shopped your bid.
– Allowing your accounting manager to give you reports 3 to 6 months late.
– Overlooking employees who didn’t follow the rules and ethical boundaries.

– Not letting go of poor performers fast enough.
– Not taking the time to train your field workers properly.
– Not investing in technology soon enough.
– Not taking time to invest some of your profits into investment real estate.

– Not taking enough time for yourself and your family.

Today, my most requested speech topic is “How to get your business to work in a tough economy!” During my presentation, I stop and ask everyone to write down what they would have done different with their business over the last five to ten years. The answers consistently describe many of the problems listed above.  I call these “Do-Overs!”

Business owners don’t generally get a second chance to get it right. Your long season never seems to end. Yes, you make adjustments to weather the economic storm, alter your budgets, change a few players, and look for a few new customers. But most continue to play the game of business doing what they’ve always done, with the same rules, the same plays and the same strategy. The only thing different is your competition and how hard it is to win the game.

What is your company planning to DO OVER?  Next week that’s what we will be focusing on.  

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8 responses to “If You Could Start Over, What Would You Do Different?

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