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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

Avoid Construction Business Overwhelm

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Avoid overwhelm in your construction business. Delegate, Designate, Automate, Eliminate.

I grew up hearing this phrase, “Let go and let God.” The jist of the phrase is to allow God to handle the things you can’t. It is a simple concept to understand, yet a devilishly difficult discipline to achieve. And, if we have a difficult time allowing God (you know – the guy who can do ANYTHING) to handle things for us, how much harder it is to allow people to take over the things we’re finding difficult to deal with.

Yet, if you’re serious about guiding your construction company to growth and sustainability, you’re going to have to “let go, and let other people.”

You choose

Strategy One – Micromanage. Micromanaging is an ultimately self-defeating strategy. It is a major time waster for you and an ultimate morale defeater for those in your employee.

Strategy Two – Personal Growth. Personal growth for both you and your employees will broaden your horizons exponentially. You become a more expert and powerful leader and your employees gain skills and knowledge which make them more valuable to you.

You’re probably worried that:

  1. The work won’t be done to your exacting standards

  2. It will take longer to teach someone else to do than just doing it yourself

  3. This is cruddy work no one wants to do

  4. It will cost too much

  5. Some people can’t be trusted

The answer is:

  1. It might not be done to your exacting standards. It may take some time to get others up to the standard you would prefer. Yet, if you’ve no time left to get it done, it isn’t getting done at all. Give someone else the opportunity.

  2. There is a possibility it will take time to teach someone to do it. Yet, once they’re taught, you no longer need worry about it. Or, it could be someone will step to the plate and get it done with little to no training. Other people have skills too, you know. 😉

  3. Just as one man’s trash is another’s treasure, one man’s cruddy job is another’s fun task.

  4. Sure enough, there may be costs associated with getting things done you no longer have time or skills for. Weigh the costs. If it takes you longer to do something with a less than satisfactory result, why hang onto it?

  5. It is true, some people can’t be trusted. Weed them out. Find others who can be trusted and entrust them with the tasks at hand.

If you frequently feel frazzled and are left wondering which direction to turn before taking the next step, you’re a good candidate for learning the 4 “Ates” of Successful Construction Company Owners. Even if you think you already delegate effectively, consider you may have room for growth in this area. It’s time to learn about the four “ates.”

The 4 “ates” of Successful Construction Company Owners

  1. Delegate

  2. Designate

  3. Automate

  4. Eliminate

Which leads to the over-all “ate” – Get it off your plate!

Delegate – to those already in your employ

Delegating will often create a short-term cost, which leads to the creation of long-term benefits. Getting really good at empowering others to deliver their best, builds your capacity to get the job done through the contributions of others.

Fast Company and The Art of Manliness both weigh in with good articles concerning the art of delegating well. Jayson DeMers, in his article found on the Inc. website gives you 7 Strategies for Delegating Better and Getting More Done.

Delegation is more than just a management concept. It is a skill (which can be learned) and will allow you to move beyond the land of overwhelm into the realm of getting-work-completed-in-a-timely-and-productive-manner.

Designate – to new hires or outsource service providers

As you go along the path of building your construction business you find there are tasks or skills needed for which you have neither time nor competence to address. Consider:

  1. Appointment scheduling

  2. Answering phones

  3. Marketing

  4. Accounting

  5. Web design and maintenance

  6. Content creation

  7. Tools, parts, and supplies running

  8. Sales

  9. Janitorial duties

  10. Sales training

  11. Tax preparation

  12. Human resources duties

Sometimes it is as easy as hiring someone to take care of some of the tasks. Janitorial and runner both come to mind (and might even be carried out by the same person.) At other times, it will be better to outsource tasks which include skills or knowledge you don’t have. Web design and maintenance, accounting, and human resources are all candidates for the outsource solution.

What are you least efficient and effective at completing?

Which tasks are you most likely to put off until the last minute, thereby never giving them the full attention they deserve?

What have you been limping along doing and now know it is time to bring on a pro in order to have the task done properly?

Answer those questions and you’re on your way to determining the type of person you should hire or the outsource solution provider you should engage.

Automate – through tech

How long has it been since you used a phone book, bothered with a set of encyclopedias, pounded away on a typewriter, or payed for your groceries with a check?

Your personal as well as your business life are both being disrupted by technology. Yet, the construction industry as a whole has been seen dragging its feet in the tech world.

Beware, the light is dawning on many. It is no longer a matter of stepping ahead of the competition through the use of tech; it is a matter of being left behind through the neglect of tech.

Let’s face it, there must be an investment of your time to investigate your options and an investment of your dollars to implement new technology across your construction company. Yet, making that investment pays off. It pays off in three bold ways:

  1. Increased reliability

  2. Improved performance

  3. New capabilities through new functions

As far as mobility? Your phone alone has taught you the benefit of a tech device which allows you to be more mobile.

Almost any tech you bring into your business is going to come with a built-in learning curve. Yet, once you and your employees get over the hurdle of learning the new tech both you and they will be better equipped to perform your individual job functions better.

Both GetApp and Capterra list a plethora of SaaS and apps to choose from for your construction company. Look them over, you’re likely to find several options that will be of use to you.

Eliminate – the tasks, duties, or systems that no longer work

Sometimes it is difficult to determine which tasks, duties, or systems are not working for you. Yet, you can look at a few symptoms which will, at the very least, give you a heads-up that something is wrong.

  1. Your clients complain about poor quality or bad service

  2. Your employees are constantly frustrated

  3. Some work gets duplicated and some work is left undone

  4. Your costs increase (for example, there is a constant need for rework)

  5. Resources are wasted

  6. Bottlenecks develop

  7. You’re frustrated

As you grow your construction business you’ll find you have new goals, you use new technology, the business environment changes, and your established systems often become inefficient or outdated.

Consider these two examples of when a system isn’t working:

  1. Your people use email instead of the CRM you provided for them.

  2. You put documents in Dropbox rather than on the intranet.

Or think about these time disrupters:

  1. You don’t have quick access to key tasks.

  2. You’re constantly interrupted by people asking the same question over and over.

  3. Meetings run too long and don’t have a specific agenda.

  4. You’re disrupted by email notifications throughout the day.

  5. You don’t have a “hard stop” to end your work day.

Make a decision to eliminate the tasks, duties, and systems which aren’t aiding you in growing your construction business. Take the time to think it through then begin getting rid of the outdated, old fashioned, or broken pieces of your work day.

Your call to action

Learn how a team dedicated to helping construction contractors avoid overwhelm and conquer their accounting needs can best serve you. We’ll help you get it off your plate. Give Schulte and Schulte a call today so you can take your spot on our waiting list.  480-442-4032 or Toll Free: 866-629-7735

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