Category Archives: Wealth Building

2 DAY INTENSE BIZ-BUILDING BOOT-CAMP

2 Day Intense BIZ-Building Boot-Camp
June 14 & 15, 2012 – Charleston, NC
July 26 & 27, 2012 – Newport Beach, CA

“HELP! I’m Stuck! I Want My BIZ To Work!”
Want To GROW Your BIZ In Tough Times?
Want More Bottom-Line PROFIT?
Want A Great Management Team?
Want Written Goals & Plans?
Want Organized SYSTEMS?
Want To Let Go & GROW?
Want New Customers?
Want To Make More $$$?

Stop waiting for the economy to turn around!
Let me help you get your business back to work!
Profit-Builder Circle Academy 2 Day Boot-Camp Outline

Day1: Get Your BIZ Back To Work!
How To Build A BIZ That Grows & Always Makes A Profit!

Most business owners work too many hours for the money they make. They’re too hands-on, stressed-out, out of control, over-worked and under-paid for the energy they put into their companies. They’re stuck, don’t know what to do next and need help!

Learn how to take your company to the next level, get organized and in-control, create a dynamic organizational chart and management team, develop operational systems, design a working marketing plan, develop streams of steady income, build equity, create wealth, and get your business to work for you.

George Hedley, professional business coach, author of the bestseller: “Get Your Business To Work!” and a “Entrepreneur of the Year” award winner will share how to implement his proven step by step system. You can get the results you want without your full-time hands-on, make-every-decision supervision by making sound decisions so you can enjoy the benefits of a growing company.

Upon completing this program, the participant should be able to:
1. Create a written business plan with targets and goals for growth, people, sales, systems, and profit.

2. Build a business that works, replace yourself with operational systems and build your company to meet your goals.

3. Develop written BIZ-Systems to always make a profit, market and sell, find and keep great people, get organized & in-control.

4. Create an organization and team that allows the owner to let go of control and focus on priorities that make a difference in the bottom-line.

Day 2: Grow Your BIZ!
Find New Customers, Win More Contracts & Stop Selling Low Price!

Being low bidder won’t win enough profitable work today! To develop a successful BIZDevelopment action plan to grow your BIZ, generate more sales and win more construction contracts, you’ve got to give customers better reasons to award your company work.

Learn how to improve your estimating and bidding strategy, set your company apart from the competition, differentiate, build loyal customer relationships, seek better opportunities, get on the right bid lists, find more viable leads, convert proposals into contracts, improve your professional presentations, develop an effective bid follow-up system, and track your bid-hit ratio.

You’ll leave with a winning marketing & estimating template and calendar to build loyal customer relationships, negotiate more work, offer more than low price, and get in front of decision makers to win more work.

Upon completing this program, the participant should be able to:
1. Implement a winning BIZ-Development, marketing, sales, proposal, estimating and bidding strategy to win more profitable customers and contracts.

2. Develop an action plan, template and calendar to find new customers, markets, projects,and value-added services to win more work.

3. Get in front of decision makers, negotiate to win, present professional presentations, and follow-up to win more negotiated work.

4. Build loyal customer relationships, set your company apart from the competition & offer more than low price.

5. Add more services to generate ongoing steady work.

Don’t Be Left Out!
Sign-Up Today To Get The 
50% Discount!
Expires May 21, 2012 

Email me for more information, a complete brochure or the registration form:
Email: GH@HardhatPresentations.com

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. Continue reading

The 8 Traits Of Great Companies! Traits 5 through 8

Competition | Pro-active Sales | Operational Systems | Investments
Part 3

Trait #5 – Set your company apart from your competition!
When I drive down the freeway and see contractors’ trucks, they often have signs on like: “Joe’s Electric – Commercial, Industrial & Residential.” I chuckle and ask myself: “What do they excel at, what kind of jobs are they the expert in, and why should I hire them?” Based on my experience working with tens of thousands of contractors, my best guess is they chase any kind of work they can get and don’t make a lot of money doing it.

Are you in the “Yes” Business taking any kind of job or project thrown your way? Experience shows that companies who specialize in a specific type of project or service do better work, are more competitive, have more loyal customers, and make a lot more money than their “jack of all trades” competitors. Perceived experts are the first called when a customer needs a professional to complete a tough or special project. Experts get the first chance to propose on jobs which require complex engineering or technical knowledge.

