This podcast covers all the pitfalls contractors make when taking over another contractor’s job after their client has fired them. At first glance, these jobs can feel like easy money, but they can quickly turn into problems that you regret taking on in the first place. If you can follow the 3 Key Steps we outline in the podcast, you will be able to take over jobs with no problem. Tune into this week’s episode of Contractor Cuts to hear us explain the 3 Key Steps and our experiences with taking over jobs.
How much should you communicate with your client and how do you know if you’re doing enough? We’ve all had jobs that have gone sideways because of miscommunications between contractor and client. A lot of times this happens because, in this industry, we tend to rely on phone calls and text messages as our primary source of communication with our clients and just assume that they remember what is going on. THIS IS WRONG. Using Email is a much more effective way to communicate as it gives you the ability to document everything that was said. We recommend that you communicate at least 2 times per week and follow up on any phone call with an emailed summary of that call to your client. This level of communication will set you apart from other GCs and allow you to build your reputation. Tune in to this week’s episode of the Contractor Cuts podcast to hear how we teach our Project Managers and Alliance Partners to keep their clients happy with proactive communication that builds trust from the first intake to the final invoice.
One day can completely change the direction of your company. Most contractors have trouble with making time in their schedule to sit down and work on improving their company. Creating processes, evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, and creating long-term goals are all things that need to be accomplished for your business to continue growing. If you spend one day sitting down and writing these things out, you will be investing in the long-term health of your contracting company. This situation is exactly why we created our “1 Day 2 Win” contractor growth events that we put on all over the country. Tune in to this week’s episode of the Contractor Cuts podcast to learn how to change the trajectory of your company in just one day.
If you are starting a secondary division of your company or the number of jobs you have slows down, how do you generate business effectively? The answer: The Grind List. The Grind List is a list of six things you can do to churn up business. We developed this during the first few years of our company’s creation and has been proven effective by our ProServe Alliance partners. Doing these six things will guarantee you clients by the end of the month. This list is huge in a recession because with everyone fighting for the same jobs, you need a way to stand out from the competition. Tune in to this week’s episode of the Contractor Cuts Podcast to learn the six items on the grind list and how you can use them effectively.
When a recession hits, it is almost a certainty that the demand for residential remodels goes down. With less money in people’s pockets, most homeowners change their priority to saving money. If that is your primary market then this is a wake-up call that your company is NOT recession-proof. Being able to create another source of work is crucial to surviving bad economic conditions. Whether that is commercial, trades, investor work, or tenant work it is crucial that you establish another funnel for jobs to replace those lost in a recession. Tune in to this week’s episode of the Contractor Cuts Podcast to hear how the guys diversified their company during the 2008 recession and how you can do it for your own company.
This is the beginning of a 3 part series on how to make your contracting company recession proof. The past two years have been insanely profitable for most contractors. With jobs coming in all the time, all we had to worry about was finding good labor. However, with a recession looming, now is the time to start taking a deep dive into your company and figuring out if you could survive through a recession with the way you currently do business. The best way to do that is to take a look at your previous 30-60 jobs and see how those clients found you. If more than 50% are from client referrals then you are doing things right, but if more than 50% are from Google, Facebook, or another random source you may not have clients referring you to others because of a lack-luster experience with your company. In a recession, referrals are key and you won’t be able to rely on random clients to find your business and pick you out of everyone else. Tune into this week’s episode of The Contractor Cuts Podcast to hear the guys discuss their experience with dealing with recessions and how to test your own company to see if you are recession proof.
There are 3 fundamental things you have to do to get to the next level in the contracting business: knowledge of the industry, replicable processes and procedures, and organization that is scalable. Sometimes working in this line of work can feel like running on a hamster wheel, but if you can incorporate these 3 things into your company it will allow you to create sustainable growth. Tune in to this week’s episode of the Contractors Cuts Podcast to hear a detailed explanation of the 3 ingredients for growth and how you can apply these to your contracting company.
Jobs for friends and family are usually the easiest to land, but we have found they turn out to be the hardest to manage. When you are early on in growing your company it can be necessary to take these jobs just so you can keep money coming in. However, it can put such a strain on the existing relationship because of misguided expectations and the lack of knowledge they have on how contracting works. Friends and family also have a preset amount of trust in you before a job begins and that can lead to normal job issues not being brought up which leads to large issues down the road. IF you take one of these jobs there are several ways to avoid harming your relationship, but just know that you are taking a gamble. Tune into this week’s episode of the Contractor Cuts Podcast to hear why we stopped doing jobs for friends and family and what steps you can take to make these jobs go smoothly.
