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>>
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 >>
How 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…
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 email@example.com - we’ve got the time if you have!
It’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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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?|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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?|
|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.|
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!
Do you ever feel like you’re wasting time? Even if you’re meeting your targets, do you wonder whether there is a better way? Thousands of building firms have found a way to spend less time estimating, win more work, stick to deadlines and budget and all with considerably less effort. How? By embracing a software solution. Read on to discover how HBXL’s Productivity Bundle could help your building firm improve construction productivity and return a higher profit.
All HBXL products are integrated for a complete end-to-end experience and designed with ease of use in mind. Start with plans and share the information across the range to produce everything you need to run a project from start to finish effectively. Let us take you through the steps.
One, draft an architect quality building plan effortlessly in PlansXpress using simple drag and drop tools. No CAD knowledge needed! (Or if you have been given plans from your client, simply scan and trace them to make alterations and capture essential construction information such as dimensions and specification).
Two, using these details imported directly into EstimatorXpress, the software does an almost instant take-off of the plan, producing a 100% accurate estimate of your build costs as well as many handy documents to help you run your project more efficiently and impress your customer. Including Gantt chart, schedules of works (JIT labour, plant and materials), cashflow forecasts, stage payments and a customer quote – all produced automatically off the back of your estimate. Just print!
Three, import your estimate into Health & Safety Xpert and it will use your job specifications to automatically generate all the required health and safety documents you need including Risk Assessments, Construction Phase Plans, site checklists and audits to ensure that you meet required HSE compliance including CDM 2015 and CHAS.
Four, import your estimate into ContractsXpert and it will use your estimate details to directly prepare a watertight customer building contract and ensure you meet Doorstep Selling regulations, as well as properly contracting with your subcontractors.
Five, use ProjectXpert to ensure you run the most productive construction project possible. Plus, manage multiple, simultaneous jobs and keep track of how your whole year is panning out at any point, not just at the end! If you’re thinking you don’t normally have more than one job at once, then you really need to try the software. You don’t know what you’re missing out on!
The Productivity Bundle has so many features that will help you run a more effective, efficient and ultimately profitable business that there is no way we could fit it all in this short article so give us a call on 0117 9167898 to see what it can do for your business.