To set your company apart from your competition and get hired at higher prices, you must be the perceived expert in your market and offer more than your competitors. According to a survey from the Society of Marketing Professional Services (a national association of construction sales and marketing professionals), the top two reasons construction companies don’t get awarded projects are 1) Their inability to market and properly present the differences between themselves and their competition, and 2) Their lack of expertise in a particular project or service niche. When you continue to be and do everything for everyone, you won’t have enough time to satisfy your customers and you can’t make enough money for all the different types of work you attempt to complete. Continue reading

Can You Build Your Business Alone Or In A Vacuum?

Eastern USA Executive Round-table Peer Groups Forming Now

Business has been tough over the last few years. But the economy is finally at the bottom of the decline. Many of you have restructured and retooled. Some have made extensive changes and redrafted your business plans. And some of your competitors have closed their companies.

My expectation is that it can’t get any worse and now is the time to start regrouping and getting back into business in a bigger way.  Think about where you are now (not where you were). And what you need to do to double your current business over the next 3 to 4 years. Perhaps you need a new strategy, team, marketing plan, services, or customers. Whatever you need to do, one thing is for sure:

You Can’t Do It Alone!
With that reality in mind, I am starting a regular peer group program where you can meet with like-minded business owners to help each other see and do what it takes to meet your goals. I am opening the group to my Profit Builder Circle graduates and clients first and we will cap the group at 10 to 14 companies. So far I have 7 reservations including very successful business owners: masonry contractor, civil contractor, commercial general contractor, landscape maintenance company, apartment renovation contractor, mechanical contractor, steel building contractor.

I am personally inviting you to join us!
You understand the Profit-Builder philosophy and would be a valuable part of this dynamic group. I know you don’t want to spend the $$$ or time, but you need to invest in your future to get where you want to go. A few days twice a year will invigorate and energize your growth and allow you to actually talk to others facing the same issues you do. Plus it will be fun and you’ll build lasting friendships with other business owners you can call on during the year.

This is designed for business owners like YOU!
I highly recommend you consider this Executive Round-table Peer Group offer to join.  You will be a part of a compatible group of 10 to 12 focused company owners and can learn from how others make their companies work.  The group will meet twice a year for 2 days plus I will Phone Coach you several times between the meetings.

Join us at the first meeting in Atlanta – September 29 & 30th, 2011.
Please call or send me an email to reserve your place as a member of this group.

If you are tired of running your company alone, join us! You need a trusted group of advisers, like a personal Board of Directors who’ll help you make the right decisions how to grow your business and make more money. You can be part of a small group of compatible business owners in a regularly structured support group discussing & solving your issues.

Every business owner or principal can benefit from a personal board of advisers that meets on a regular basis. Today’s business executives face increasingly difficult challenges. Competition is fierce, resources are stretched and every day it gets tougher. Its lonely running your company yourself and making every decision without the benefit and input from other people who face the same challenges as you do. Now you can tap into the ideas and wisdom of a small group of success driven entrepreneurs in a professionally lead ongoing board of director’s style setting. As a member of an ongoing Executive Roundtable Peer Group, you’ll generate fresh thinking, new ideas and clear perspectives on what decisions you need to make.

The first meeting will be held in Atlanta and then rotate between member’s locations. (If we get enough West Coast members, we can then split off a Western USA group as well.) The locations will be from Central USA to Chicago to Washington DC to Atlanta and east.

SPECIAL OFFER
Join before July 15th, 2011 and receive a 10% discount on you first year’s dues. Plus the initial one time $500 start-up fee will be waived.

Shall We Talk To See If This Is For You?
Please call or email me to talk about how this program can help you build your business.

George Hedley CSP LPBC
Certified Speaking Professional
Licensed Professional  Business Coach
Author of ‘Get Your Business To Work!’

 HARDHAT Presentations
Hardhat BIZCOACH
– Helping Entrepreneurs & Contractors Get Their Businesses To Work!

