If you’re a builder who would like to earn more while doing fewer jobs (and sleep better) – and who wouldn’t – then read this extract from my recent video broadcast with guest Simon Lazarus of the Better Business Group. BBG helps building firm owners win work and manage their businesses more effectively. He’s helped companies win millions of pounds worth of construction jobs. And Simon has some really good advice to offer based on years of experience working with many building firms across the UK. I say ‘guest’ in actual fact Simon and his company are valued partners of HBXL, and together our aim is to show the difference between thriving or surviving in the building trade.
You can watch the actual Power Hour video broadcast with Simon here – it’s a really valuable watch if you’re a builder who wants to earn more and be valued for your high quality work. And as we head ever closer to the new year, the messages in our chat are really timely.
In the meantime, here’s an extract from our chat on the subject of aiming higher:
“A full order book for the next 12 months isn’t necessarily a good thing, particularly with the current record price increases and shortages in materials.
“If you’re winning 7 out of 10 jobs, you’re almost certainly undercharging by at least 15% if not 20%. You shouldn’t be winning more than around 5 out of 10 jobs on recommendations and 1 or 2 out of 10 on cold enquiries.
“Here at Better Business Group, we’re giving free business reviews to builders every day; all are busy and booked ahead, but most are working for very small profits. None of you went into business just to be busy. You wanted some independence and financial security. You have to build profit into the business otherwise your business won’t survive.
“You’ve got jobs booked in, so now is the time to stand back and take a good hard and honest look at your business.
“When you set it up originally you had aspirations – to be your own boss, to build up an asset to pass on or sell, to work 9-5, to be office based and not on the tools, to have more personal time with your family, to have money in the bank now, and a pension fund for the future.
“The reality is that the building game is very hard, and most of you reading this, despite how busy you are, are grossly underpaid and undervalued for the time and effort and years of experience you are giving to the clients.
“I’ve personally spoken to more than 15,000 builders and all but a handful told me that they were mid-priced – not the cheapest and not the most expensive.
“What that means in reality is that every job you’ve done they would have had a cheaper quote but paid more for you. Similarly, every quote you submit, there are more expensive builders quoting against you, they are still in business and winning jobs every week at their higher prices.
“Often being mid-priced means you’re squeezed from both sides – not cheap enough to win the cheap jobs and not expensive enough to win the expensive jobs.
“My message – loud and clear – is that you should forget about the cheap guys, they’re not quoting to do the job to the same standard or with the same material quality you are. You should look up to the most expensive builder you know and ask yourself “what do I need to do to make myself attractive to the wealthy clients they are working for”.
“So, the only way to future proof your business is to lift yourself up, work for more up-market clients who value quality as much or even more than the price.
“You know that this is achievable, what you probably need is someone to give you a leg up in the right direction, hopefully we can start that process by having a conversation.”
So if you’re a builder who would like to earn more money but without having to take every job that comes your way, let’s talk. Yes we’re in turbulent times, and yes material prices are rising but customers who are prepared to pay the right money for a job well done, are out there. You only have to look at the number of planning applications.
Call the HBXL Team on 0117 916 7898 and we can discuss how our estimating software, EstimatorXpress has an important role to play in charging what you’re worth.
And if you would like a no obligation 1-hour Free Business Review with Simon from the Better Business Group give him a call on 01707 859900.