Are you one of the many UK builders worried about making costly mistakes because you’re so time poor? Well it’s definitely worth treating your time with as much care as your finances. It’s just as valuable. In fact your time literally is ‘currency’ so think hard about what you spend it on. Where can you…More >>

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When I say nail 2021 now – I mean it’s time to take your building firm to a new level with:

  • Quicker response times
  • Efficient paperwork trails
  • More profit
  • Better paid jobs
  • Interesting projects
  • Proper downtime.

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Here you go. The tools to nail 2021. All inter-connected. No more stressful paperwork. A stop to endless number crunching. No more standing still. Take a quick look at the brief descriptions of each HBXL software product, a link to its own more detailed page, plus the starting price* (most products offer a number of versions) for either an annual subscription or an outright/perpetual purchase. What’s the difference? We explain it here. More >>

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Nail 2021 in January! Not in six months time…

If you don’t shake up your business now, then 2021 will run away like every year before. The only difference this year – we’re coming out of a pandemic – so there’s more at stake. And if you wait until you’re ready – you could be waiting a long time…More>>

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Do you think about marketing your building firm better – but don’t know where to start? Do you want to undertake larger, more profitable work? Do you want a steady stream of decent business? Do you want to attract the best people to work for your company? If the answer is yes, then read our…Read More >>


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The next couple of years are going to be really testing so we want to help get you in the right zone, with your game face on and ready for any challenges ahead with the HBXL Builders Fightback campaign. More >>

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An important 6 minute read on using your computer to grow your building business The most powerful piece of kit in your building business is actually your computer. In many ways, the profit doesn’t come from your work on site. It’s what you put into your computer and what you get out of it. The…Read More...

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Want a successful building business in 2020? Well if you want to grab the new year by the scruff of its neck and make it the best it can be, then read on. We’ve written a 20-point action plan to help you on your way. And if the following seems daunting and even unattainable… do…More Info

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15 ways you could save time running your building firmHow well do you spend your working day? You know, in a lifetime you spend literally years sleeping, eating and queuing, months and months checking junk emails, sitting at traffic lights, brushing your teeth… So what about making the rest of your precious time really count.

Construction companies are typically fully on. And if you’re the boss you could easily be involved in estimation, delivering quotes, design, planning permission, approvals, health and safety, trips to the merchants… But if you feel like you’re consistently wasting time then take a look at what productive people do well and what undoubtedly contributes to the success of ambitious building firms!

“Time flies but the good news is you’re the pilot” as someone cleverly put it. If you could save even 30 minutes a day, think of the goals you could achieve with a bit more time? Maybe…

  • Coming up with new marketing ideas
  • Updating your website
  • Improving your IT set-up with new software
  • Health & Safety training
  • Renewing equipment
  • Recruiting new staff and appraising current ones
  • Searching out new suppliers and merchants
  • Talking to sales reps
  • Visiting trade shows
  • Going to demos
  • Watching the odd webinar
  • Looking for new land
  • Reviewing your quantity surveyor, bank, accountant…
  1. Mark Twain said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Do the least appetizing job first. You know the one you keep shuffling to the bottom of the pile. Get it done FIRST THING. And then you can go onto the good stuff.
  1. ‘Urgent’. Nightmare word. How much time do you spend putting out fires? Do those ‘urgent’ requests actually matter that much? Enough to keep putting off important jobs? Consider ignoring, yes ignoring, those ‘urgent’ cries for help. Or find a quick way of delegating them. In fact delegating is to be recommended full stop.
  1. ‘No’ on the other hand is a very effective word. Can you afford to give your time away that freely? Say no now and again. It’s not such a bad thing. It will actually improve your mood and make you more productive. Constantly saying yes can be more destructive.
  1. Turn your attention to one task. Multi-tasking is rarely a good thing in business. Focus on one thing and complete it. You’ll do it quicker and better.
  1. Group similar tasks and do them one after the other. You know how long it takes to get into the groove, so once you’re in it, stick with it and get it all done. You might find yourself killing two birds with one stone in the process.
  1. ‘The two-minute rule’. Obvious but clever. Handle two-minute tasks straight away. If you know it will take that short a time then do it immediately. Bang. In. Out. Done. It’s a waste of time and energy to add it to a list or have it in the back of your mind.
  1. Equally, don’t look at something and abandon it a few minutes later. As soon as something has your attention make a decision. And if it’s not a two-minute job, think about what’s required, decide on the next step or quickly delegate it. There’s that delegation word again…
  1. Ask more questions. Guessing is a great big fat waste of time. Trial and error won’t get you there faster. Employees, subbies, sales reps and customers will like you for it and you’ll save time. Win-win. And on the same theme – write it down. There’s nothing big, clever or quicker about trying to remember stuff.
  1. Pick up the phone – don’t email – there are some tasks that could be sorted in a fraction of the time with one or two phone calls.
  1. Stop jumping in and out of the van. Plan better and visit the merchants less. Get a list of all the materials for all your jobs onto paper and think logically about what you need where and when. And if that’s just not going to happen – get software that will do it for you.
  1. Stop doing things manually. There could be a number of tasks that you are currently doing by hand, with a calculator, on a note pad… that could become automated/completed by software. Spend a few hours now on your software – or find an entirely new programme such as estimation software, CAD design software or health and safety software – and save days and weeks in the long term. Honest. We should know! You can even synchronise data across programmes so you only input it once – well you can with HBXL Building Software!
  1. Shut the door and go into hiding. This will help with point 11. Even if it’s just for an hour. Say no calls, no knocks on the door, no email checking. Head down, undistracted and get the job done.
  1. Just do it! Let’s face it, decision-making really doesn’t have to be a long drawn process. Don’t overthink it. Share it with someone else. Say it out loud. Can the business afford it? Is it a worthwhile investment? Would the business benefit? Yes? Go for it.
  1. Plan ahead. Take a few minutes at the end of the day to prepare for the next one. It confirms what you’ve done that day and makes sure you have a productive tomorrow. And that includes clearing your desk. How much time do you waste looking for things?
  1. And finally – whilst all of the pointers here have been office/admin orientated, there are probably another 15 again for the construction side as well. Just for starters – choose your labourers and trades people well – it will save you time all ways round.