     Email:  
gh@HardhatPresentations.com
Website:
www.HardhatPresentations.com

Re-View, Re-Do & Re-New

12 Steps To Re-Vive Your Business (Part 2 of 4) 
Re-Visit | Re-Tool | Re-Finance 

4. Re-Visit!
Football teams have evolved over time. Players have become more skilled, bigger, and faster. The plays coaches called twenty years ago won’t win many games today. The great coaches have had to learn to manage their team differently if they want to continue to produce winners. Now’s the time to take a hard look at how you do business and if your current strategy is viable today. I received an email from a construction company owner asking what they could do to win more work. He stated that because of the economy, there were fewer projects to bid on, and there were often twenty or more bidders on each bid opportunity. I was shocked. What was this business owner thinking?

How can you make any money competing against twenty other companies for jobs awarded based solely on the lowest price? Obviously he had been somewhat successful in the past when work was plentiful and there was enough business for everyone. But in a tighter economy, the old strategy won’t work. He needs to change how he does business big time and RE-VISIT his business plan and what he offers customers. Offering the same things every competitor does creates no competitive advantage and no profit large enough to build wealth or a sustainable company. Is your business strategy viable in today’s marketplace? Will it build a winning company that works for you? It’s the right time to take another look at how you do business and what you can do to offer something different than your competitors.

5. Re-Tool!
The business world is getting more and more competitive. Even professional sports teams are doing whatever they can to cut out the fat. As a season ticket holder to the Anaheim Ducks hockey team, I have observed their ticket renewal process becoming super streamlined and efficient. I get an email to renew my tickets with several automatic payment plan options. No phone calls or personal contact. Everything automatic. And if I can’t attend every game, they give me the option to email my tickets to friends, sell them on their website, or donate them to charity. All with a click of the keyboard online.

What should you do to RE-TOOL how you manage your business to save money and increase efficiency? To streamline your daily business activities, perhaps you should consider using your website, technology, emails, or the internet to pay your bills, invoice customers, post shop drawings, order supplies, send proposals, market your company, track deliveries, schedule employees, communicate with customers, maintain vehicles and equipment, or invest your money.

6. Re-Finance!
The best professional sports teams usually are also the best funded and financed. A strong financial foundation gives business owners the opportunity to hire the best players, market better than their competition, try new types of business models, and take advantage of opportunities. Now is the time to take a hard look at your finances, your financial systems, and your cash equity investment. I often see small companies struggle when they don’t focus on making their numbers, have good financial controls in place, and are under funded.

By installing excellent financial software managed by an experienced accounting manager, you will take a large step towards building a better company. With these tools in place, you’ll be poised and ready to seize opportunities like finding property at a reduced price or other companies in need of a cash infusion. But if you discover you are actually cash strapped, you’ll have the financials to present to another company you may want to join forces with. By merging your company with a stronger one, the joint effort will enhance the financial viability and strength of the total entity. Keep your eyes open for strategic alliances and joint ventures that will make your operation better. Look for ways to RE-FINANCE your company via mergers and acquisitions. And seek investors who will strengthen your balance sheet to negotiate tough times.

Where are you headed?

Are you really ready to hit your goals, earn more, work less, and live the life you want? It would be crazy to board an airplane without a flight plan or destination. Or try to swim upstream in a rapid rushing river. Or drive a car blindfolded. But this is how most business owners run their companies. They don’t have a specific destination or road map to get where they want to go. They work as hard and as fast as they can trying to make headway against all odds. And they don’t know where they’re going. This causes frustration for the owner, managers, and employees who try to fly faster, make a lot of waves, and go around in circles.

You know what you need? You need something to shoot for. You need a goal. Here’s a goal you have been striving to reach for years: Keep doing more! When you keep doing more, you stay busy and never run out of things to do. That’s like being capsized in the middle of the ocean aboard a small rescue dinghy and the captain keeps yelling: ‘Paddle faster!’ Never mind where you’re going. Never mind if you’ll ever reach land. Just paddle faster until you run out of food, water, or energy. And then you’ll die worn out, tired, and broke.

Why do you need specific direction? In order to achieve the results you want, you must know where you are going and why.

“If you don’t have specific written targets and goals,
you’ll never have to admit you’re a failure!”