Just like homeowners, subcontractors can be good or bad. However, good subcontractors can be turned bad based on how you are treating and interacting with them. With the amount of available workers getting smaller every year, it is vital that you maintain good relationships with quality crews to sustain growth in your company. The two main categories that most issues fall in to are money and respect. Some examples for money are unclear scopes of work and inconsistent payments for jobs. These lead to subs feeling like you’re taking advantage of them and not paying them enough. For respect, you can’t view your subcontractors as tools or yourself as their dictator. To make your subs feels respected you have to view them as your partners in a project and treat them that way. This doesn’t mean you allow them to break the rules or take advantage of you. It is about creating mutual respect and accountability between yourselves. In this weeks episode of the Contractor Cuts Podcast, the guys discuss the two main issues that drive good subs aways and how to change your relationships with your subcontractors to promote a quality partnership.
As an Owner or GM of a contracting company, the necessary things that you do that don’t make you money usually fall into the role of the “Office Manager”. Tasks like financial management, payment collecting, and communication management are vitally important to the sustainability of your business but can be overlooked when you are busy running jobs. When you are to a point where you need to hire an office manager there are key attributes you want to look for in your hire. The perfect combination in our experience has been the mixture of a golden retriever and a pit bull. Someone who can give great customer service, but also is able to be stern with crews and difficult clients. Tune in to this week’s episode of the Contractor Cuts Podcast to learn the different tasks office managers should handle and the attributes you should look for when hiring one.
On this week’s episode of the Contractor Cuts Podcast, the guys discuss why you should NOT use daily/hourly labor on your job sites. It is okay to pay this way if you are the lead on the job site keeping your subcontractors accountable, but once you scale your company to where you aren’t running every job site it becomes difficult to keep your labor on schedule. A work order system allows you to pay for work based on what needs to be completed by a certain time. For example, I tell a crew I will pay them $1000 to complete an interior paint job by Friday. This system motivates the subcontractors to complete projects early so they can get paid quicker and frees them up faster so you can complete more jobs. Tune in to hear the guys discuss their experience with both payment systems and why they chose to only do work orders for their contracting company.
When you first start a construction company, whether it is painting, general contracting, roofing, or anything else, it is easy to make the entire company run around you. This will work in the short term, but the second you hire your first employee it will become more difficult to keep everything running smoothly. The key ingredient to growing to the next level is the ability to implement systematic processes that allow you to duplicate yourself and not create glorified assistants. Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear the guys discuss how they implement these processes with new clients and the direct impact these processes can have on your business.
In our two-part series on estimates, the guys discuss the entire estimating process from the first client contact to the official written estimate you submit to the client. In Part 2 of our series on estimates, we cover how to use the desk estimate from part 1 to create an efficient site estimate and a great experience for your client. If you already have an outline of what the client is expecting for their job, it makes it much easier to focus on establishing a relationship with them and will save you time taking notes on-site. This process has led to an increased job landing % because it allows you to spend more time speaking with the client instead of taking notes.
In our 2 part series on estimates, the guys discuss the entire estimating process from first client contact to the official written estimate you submit to the client. They have developed their process over 16 years of running a general contracting company and discovered a way to write great estimates, impress clients, and easily duplicate it throughout their project managers. In part 1, we cover the first client contact and the desk estimate. A desk estimate is an estimate that is created while speaking to the client over the phone before going onsite. By having the client provide a list of what they want to have done and relevant pictures, you can create a ball-park estimate that creates trust with the client and sets up a great onsite estimate visit. It also allows you to weed out tire kickers and get a sense of how working with the client will potentially go. Tune in to today’s episode to hear how to intake potential clients and write purposeful desk estimates
As a contractor, being a leader doesn’t just relate to your employees. It is how you lead your subcontractors and your clients on job sites as well. The way you know if you have been a good leader in your own company is to look at your culture. If you don’t have a good culture here are the 3 reasons why:
1. You lack a clear business structure that provides safety and security. 2. You haven’t created a vision for your employees and subs to buy into. 3. The people involved in your company don’t feel supported in their job or in life.
When you create a culture that solves these 3 issues, it creates loyalty with your employees, subs, and clients. To hear more about the 3 ways contractors fail as leaders, the guy’s experience building their own culture, and what you can do to build a winning culture, tune in to this week’s episode of the Contractor Cuts Podcast.
Having a “Nightmare Client” is a pretty common part of the industry. However, most of those clients probably see the majority of us as the “Nightmare Contractor” in those situations. There are two sides to every story and most of the time a solution to whatever problem is going on is in the middle somewhere. As the owner of a contractor company, your goal is to gain reputation and money on every job, and in these situations, it can become tricky not to lose both. Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear the guys discuss their experiences with “Nightmare Clients”, their advice in handling them, and how to cleanly exit the job when everything is going wrong.