And if you only pick up on one point here, it’s a start. Busy isn’t always a good thing, it could be masking a few short-comings. It’s all about time management, whether you’re a house-builder, doing loft conversions, renovations or extensions.

And if we can offer any advice on using the right software tools to increase your productivity, such as HBXL’s EstimatorXpress 2017 for speedy estimating, take-offs and quoting, then give us a call on 0117 916 7898 or email - we’ve got the time if you have!

10 goals to success in 2017It’s very easy to write January off when the weather lets you down, customers too - and the odd subbie. It’s dark, wet and there’s no money around… But all is not lost, far from it – the quieter period presents a great opportunity to review your business and decide how to take it forward. So we’ve listed here 10 goals to construction success in 2017 to set you on your way.

 Construction success in 2017 Estimating Software Review your business direction - Starting with the biggie! What projects do you want and like to take on. Consider the 80/20 rule – could you concentrate on the 20 percent of the work that generates 80 percent of your revenue? And say no to the less profitable work? Do you want to diversify? What about Design & Build ? Walking is a good activity for clearing your mind and thinking afresh. Yes even builders can take an afternoon walk! Then break down your big ideas into daily, weekly or monthly actionable goals that you can measure.
Construction success in 2017 Construction Software Improve your bottom line - This usually involves 1) Raising your rates 2) Doing more work 3) Reducing your expenses. Look at the figures for last year and see how you could trim some overheads. Did your profit margins drop unnecessarily? Do you keep reducing your profit margin because of oversights? Find the leaks in your bucket.
Construction success in 2017 Building Software Stop being busy and be more productive - Busy isn’t necessarily productive. ‘What’s the point of spending your days climbing a mountain, only to realise at the end of this new year, you’ve climbed the wrong one?’ (Quote courtesy of Robin Sharma, leadership expert). Do you enter the same data into multiple documents? Put systems in place that will streamline various processes.
Construction success in 2017 Plans Software Learn to delegate - Have a good long look at your role. Do you really have to do it all? Perhaps it’s time to stop being pulled in different directions and concentrate on the bigger issues. Make a list identifying the things that someone else could do. Estimating? Speaking to suppliers? Booking subbies?
Construction success in 2017 CAD Software Review your approach to health and safety - How confident are you that you have a handle on health and safety? Are your employees and the public properly protected? Do you know what the HSE expect from you – have you properly sussed out CDM 2015? How about putting some time in the diary to gen up on it, do an online health and safety course and get others onto it as well.
Construction success in 2017 health and safety Software Review your customer service - Remember the customers pay the bills. If you want good reviews, if you want them to recommend you then make sure they stay happy. A single A4 sheet with your expectations of your employees and subbies will make sure everyone knows the policy. What about giving customers the opportunity to feedback at the end of a job – you could come up with a short questionnaire? At least make sure to ask them to give you a review.
100x-7 Research cloud computing - If you’re not already using Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive or another cloud storage application, then consider the benefits they could bring you. Saving and accessing files such as estimates in the cloud are really easy, and using cloud over physical file storage can save money as well. And of course you can be anywhere and still access your files remotely. But possibly most important of all is backing up - a must if you don’t want to lose something important following a systems failure or malfunction.
100x-8 Promote your business better - It needn’t be anything grand. What about updating your website (you have got one haven’t you?)? How out of date are the projects on there? What about a Facebook page? Perhaps it’s time for new livery for the vehicles, new polo shirts, some better signs? Sponsor a team or event. Whatever, put together a list, add some time frames and make them happen. And why not book in a bit of marketing training on this – some short courses are available to do from home or office.
100x-9 Become a tiny little bit of a geek - You don’t have to know your Bytes from your RAM but technology really will help you work more effectively, which means faster computers and clever software. Make a point of keeping up with new and changing technology that would impact you directly. Don’t just think about power drills and the latest plasterboard. What IT could you invest in to make your business run more smoothly?
100x-10 Commit to new learning - Your business has to stay safe and compliant. Put some remote online health and safety training on the calendar. And why not think about learning a new skill. Find out about software for designing your own extensions and loft conversions for instance.

Want more advice on construction success?

We hope our 10 goals to construction success in 2017 proves helpful. If you would like any more advice on streamlining your processes, tightening up on admin and improving your profit margins, give one of the team here at HBXL a call on 0117 916 7898. Our suite of software is aimed exclusively at the builder and developer and was founded by a builder who knows only too well about the pressures of running a successful business. Have a great 2017!