You can continue living the lie, staying busy, and offering excuses about your progress. You’ve heard all the excuses: ‘It’s the economy, bad employees, lousy customers, cheap competition, or some other problem out of your control.’ Or you can decide to stop making excuses and do something about your condition and future priorities and plans. In order to get your business to work, earn more, work less, and live the life you want, what will you have to do to improve your:

– Sales Volume
– Profit Margin
– Market Share
– Cash-flow
– Wealth
– Effectiveness

To achieve your targets and goals, you will have to make major changes how you do business and strive to be the best in your market. At FedEx, flawless service is the NORM, not the goal or the exception. Walmart expects NO mistakes from its suppliers! If their suppliers don’t make it easier for Walmart, they go elsewhere! To be the best, you’ll have to improve your company operations, systems, management, administration, employees, estimating, pricing, marketing, sales, and service. Take a hard look at how your company is doing at your sales, profit margin, market share, cash-flow, wealth, and effectiveness. Do you, your managers, or employees specifically know? What numbers are they aiming at? Numbers tell you how well you’re doing. You will need a new set of measurable standards to see if you are improving, on track, and headed towards being the best in your class.

The Sad Truth About Small Business Owners

Talk to 95 out of every 100 small business owners with less than 100 employees and follow their progress for 10 to 20 years. You will hear the same sad story repeated over and over. They work too hard for the effort and risk they take. They don’t make any real money or have enough left over to invest. They can’t stop working or take much time off to do what they want. They can’t find any good help. They sell low prices to get most of their customers and revenue. They’re out of control and spend too much time putting out fires. They wish they could start saving some money and can’t figure out how to make their business better.Only 5% of small business owners will ever become wealthy or financially secure.

Why? 95% don’t implement the 8 key success factors that guarantee you can get your business to work for you:

1. Have a Passionate Vision
2. Written Clear Targets & Goals
3. Structured Organization
4. Accountable Responsible Management Team
5. Operational Systems Run the Business
6. Hit the Numbers & Make A Profit
7. Unique Delivery System
8. Pro-Active Sales & Marketing
9. Seek Wealth Building Opportunities

What key are you missing in order to help your business reach it’s full potential?

Work Harder or Smarter? Plan Your Success in 2011

If you were on a cross-country car trip from New York to Los Angeles and found yourself ‘lost in Bonkers,’ what would you do? Most likely you would stop, consult the map, and get back on the right road. In life, it’s hard to slow down when you are “maxed-out” traveling fast with a heavy load. You don’t have any extra time to stop, pull out your road map and reflect on your destination. In the race for “more and better” food, clothing, shelter, business commitments, customers and stuff, you’ll get lost, forget where you were going and often lose direction and focus.

Time management experts tell you to work harder, smarter, faster, and more efficiently and then you’ll eventually gain control of your life. By trial and error, you’ve learned this approach doesn’t work. To gain control of your life and business priorities, you must know the right direction to go and have a map or plan to get where you want to go. Speed is not an issue—only progress and balance are important.

Busy?
I often hear: “There just isn’t enough of me to go around. I try to set clear goals and act in an organized manner, but things keep happening and getting in the way.” When you “max out” your business and personal commitments– physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial – there’s no time to live life ‘On-Purpose…On-Target.’ There’s only time to react to the stress and strain of your ever growing ‘to do’ list. The standard question you often get is “Are you busy?” In today’s “hurry up” society, “busy” means successful, important, making progress, healthy, and valuable. Do you think busy people are productive and happy?

Being busy is not my objective. Making active and balanced progress towards my life purpose is my benchmark. Being balanced does not mean being busy and doing something in every area of my life every day. It does, however, mean that I am making progress and moving towards a balanced life – being interrelated, fully integrated and entwined in all areas. A balanced life is the sum of the whole life working as a unit and rolling along smoothly towards your targets.

The World’s Formula Translation
Food                                                 Upscale or fast
+  Clothing                                          Expensive and trendy
+  Shelter                                             Big home in right neighborhood
+  Modern conveniences              Everything
+  Education                                      Expensive private college
+  Hard work                                     Overwork
+  Lots of stuff                                  Debt is normal
+  Important career                       Over committed
+  Bigger business                           Out of control
+  Involved in everything Other people’s priorities
=  Peace and happiness       Superficial power & prestige

Clear your plate! Eliminate!
As your ‘On-Purpose…On-Target’ life and business evolves, you begin to realize that more is NOT better. Less is better. Get Simple! “Stuff overload” causes too many distractions. Learn to say “Yes” to activities, commitments, and causes aligned with your priorities and purpose. Learn to just say “No!” to activities not aligned with your priorities. It’s much easier to discern what you want to do, purchase, and get involved with when you know where you are going and why.

