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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

The Power of Categories

The power of categories

Whether you think of it like a well-oiled machine or a streamlined operation, the health of your construction contracting business depends on putting the power of categories to use.

Among the principles of being organized is the basic concept of categories.

In everything from the bins of supplies to the chart of accounts, categories make accessibility possible. And accessibility is a make or break detail when it comes to efficiency, productivity, and functionality.

For instance, when you enter a library, (physical or online) categories help you home in on the information (or entertainment) you’re seeking. Categories and subcategories get you where you want to go. Fiction or nonfiction. Business or personal. Idea or action.

Categorizing isn’t a new skill you must learn. You already use your categorization skills all the time. For example, you not only know the difference between a cat and a dog, but you also know whether a dog is large or small, long-haired or hairless, dark or light-colored, office compatible or a mean son of a gun.

The scope of categories

The prerequisite to any organizing effort within your construction business is the determination of categories. The systematic, methodical, and precise use of well-determined categories can be used throughout your business and to your advantage. For example:

· Administrative procedures

· Workspaces

· Meetings

· Events

· Accounting processes

· Computer configuration

· Cloud space usage

· Chain of command

· Calendar

· Projects

When determining categories here are the types of questions to keep in mind:

· What goes where?

· Who is responsible?

· When does it start and end?

· How much time does it require?

· How will it be found easily?

· Who needs to know?

Categories keep on giving

Once you’ve discovered patterns, purged, sorted, grouped, and subgrouped, maintaining functionality is less of a burden. That doesn’t mean there will be no work involved in continuing to be organized; it means there will be a better blueprint in place for going forward.

Manage spaces, functions, and activities within your construction company using categories to avoid confusion, unnecessary duplication, and preventable setbacks.

A category story

A friend of mine recently asked though social media, if he was the only one who thought just dumping the flatware into the drawer, made more sense than taking the time to sort it out.

Beyond the fact that he stated his wife hated the dump and run method, there is another consideration.

The ease of tossing everything into one pile dissipates when you consider the problem that comes to the person asked to “set the table.” Digging through and finding four forks, four knives, and so on becomes a time-wasting hassle. Heck, just finding a butter knife for the cooling toast may be the first stinking annoyance of the day.

BTW, most of the answers my friend received were funny, if not all that helpful.

Later, I found this interesting bit from How to Make Sense of Any Mess by Abby Covert. She states, “Sorting is easier than deciding how to sort.”

It takes only a few seconds to read, and the information is valuable.

Putting categories to use

Often, determining a category begins with defining the purpose of an object, the role of a person, or the relevant classification of an action.

Now begins the fun part. Now that you’ve begun to see the value of categories, I doubt you’ll look at the objects, spaces, jobs, tasks, and people in your vicinity without considering in which category they belong.

Note: Watch for levels found in categories. Here is an example from nature:

1. Plants

2. Trees

3. Palo Verdes

And this example from your business:

1. Accounts

2. Accounts Receivable

3. Individual Clients

We desire to familiarize you with business concepts, which will make it easier for you to be a better commercial construction subcontractor through our blog posts. Some are new ways of looking at things, and others are refreshers.

The Profit Constructors Provide Contract Document Management and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs! Call us 866-629-7735

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