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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

Don’t Block the Driveway!

What follows are three personal stories that all prove one point. I’ll tell you the stories and then tell you “the one point.” I’ll also offer three “don’ts” that are useful in your construction business.

Story Number One

A few weeks ago, as I jumped in my car and headed to an appointment, I noticed that the trash receptacles awaiting pickup from our house had been placed in front of a neighbor’s driveway. I knew two things: I didn’t have time to move those bins myself, and I knew who had put them there. So I called the 14-year-old trash mover and told him to come out and move the containers to a better location.

After some grumbling on his part (“The street is crowded with cars, I didn’t know where to put them, I didn’t want to block Dad’s parking space, etc.”) the 14-year-old relocated the receptacles.

I must admit that his grumbles had some merit. The street was unusually crowded that day. His dad does have a spot he claims as his own. But blocking Dad’s place for a few hours while he was at work would be easily rectified before his return.

Story Number Two

Recently, I’ve noticed a series of TV ads for a group of regional hospitals. My first impression was that the ads were well-made. Much like a miniature version of a good movie, with everything from excellent casting to impressive set design, from professional actors to impelling dialogue, the ads seemed to “do their job.”

Each ad spoke to a pain point that a potential patient might face when deciding to use the services of one of these hospitals.

Then it happened. Up popped an ad that portrayed a pain point I recently faced when I used the services of one of the hospitals. And how I was treated was NOT how the patient in the ad was treated. Not even close. Hey, wait! What just happened here?

All the ads that preceded this one were rumbling through my brain. And the spell had been broken. I could no longer suspend my disbelief. I recalled my own and the stories of others’ actual hospital experiences, compared them with what each ad portrayed, and noticed a distinct disconnect.

I concluded that these ads were more like a wishful, fairyland take on how patients would like to be treated if the staff had the time and patience to do so.

Story Number Three

A wind and rainstorm raged through our neighborhood a few years ago. In the aftermath, we discovered that much of the roof on the attached garage had been torn away and now lay scattered in our yard, driveway, and the street beyond.

The roofer was called. He came, climbed on the house, and examined the affected area and the rest of the roof. After completing his examination, he reported the estimated time and cost to make the necessary repairs. Plus, he brought with him some photos of other areas of the roof that were in a less-than-healthy state. He explained what was wrong, what was destined to happen if left alone, and what it would cost to repair those few spots while already on the roof for the garage repairs. The entire repair package was agreed on, and we were fitted into his crew’s schedule.

That same night, another rainstorm rampaged down our street. At first, we believed we had dodged the bullet. It was a few days before we discovered rainwater had seeped in behind the drywall of an interior wall in one of the bedrooms. Yes, there were electrical wires involved. No, the damage wasn’t massive, and all was quickly repaired.

More importantly, we were grateful that the roofing contractor had taken the time to check the entire roof, alerted us to the potential problems we faced, and allowed us to correct more than what we could easily see from our vantage point on the ground.

Don’t Miss Out

Before getting to the one point of these three stories, I’ll mention three “don’ts” to be aware of in your construction business.

1. Don’t block the driveway – think about who will be affected by your actions. Whether it is neighbors, fellow contractors, or the owner of a project, your team’s actions can and will affect others. Ensure that your crew understands their impact beyond just getting the job done.

2. Don’t pretend your construction business is something it is not – consider how your marketing reflects the reality of what you provide. Whatever your “claim to fame” is, live up to it and ensure your crew does their part.

3. Don’t forget to go beyond what your customer expects – recognize that your knowledge and expertise are valuable to your clients, be they GCs or owners. Bonus point: don’t say “no” for your clients; instead, offer them the opportunity to say “yes.”

The One Point

Here is the promised one point that all these stories have in common. Be kind!

Being kind comes in many forms, is not always easy, and will occasionally bite you in the butt. But in the grand scheme of things, being kind wins out, wins bids, and wins for the long haul of owning a construction business.

  • Clients and customers

  • Employees and subcontractors

  • Vendors and service providers

  • Governmental entities

Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:

  • Remain informed

  • Avoid hassles

  • Reduce risks

  • Be future-ready

Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735


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