Living life ‘On-Purpose…On-Target’ according to your priorities is a cleansing and freeing process. Right now, list some activities and things that you can eliminate from your personal and business life that hold you back, distract you, and divert you from keeping on track with your targets and goals.

Live life’s 6 F’s!
Several years ago, I went to a goals seminar to get control of my business and personal life. The following Monday morning, I got to work early and made a list of things to do. Then after a full day putting out fires, several panic phone calls, faxes, e-mails, interruptions, and an emergency conference with a job site superintendent, I hadn’t done one thing on my hot list! At 4:00 p.m. my best customer called and invited me to play golf the next morning and discuss signing a big construction contract. I didn’t have time to play golf with my best customer! I had forgotten my focus. I couldn’t even remember my priorities!

A business that works always is ‘On-Purpose’ and ‘On-Target’ according to your priorities. It gives you what you want! What will make your business ‘On-Purpose’ for you?  I want my business to always make a profit, create repeat loyal customers, be 100% run by my management team, grow my equity, create wealth, and allow me the freedom to enjoy the 6 F’s:

Freedom
Family
Friends
Faith
Finances
Fun

Do what you want!
Mike is a friend who of mine who owns a steel manufacturing company. He attended one of my Profit-Builder Circle boot camps for business owners. Afterwards, he asked if we could meet to discuss his management style. He told me he wasn’t reaching his personal goals and wanted to have more time off from work. After we discussed this goal, I asked him to be more specific. He admitted, “I would just love it if I could have at least four hours off on Sundays!”

Everyone is in a different place. But to get what you want, start by being specific about how you will balance your business and personal goals! Make a commitment and say, “I will leave the office at 5:00 p.m.” “I will not check my e-mails or voice mail from 5pm until 7 a.m.” “I will not get involved in decisions my managers or key employees are authorized to make.” “I will take a three or four day weekend off every month.” Be ruthless. Stick to your priorities and get what you want out of your business to enhance your life. Resolve every day to:

– Read and focus on your personal and business priorities.
– Make progress towards achieving your balanced life goals.
– Not postpone your life and family for business pressures.
– Live your priorities to get what you want.

Live life’s 3 R’s!
Putting your priorities first is tough. Each day of your life involves difficult demands and tradeoffs. To be ‘On-Purpose…On-Target!’ you must be ruthless about your decisions, choices, commitments and priorities.

Successful people say:         Losers Say:
“I can do that!”                                 “I could never do that!”
“I’ll do that!”                                      “I’ll try that!”
“No”                                                       “Yes” to other people’s priorities

What’s the best time to try new ideas and work different? (Hint: It’s not “ASAP.”) The best time is now! Trying new ideas and doing new and different things daily is hard to accomplish. But, forgetting old ideas and comfortable ways of acting and doing is even harder! Putting your priorities first is tough. Each day of your life involves difficult demands and trade offs. To be ‘On-Purpose…On-Target’ you must be ruthless about your decisions, choices, commitments and priorities.

Accept Responsibility!
The following responses to circumstances have become the norm in today’s society: “It’s not my fault.” “It’s just not fair.” “It’s not my job.” When business owners, entrepreneurs, and winners take on a job they get it done. Period. No excuses. No rules. No reasons why not. Need I say more?

Accept Reality!
Sitting and waiting for “it” to change is counterproductive to living ‘On-Purpose…On-Target!’ Accept your current situation as it is. You can’t change the past! However, YOU can change your future – starting now! Get on with it. Go for it. Make the best of what you’ve got and make tomorrow even better. Start making those slow but steady changes in how you manage your life. You can do it!

Accept Risk!
Most successful businesses were started by individuals with a clearly defined vision, purpose and goals. The definition of an entrepreneur is one who “assumes the risk” in a business in expectation of gaining a profit. Step up and step out in both your professional and personal life. Take a stand. Take a risk and act like an entrepreneur. Expect the best to become the best! Take that first step to get what you want. Yes, the first step is often the hardest. I encourage people in this predicament to ask: “What are you waiting for? What’s the worst that can happen?” If you never try, you’ll never achieve.