As a general rule you never want to have to borrow money, but sometimes the prospect of more work or to bail out your company is worth taking on debt. If you do have to take on debt make sure you are very educated on the kind of loan or credit you are agreeing to. Tune into this weeks podcast to hear the guys discuss their experiences taking on debt and how you do it the right way.
Are you are interested in learning more about retirement, our project management process, or how to take your company to the next level? ProServe Alliance is teaming up with EnKorp to host “Two Days To Win” a two-day seminar in Tulsa, OK on April 27-28 that will supercharge your company. You will learn everything listed above and leave with a plan for successfully growing your contracting company. Click HERE for more information!
As the owner of a contracting company, a comfortable retirement can seem difficult to achieve. There are three proven methods to retire: saving up enough cash to get you through retirement, selling your company, and building your business to run without you. The first method is what most contractors do, however, it is also the most risky. The second and third methods allow you to completely step out of the company with significantly more financial security for your future. Tune into this week’s podcast to hear Clark and our special guest Ryan discuss their experiences with retiring from their contracting companies and how you can start to prepare now for your eventual retirement.
Over the years, we have coached many contracting companies and there are similar reasons why they don’t make it with ProServe Alliance. Unsuccessful companies look for a quick fix instead of committing the hard work of changing their way of doing business. Implementing and customizing ProServe Alliance’s processes to fit your company takes a lot of work upfront, but once it is done you will be set up to be exponentially more profitable for years to come. Even if you aren’t interested in ProServe Alliance, there are still good lessons to learn about the value of hard work and self-awareness. Tune in to this week’s podcast as the guys discuss the common habits of unsuccessful companies and what you can do today to get yourself in the right direction.
Have you ever had a hire that you thought was going to be perfect, but ended up harming your company instead? As a contractor, it is easy to look past flaws in a potential employee when you think about how much more money you can make. If you don’t have processes set up to train your employee properly or a systematic way of interviewing potential hires you are setting your company and your hire up for failure. Every hire you make is a huge gamble and being prepared is necessary to reduce the risk. Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear us discuss why contractors make risky hires and how to set yourself up to succeed.
As a contractor, your main goal on jobs should be to increase your reputation and money. One of the best ways to protect both is by being highly detailed in everything you do. Whether that is estimates, client emails, or work orders. A detailed email to a client after your site estimate could be the reason they pick you over everyone else. Also, when something goes wrong on a job, the people involved will automatically look to the contractor as the one who messed up. Having everything detailed will allow you to protect yourself and put the responsibility on the party at fault. Tune into this week’s episode to hear the guys discuss the importance of details and how they are crucial to the success of your company.
Between the pandemic and global conflicts, it is easy to understand why the prices of materials have dramatically changed over the past few years. Contractors are faced with the difficulty of estimating jobs for clients months in advance and then having to figure out how to tell the client the price has gone up 30% once work is ready to begin. Luckily, there is a strategy to limit the amount of frustration for the client and the cost out of your pocket. Tune in to this episode to hear the guys discuss the effect of material inflation on contractors and what you can do to protect your company and clients.
Are you still regularly doing the labor for your own jobs? If so, this episode will explain what you need to do to step out of doing labor and into strictly project management. Making this move requires clear financials, a willingness to give up control, the ability to land more jobs, and strong employee management. Tune into this week’s episode to learn how to navigate the move up and to hear the guys’ experience from doing this in their own company.
We have all had those clients that we would call angry, demanding, or unreasonable. However, there is a simple solution to diffusing these clients before jobs get difficult. The “Closed Loop Theory” is the idea that when a client has a question or expectation about their job a loop is created that doesn’t close until they are satisfied. For example, the cable company tells you they will come out to your house between 9am and 12pm, but they still aren’t there and it is 12:30pm. This same frustration happens to your clients on job sites if they aren’t properly updated on the progress of their jobs. In this episode, the guys discuss the theory in full and how you can implement it into your company to keep your clients happy.
There are many different options when deciding who should be the one to buy the materials for a project. The three main ones are you, the client, and the subcontractor. In this episode, the guys go over the pros and cons of each option and what we suggest is the best way. They also discuss how you can make more money off supplier perks and discounts when you handle material purchases yourselves.
Setting expectations on a job, whether that’s with crews or a client, is a true cheat code to making your clients happier and your job easier. The best way to do this is called a Client Engagement Agreement. It is a document you walk through with your clients before a project starts that sets the expectations of you, the client, and the crews. This removes doubt and questions from clients so they give you more leeway and trust. Listen to this podcast to learn why a CEA is important, how to create your own, and how to use it.
