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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

Build a broad management skillset – Work on your business, not in it

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

This is part four in a five-part series concerning Steps to Scaling Your Construction Contracting Business. You can see the introduction to the series by clicking here.

Have you ever arrived in your office and thought, “Help! What should I do first?” The problem may arise from the fact you’re working IN your construction contracting business rather than ON it. So how do you tell the difference? Well . . .

Working IN = way to slow

Working IN your business will have you getting caught up in the day to day. You’ll find yourself working on tasks that aren’t essential to the growth of your business. You’ll be dealing with duties which can easily be delegated to your superintendent, foremen, office manager, or other employee; or you might be trying to take care of details which would be better handled by outside services.

If you’re doing some or all of the service or construction hands-on work yourself, doing estimates, running the errands, ordering the materials and supplies, overseeing each crew, correcting errors caused by employees, and on and on, you’re being swept along by the current of working IN your business.

Working ON = way to grow

Working ON your business has to do with building a game plan, creating a strategic future, learning about business best practices, recruiting and training supervisory personnel, leading your team both in the office and in the field to understanding company strategy, personality, and character. It means focusing your energy toward the main priorities having to do with building your business.

You want to work ON the business?

Then here is a brief list of things you should be doing:

  1. Planning

  2. Hiring

  3. Training

  4. Leading the management team

  5. Delegating

  6. Presenting

  7. Selling

  8. Negotiating

  9. Tracking results

In the early stages of broadening your skill set you will be getting better at determining the next best move, looking for opportunities to be innovative, becoming more proficient at motivating your team, acquiring better skills for tracking performance, and learning how to develop standardized systems. (More on that in the next article in this series.)

Your call to action:

Take a look at your daily to-do list and think of ways you can delegate at least half of the things you consider your current responsibilities. Set a goal date for handing off the various responsibilities. Be prepared to take time explaining what will be required for each task and teaching your standardized processes to those taking over.

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