Failure Is The Key To Success!
As a youngster, my dad often took me snow skiing to the local mountains. I’ll never forget his instructions as I watched the expert skiers racing quickly down the slopes with perfect parallel turns. He’d say, “You’ll never better standing there watching and wishing you could ski like they can.” With that I would take off and swish down the mountain as fast as I could. My goal was to fall down on every run. This way I knew I was pushing it to the max. You don’t get better if you don’t fall down often. You get better and when you try new tricks and techniques. What new tricks have you tried in your business lately to make it better, to make more profit, or start hitting you long term goals?

Have you ever noticed in life successful people always get up when they fall down. And the really successful ones fall down a lot! Stay alert. Watch for opportunities. Be quick to change. Make your own luck. Always be ready and well prepared. Know where you want to go and let others know where you want to go too. Ask others how they did it. Seek advice. Stay informed. Keep improving. Stay on top of your field. And always go for it!

“Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.”

Have you ever noticed that successful people who have their lives in order are also more active, involved, and generous with charity, church, and volunteer organizations? They find time to make giving a top priority in their lives. The fact is your success is an outcome of how much you do for others. Your deeds have lasting impact, not your stuff, power, position or busy schedule. Successful people make more time to serve others. Becoming a success is directly proportional to what you give. It’s a fine line—some people give to get—but that won’t work for most.

What you get is a RESULT of what you give!
I receive an overwhelming return on my investment every time I give my time, talent, and money. Giving is the outward expression of your inner commitment, character, and dedication. There is a direct conduit between your heart and your wallet. A banker once told me that the first line he looks at on a loan applicant’s tax return is “contributions.” He tells me he can usually judge a person’s true integrity and sincerity by looking at that one single entry. People who donate money generously and on a regular basis can be trusted. People who don’t find time or money to give to others are self centered and can’t get everything in life they want. People who don’t give are the only ones who complain about giving. Give giving a try. I guarantee you will get more in return than you ever give.

Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is worthwhile.” I built my business with the slogan: “Do a good job for the customer and the money will come.”  Putting others first always works in both business and life. So go out and give, get, and enjoy what you’ve got!

Boost Your Bottom Line! 20 Business Tools To Build Bigger Profits

1. Buy Low and Still Sell High
2. Double Every Discount!
3. Be Low & Then Charge More!
4. Buy In Bulk!
5. Get Another Quote!
6. Mark-Up Your Mark-Up!
7. Trash Your Tools!
8. Estimators Are Not Professional Visitors!
9. Empty Your Yard!
10. Finish Faster Quicker!
11. Clean Out The Dead Wood!
12. Do More to Get More!
13. Markup Smaller Bigger!
14. Fire The Deadbeats!
15. Collect Your Cash!
16. Multiply Your Money!
17. Stop Giving It Away!
18. Two Heads Are Better Than One!
19. Accurate General Conditions
20. Motivate With Money!

Increasing your bottom-line is a tough task. Many competitors price work too low  which doesn’t allow you to charge enough for the service and quality you want to provide. Your employees aren’t as efficient as you want them to be. The weather and other trades get in your way and slow you down on the jobsite and hurt productivity. Poor plans and specifications stop your progress while you get clarifications from the architect or engineer. And then, trying to get paid is not an easy task either.

Every dollar counts. Every penny wasted is precious and can add up to thousands of dollars at the end of the year. So what are you to do? Maximizing your profit must be a top priority right along with getting your projects completed. By taking a little time focusing on increasing your net profit will boost your bottom-line and allow you to make a lot more money. When you’re too busy working, don’t forget to take enough time to focus on your finances, financial tools, and business strategies which will make you more money. Consider implementing these tips and tools to grow your bank balance.

16. Multiply Your Money!
When I ask construction business owners specific questions about their finances, many respond they don’t really know much about their numbers. They let their wife or bookkeeper worry about the money. To me this is an oxymoron! Work all day stressing and struggling trying to get things done but don’t really care or know much about how much money they’re making. The main purpose for owning and managing a company is to make a profit and increase its’ net worth. In order to make this happen, you should also focus on your numbers as part of your everyday activities to stay on track and get the results you want.