Do you want your own fully customized CEA and training on how to use it? Come to our Contractor Growth Training this THURSDAY and FRIDAY to learn that and so much more. Visit https://1nsx6t8u.fwcrmsites.com to sign up today! Also, visit ProServeAlliance.com to learn more about our software, education, and training.
Whether you are a one-man show or a multi-employee business, it is important to act the size you are trying to be. That primarily means being on top of accounting, processes, and presentation. In this episode, we go over the bare minimum of what you HAVE to be doing to make your company grow and to be prepared when you are ready to take the next step in your business development. We go through what exactly you need to know from your accounting, why you need to create processes for yourself early on, and how you can present yourself to clients to give yourself an advantage. If you are interested in coming to our February Contractor Growth Training go to https://1nsx6t8u.fwcrmsites.com to save your spot!
“I know I need to do it, but I don’t have time.” Does this sound familiar to you? Contractors all over the country have given us this excuse when asked if they spend time working on their companies. Sitting down and creating processes, doing QuickBooks, or setting goals isn’t usually fun to do, but the most successful companies always find time to do it. Tune in to this episode to learn how to shift your mindset and make yourself create time to work on your company. Also, learn what to do once you are sitting down to work to get yourself in the right direction.
A lot of contractors are entrepreneurship-minded and tend to find other opportunities to make money on the side. While this necessarily isn’t a bad thing, as the owner of a contracting company your time is required to continue to grow your business. Doing a side hustle is sacrificing time that you could be using to work on processes and organization. Tune in to this episode to hear how to prioritize your time and not spread yourself (and your company) too thin.
In the last episode, we identified reputation and money as the two most important factors when growing your contracting company. This week we go over the paths you can take to protect both of these. Money and reputation work hand in hand as one usually can be sacrificed to protect the other. Tune in to hear our advice on the best practices to use so you don’t sacrifice both.
Everyone knows quality is essential in the contracting industry, but without good quality most companies won’t be in business long anyways. The two things that separate successful companies in this industry are money and reputation. Tune into the podcast to learn why we believe these two qualities are most important and strategies to protect both when a difficult situation arises.
Are the holidays stressful for you and your company? When was the last time you had a real vacation? No matter the circumstance, every contractor has to eventually take some time off. In this episode, the guys discuss how to prepare your clients and crews for the holiday season and what to do when you need to take time away. We also go through different strategies you can implement to not lose steam after the holiday season.
In this episode, the guys discuss the mindset you need to be able to grow and duplicate yourself within your company. Doing the grind of contracting work is essential to keeping your business running, but taking the time to work on improving the company processes will benefit in the long run.
How are you collecting payments from clients? Do you have a draw schedule or do you invoice by work completed? Contractors have many different ways of doing it, but we believe there is a least risky method that everyone can use. Tune into the podcast to hear the guys discuss pros and cons of different invoicing methods, and tell you why invoicing month to month will change your company.
With so much work going around these days, everyone is always trying to get after your crews. In this episode, the guys walk through how they keep subcontractors loyal and how to deal with a crew if they need to be fired off a job site. Firing a crew can be messy, but we have proven techniques to keep you, your client, and your company safe during it.
Do you ever have trouble finding and keeping good crews? In this episode, the guys cover different proven techniques to finding subcontractors. We also go over the mindset you need to have to sell crews to work for you and different ways to set expectations for your job sit.
There’s a huge difference between working on your company and working in your company. Sometimes you might block time to work on developing your company, but you don’t have the guidance on what exactly you need to be doing. Lots of people make the mistake of getting a head start on emails or jobs instead of focusing on growth and organization. In this episode, the guys go through the differences of the two and walk you through how to be successful working on your company.
In this episode, the guys cover how to start looking for potential hires, what you are looking for in potential candidates, and how to make an appealing job offer. Also, tune in to learn several interview techniques they will help you make sure you’re hiring the right person.
In this episode, the guys compare their company’s first successful hire and their last, describe to you the different types of potential employees and which is right for you, and go through proven interview tactics to vet potential hires.
The guys discuss the different factors that determine when a company is ready to hire. From a large company to a one man show, each situation is covered so by the end of the podcast you should have a good idea on your ideal time to hire.
In this episode, the guys talk through the differences between Vertical and Horizontal Hiring Structures and which one is best for your business. They also go over their own personal stories of implementing both structures and how they handled problems along the way.
We are very excited to announce the introduction of our new podcast Contractor Cuts! In the podcast, your hosts, Clark Turner and Jared Flowe, go through their personal stories of growing a successful contracting company from the ground up. Our goal is for our listeners to be able learn something on the way to their job sites.
Are there topics you want to hear covered? Let us know!
ProServe Alliance’s mission is to revolutionize the contracting world by creating a seamless service that facilitates growth and organization for our partners.