A simple way to multiply your money and increase your net profit at the end of the year is to manage your cash aggressively. It doesn’t take much time, but can return a nice sum of money for your efforts. If your company is generating $3,000,000 in annual sales, you will average $250,000 in monthly revenue. Most likely you collect your money throughout the month but only pay your bills twice a month. This means, on average, you should have a bank balance of around $125,000 at all times. If you average $50,000 monthly in materials and are offered a 2% discount for quick payment, this will generate an extra $12,000 annually. And if you invest your cash balances in interest bearing accounts or programs, you should be able to make another $5,000 to $15,000 every year. Not bad for a few minutes a week of time focused on your money.

Make an appointment with your business banker and discuss the many options and programs they have to maximize the return on your bank balance. Ask them about “sweep accounts”, “overnights”, “money market accounts” and “T-bills”. A good banker wants you to make as much money as you can. After the meeting, decide how your company will invest their money and then delegate the task to your accounting manager. Track your monthly progress and watch your money multiply.

17. Stop Giving It Away!
If you had ten dollars for every extra work item your company, project manager, field superintendent, or foreman did without a signed change order before the work was performed, could you have retired several years ago? When your customer asks for extra work, why is it so hard to get it in writing? Everyone knows the contract requires signatures on change orders prior to starting extra work. But when you postpone getting a formal approval for extra work until days, weeks or months after the event occurred, you have no leverage. And when you have no leverage, your customer is in a great position to negotiate the final price with you, change their mind, or decide the work wasn’t really extra and should have been included in the original contract.

Present a complete cost breakdown for every proposed change order your customer requests in advance of starting the work. Use a standardized format and cost template to make sure you include everything the additional work actually costs. Every time extra work is performed, the followings costs occur:
   – Project Management to process the paperwork
   – Supervision to supervise the work
   – Accounting to pay for the work
   – General condition costs – job takes longer to build
         • Trailer & toilets
         • Power & power poles
         • Utilities
         • Truck
         • Equipment
         • Small tools, ladders, etc.
         • Small items: nuts, bolts, hardware, etc.
         • Temporary protection, barricades, etc.
     – Liability insurance
     – Overhead
     – Profit

Don’t short change your company by not asking for everything you deserve. I see most change order requests presented as labor, materials, and subcontractor costs plus a markup without extra costs for the many items listed above. If your company does $3,000,000 in annual sales of which $300,000 is performed as change orders or on a cost plus basis, not charging for everything you spend can cost you as much as $30,000 or more per year in lost revenue for things that you actually had to pay for.

18. Two Heads Are Better Than One!
As a progressive leader of a growing construction company, I wanted my key project managers and superintendents to accept more responsibility. As a result, I tried to delegate as much of the work to them as possible including writing subcontracts, ordering materials, signing contracts, and approving change order requests from subcontractors. Time went on and my inspection of their actual work became less and less as I trusted them more and more. But then the worst scenario happened and we experienced some major financial setbacks. A customer pressured a project manager to agree to some contract clauses that seemed innocent. Months later, when the project was nearing completion, the customer held us to these clauses which added lots of items into the scope of work we never had intended to do. Upon my review, it was obvious the project manager had agreed to contract terms he didn’t understand.

This caused me to take a hard look at how we do business. I discovered many problems with our ‘trusting’ system we were using. Some project managers were not getting the complete scope of work included in many subcontracts they were writing thus causing cost overruns on several projects. Some managers were not tracking their employee timecards properly and keeping track of all the vacation time they were taking. Some managers were approving expense accounts without reviewing all the bills in detail. The payroll department wasn’t charging costs accurately to the right jobs and cost codes. And I found some people were ‘stealing’ from the company using creative accounting. Oh well, some much for trusting your long term employees 100%.

It is my opinion people over time feel entitled to a little bit extra the longer they work for your company if you give them the chance to take advantage of the situation. Little things like leaving early without docking their own pay, asking a supplier for a little material for their home remodel, filling their car with gas using the company credit card, and lots of other little things add up to big bucks. In order to remedy the situation, we re-implemented our company policies and made it clear there would be no exceptions for anyone regardless of their tenure, relatives, or position in the company. Theses new rules required two people to review, approve and make every decision involving company contractual commitments, financial obligations, payments, or monetary transactions including the following:
      – All contract terms and conditions
      – All subcontract pricing, awards, terms & conditions
      – All checks issued
      – All change orders
      – All expense account approvals
      – All employee reimbursable items
      – All overtime pay or requests
      – All vacation or time-off requests
      – All payroll preparation
      – All sick time approvals
      – All project payables
      – All job purchases

19. Accurate General Conditions
Estimating accurate general conditions for projects can be a simple task when the estimator is accountable to get it right. Most estimators use unit prices which are never checked against the actual final job costs. For example, creating a budget for temporary toilets seems easy. An eight month job should cost 8 times $100 per month = $800. But when the field superintendent sees there are 40 men on the job, more than one toilet and more than one servicing a week is required. This might increase the actual job cost by as much as $200 per month. These extra costs will add up to lots of lost cash.

The estimator’s job is to calculate an accurate bid of what it will cost to build each project. After every job he must look at the actual job costs and see if he miscalculated any items. Before he prices the next job, he should get with the project manager or superintendent to determine what will be required to run the project he is currently bidding. Take a hard look to determine if you are charging the right price for:
     – Project manager, superintendent, and their vehicles
     – Project photos, sign, as-built drawings, etc.
     – Temporary facilities, trailers, toilets, sanitation, etc.
     – Temporary utilities, electricity, power poles, water, phones, etc…
     – Temporary fencing, gates, barricades, site lighting, heating, etc…
     – Safety, first aid, shoring, access roads, security guards, etc… 
     – Water quality control, dust control, etc….
     – Trash, cleanup, window washing, final punch-list

20. Motivate With Money!
I get asked about profit sharing programs at every convention I speak at. Incentive compensation can be broken down into two types: earned or arbitrary. Earned incentive compensation is based on a specific formula that rewards for results based on tasks, accomplishments, or results you want to measure. Arbitrary compensation bonuses are based on what the boss feels is the right amount to pay for good work, reward for a positive attitude, or a thank-you for a job well done. It is often based on what the boss thinks is expected to keep employees happy.

I don’t think arbitrary compensation encourages employees to do their jobs faster or better. But often it is expected as a part of the overall employee compensation package because other companies do it or employees feel entitled to something at year end. To me this is no more than a gift of generosity from the employer as it is not required. It’s a nice gesture and will keep some employees from looking for jobs elsewhere until after they get their year end bonus. But they usually don’t make the company any more bottom-line profit.

Extra compensation based on measurable results will produce positive bottom-line results. If employees know what’s expected and are compensated for hitting their targets, they will hit them.

If they don’t know the exact results expected and don’t have a reason to achieve them, why should they want to go the extra mile? This requires the boss to determine the exact results that will make the company more money. For example, if you want an eight month project finished in 7 months, a generous bonus for the crew or superintendent will keep the team focused on achieving the goal and motivate them to hit the early completion target. Without a financial incentive, the target is a nice idea but of no benefit to the crew to finish early or work harder.

Our workers compensation insurance rating was suffering due to field employee claims for jobsite injuries. We implemented a ‘Safety Bucks’ program to motivate the crews to work closely together and watch out for unsafe workers or conditions. Each worker received $1 per day if the entire crew had no accidents. If anyone on the crew had an accident, no one received the safety bucks for the period. We paid this cash bonus out quarterly. This instantly focused everyone on all of our field crews on safety and making sure their were no accidents on the jobsites. This program really worked as it kept everyone focused on the target. Plus I always enjoy giving out bags of bucks to my field crews for no accidents! Examples of measurable clear targets can include:
     – Total man-hours to complete a job
     – Hours without an accident
     – Project milestones completed by a date certain
     – Customer referrals
     – Project punch-list or close-out completion
     – Improving your bid-hit ratio
     – Customer satisfaction
     – Project profit
     – Project completion and sign-off by customer
     – Change order profit
     – Estimating accuracy
     – New customers signed-up
     – Average job size increase

Making the most money you can is fun if you make it your priority. Too often you get so busy you don’t have time to do the little things to boost your bottom-line. Give several of these twenty tips and business tools a try and you will make more money. See you at the bank!